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
We have had an extraordinary offer from architectural practice Tonkin Liu to deliver a pro bono design for a bridge to the Dinosaur Islands. This practice is known for its innovative pedestrian bridges, lightweight constructions, and sensitive designs. Their work has been featured in numerous urban landscapes, RIBA and the Royal Academy. With Tonkin Liu, our aim is that the new bridge will be practical, elegant and a fitting addition to this beautiful landscape.