Today (Saturday 10th February 2018) the Dorset County Museum opens its doors to the biggest and most popular exhibit in its 172 year history. Dippy’s natural history adventure starts here in Dorset and concludes in 2020 having visited eight different locations throughout the UK and seen by over 1.5 million visitors.
Lorraine Cornish, Head of Conservation at the Natural History Museum, Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum and Sam Rose, CEO Jurassic Coast Trust were among those in attendance as Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation passed 11-year-old Harry Swift, the very last piece of this gigantic jigsaw and thereby completing its reconstruction live on BBC Breakfast TV.
Harry who attends Fair Oak Junior School in Eastleigh was drawn at random from hundreds of entries to help assist the reconstruction of Dippy following his move from the Natural History Museum, London where he has entertained crowds for the past 113 years.
For budding scientists and dinosaur fans across the South West, the long wait to visit the 26-metre-long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.17 metres high Diplodocus cast is over. As this will be the first and only opportunity for families across the region to come face to face with Dippy, it is no surprise that demand for tickets is extremely high.
Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, says: “Making iconic items accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation. We wanted Dippy to visit unusual locations so he can draw in people who may not traditionally visit a museum.”
Tickets to visit Dippy are FREE but are allocated on a first come first serve basis with many days completely booked up. Please visit dorsetcountymuseum.org to reserve your pre-allocated time slot.
To help Dippy spark the imagination of the next generation of scientists and connect the nation with the natural world, the Jurassic Coast Trust have planned over 40 inspiring family activities including arts and crafts, open-air events and adventures along the famous 95 mile stretch of coastline from Studland to Exmouth, that was once home to roaming dinosaurs just like Dippy.
Sam Rose CEO Jurassic Coast Trust, says: “Today represents a really special moment to see this iconic specimen travel back in time to the Jurassic Coast, the World Heritage Site named after the time in which Dippy lived. The tour is a Natural History Adventure and the Jurassic Coast provides the opportunity for everyone, of any age, interest or ability to experience all of nature along this amazing stretch of coast.”
For the full list of natural history adventures taking place across the South West between February and May 2018 visit jurassiccoast.org/dippy
Dippy on Tour is brought to you by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by DELL EMC and Williams and Hill.