By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter
A new model of Dippy, the dinosaur beloved by generations of schoolchildren, will take pride of place in a new urban nature project at the Natural History Museum, which Sir David Attenborough said will help young people “fall in love with the nature on their doorsteps”.
The South Kensington museum’s plan to landscape five acres around the iconic grade-I listed building complete with education centre and cafe was given the go head by Kensington and Chelsea council on Wednesday.
The museum attracts five million visitors a year – many arriving by the tunnels linking it with South Kensington Tube station.
Visitors will see a new ramp replace the steps from the tunnels and will pass a timeline telling the story of the earth’s history – with a brand-new cast of Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s iconic diplodocus in pride of place.
The museum said its Urban Nature Project “will not only transform its London gardens into a biodiversity hub, but critically it will create an urban nature movement through a UK-wide learning programme for young people, families and schools”.
The scheme will also present Sir David Attenborough’s famous quote, ‘The future of the natural world, on which we all depend, is in your hands’, in bronze lettering on a ramp outside the Museum’s main entrance.
Sir David said: “The natural world is under threat as never before. Species that were a common sight in gardens across the country when I was young, such as hedgehogs, are rarely seen by children today.”
He said it was essential that children learn about nature and champion its survival.
He said: “These declines have devastating consequences for wildlife. Unless children have access to nature and experience, understand and nurture wildlife, we know they might never feel connected to nature and could grow up with no interest in protecting the natural world around them.
“The Urban Nature Project opens the door for young people to fall in love with the nature on their doorsteps and develop a lifelong concern for the world’s wild places. Nature isn’t just nice to have, it’s the linchpin of our very existence.”
It should be completed in 2023.
Pictured top: The South Kensington museum’s plan to landscape five acres around the iconic grade-I listed building complete with education centre and cafe was given the go head by Kensington and Chelsea council on Wednesday
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