The Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park hold a special place in every Pengeites heart; as they should, being in SE20. But more is needed to preserve them and make them more accessible. With a Dino Bridge, the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs will be able to provide access for conservators to maintain and restore the 164-year-old Grade I listed sculptures. They will also run regular educational tours for members of the public and schools.
The campaign has already attracted hundreds of supporters, including local residents, businesses and award-winning architects Tonkin Liu. This week the Mayor of London confirmed his support for the plan, pledging £30,000 towards the scheme as part of ‘Crowdfund London’.
However, the charity still needs to raise more than £35,000 between now and 17 December.
Individuals and businesses can pledge at https://www.spacehive.com/bridges-to-the-crystal-palace-dinosaurs.
Please give what you can to help these iconic Penge beasts.
Here’s more info about what the funds will be used for, from the Spacehive site:
The Dinosaurs are a unique set of sculptures in Crystal Palace Park. They are located on islands which the public can’t usually get on to. The sculptures are Grade I listed heritage assets and are internationally important, as they were a pivotal event in the history of science. The Friends of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are frequently asked ‘Can we get onto the islands, get up close & find out more about the Dinosaurs?’ This is currently possible only a few times per year, when we pay to have an expensive and ugly temporary bridge erected. We need a new, permanent bridge. A physical bridge to the island will enable us to build imaginative bridges to the past. With a bridge we can deliver an exciting, interactive programme of events on ‘Dinosaur Island’ on a regular basis. We will run tours by experts in history, science, art and conservation. Volunteers will be able to get stuck in to projects around the sculptures. Gardeners and conservators can keep the site in shape.
What we’ll deliver:
- A permanent, elegantly-designed bridge to Dinosaur Island
- Regular tours of Dinosaur Island
- Greater access for wider community engagement, schools, conservation and maintenance
- Increasd security for the site
Why it’s a great idea:
The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are a unique and widely-loved symbol of the local area. They were built in the 1850s in the grounds of the Crystal Palace and were the first ever life-sized reconstructions of extinct animals. 95% visitors told us in a recent survey that they would like a tour of the island. A new bridge would allow us to run tours for around 1200 people per year, helping to build love of the Dinos, an understanding of the history of the local area and of natural history among a wide range of residents – the Dinosaurs are loved by young & old. Increasing visitor numbers to the park could help to improve the mental health of our population: there are strong links between well-being & spending time in the outdoors, learning new things and spending time with friends & family. A permanent bridge will also allow easier access for wider engagement, access for other groups & make routine maintenance easier & cheaper – helping to conserve the Dinosaurs for the long term.
Steps to get it done:
- 15-16 September 2018: Dino Days – launch of project at Heritage Open Days weekend
- September- December 2018: fundraising
- September – December 2018: finalise bridge design
- Early 2019 – June 2019: bridge construction
- Summer 2019 onwards: delivery of tours & volunteer events