If you happened to catch wind of a herd of dinosaurs roaming a leafy green space in London, could you put a price on ensuring they don’t go extinct this time? Turns out, you can: £5 million, to be precise.
A few years ago, we told you about the sad prospect of the dinosaurs that have resided in Crystal Palace Park for almost 65 million 170 years were potentially going extinct. Now, what can save these dinosaurs that couldn’t back in prehistoric times? Um… money!
This emerges after The National Lottery confirmed a round of over £24 million of funding for heritage projects across the UK, to which the Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs happily fall under. £5 million will go towards the park’s regeneration plan.
Included in the funding is a complete restoration to the surrounding Tidal Lakes as well as a new information centre and dinosaur-themed playground.
The Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs
In 2020, the group of dinosaurs added to the Heritage At Risk Register by Historic England to raise awareness for their need of restoration (no surprise after nearly 170 years!).
Crystal Palace Park’s dinosaurs have been standing since Victorian times, after architect Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins added the Jurassic addition to one of London’s parks. They were built between 1852-1855, and this came within just 10 years of dinosaurs becoming a term, coined by Sir Richard Owen, in our vocabulary.
Speaking on the news, Eilish McGuinness, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Crystal Palace Park embodies the joy of heritage: from its nature walks and unique Dinosaurs to the kaleidoscope of sporting and cultural activities held in its magnificent grounds. It’s as important to local communities as its history is significant internationally.
“We’re delighted that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we can save much loved heritage like the Crystal Palace Park all over the UK and create benefits for people, places and our natural environment. In 1852, Crystal Palace Park was designed to impress, educate, entertain and inspire. Our funding will help ensure that it continues to do just that for generations to come.”
Elsewhere in the UK, funding is also set to go towards heritage site including Gardeners’ House in Penzance, the John O’Groats Mill, the Trinity Centre In Cardiff and more. You can read about the new round of funding here.