Dippy the dinosaur in Dorset County Museum.

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Dippy the Diplodocus has arrived on the Jurassic Coast

Have you ever spotted a dinosaur in a cathedral, a parliament building or a community centre? Dippy on Tour is kicking off tomorrow (10 February) on the Jurassic Coast with a visit to Dorset County Museum.

Never before on public display outside of the Natural History Museum, Dippy has delighted visitors since he arrived in London in 1905. He will travel the length and breadth of the country from 10 February 2018 to late 2020.

The British icon is on a mission to inspire five million natural history adventures, encouraging families and schools to explore nature on their doorstep.

Each partner will use Dippy’s visit to showcase their local nature and natural history collections, forging new partnerships between regional cultural, scientific and wildlife organisations.

The tour begins on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, and ends in Norwich exploring how we may secure a sustainable future. Along the way, Dippy will draw attention to the rich array of past and present UK biodiversity.

Director of the Dorset County Museum, Dr Jon Murden, says:

'We are so excited to be welcoming Dippy on Tour. As the birthplace of palaeontology, there is nowhere in the UK more appropriate for Dippy to start his tour than Dorset, and we’re thrilled to have been chosen as the first host venue.

'There are connections to be made between our internationally significant fossil collections and current coastal management, and therefore we’re delighted to be working in partnership on this tour with the Jurassic Coast Team and Trust.'



Harry Swift, 11, from Eastleigh in Hampshire, completed the installation of the Dippy cast this morning alongside the NHM’s Head of Conservation, Lorraine Cornish.

Harry’s mother, Teresa Swift says, 'Harry is so thrilled that he has the honour of starting Dippy on Tour, it’s a dream come true having seen Dippy in London a few years ago. We are all so excited for him.'

Dippy on Tour: Natural History Adventure is brought to you by the Natural History Museum in partnership with The Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by DELL EMC and Williams & Hill.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, says, 'Dippy is an iconic dinosaur and a fond memory of so many childhood visits to the Natural History Museum.

'As everyone at the Foundation gets ready to celebrate our 60th anniversary of working in partnership with inspiring causes, we can’t wait for Dippy to get out on the road and inspire the next generation to discover answers to the big questions facing the natural world today and in the future.'

Dippy will visit Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and five regions across England. In chronological order:

  • Dorset County Museum - Dorchester
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - Birmingham
  • Ulster Museum - Belfast
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - Glasgow
  • Great North Museum: Hancock – Newcastle upon Tyne
  • National Assembly for Wales - Cardiff
  • Number One Riverside - Rochdale
  • Norwich Cathedral – Norwich

The full skeleton in its displayed pose is 26 metres long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.17 metres high. Conservators have taken the past 12 months to prepare the delicate plaster-of-Paris cast for its journey.

In summer 2017, Hope, a diving blue whale skeleton, took centre stage as Dippy made his departure from his London home. The bluw whale's story highlights our responsibility for pushing a living species to the brink of extinction, as well as our responsibility for its protection and recovery.

Dippy and Hope are different parts of the same epic, inspiring story, representing both the history and future of life on planet Earth.

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, and we’ve made sure he will still be free to view at each stop on his tour.

'Working with our eight partners we look forward to inspiring five million people to discover the wonders of natural history, encouraging children across the UK to develop a passion for science and nature. Dippy has a special place in all our hearts - few museum objects are better known, and fewer still can better evoke the awesome diversity of species that have lived on Earth.'

Notes for editors

Media contact:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654/ (0)779 969 0151

Email: press@nhm.ac.uk

Download images and video here.

Images provided for one time editorial use only, providing copyright is credited. Link not for publication.

Please credit: © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London [2018]. All rights reserved.

  • The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. More than five million people visit the sites in South Kensington and Tring every year, and the website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity.

In partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making foundation which supports causes across the UK with grants totalling over £60million each year. 2018 also marks its £1billionth donation since it was established. One of the largest and most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason amongst others - a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown so too have the charitable donations. From small community organisations to large national institutions, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities and activities that make a positive impact in the communities in which they work.  Over 1,500 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.

Tour Sponsors

Dell EMC, a part of Dell Technologies, enables organizations to modernize, automate and transform their data center using industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies. This provides a trusted foundation for businesses to transform IT, through the creation of a hybrid cloud, and transform their business through the creation of cloud-native applications and big data solutions. As a supplier of the Natural History Museum, Dell EMC technology has supported the work of its scientists for many years. Through Dippy on Tour, Dell EMC and the Natural History Museum have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage them to engage with the natural world. The digital world has a huge role to play in this, by providing online and mobile technology that allows people to explore the outside world.

Williams & Hill have built up a reputation for excellence by firmly establishing themselves as the leading ‘Specialised Transporter of Fine Art, Antiques, Design Furniture and Decorative Objects’. With a highly experienced team working for the world’s major galleries and exhibition venues – they have a true understanding of the requirements for methodical care, consideration and appreciation of whatever may be in their care.  No two days are the same, and the excitement of working in their own ever changing art gallery never fades.

Tour venues and partners

Dorset County Museum is one of the leading independent, charitable, heritage organisations in the Southwest of England. It has a learned Society with 2000 members and receives over 47,000 visitors a year. Its diverse collections contain over 4 million objects including internationally significant geology, archaeology and literary collections. The Museum is a registered charity and operates independently with financial support from Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council.  In May 2015 the Museum was awarded £9.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable an ambitious redevelopment project.

The Jurassic Coast was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001. Day to day site management, and delivery of the Management Plan, is the work of the Jurassic Coast Team, supported in the main by Dorset and Devon County Councils, and the Jurassic Coast Trust, the charity which funds and inspires conservation, understanding and community engagement. 

Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council.  It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city. Attracting over one million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle.

Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Ancient Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. The Ulster Museum, part of National Museums Northern Ireland, welcomes nearly half a million visitors annually.

Glasgow Life is the charity which runs services and facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council. We work in every area of the city and with every community to try and inspire Glasgow’s citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture, sport and learning. More than 18 million attendances were recorded to the facilities that we run across the city between 2015 and 2016. Glasgow Museums is the largest museum service in the UK outside London and operates nine easy to reach, accessible and family friendly venues across the city.  We are open year-round and entry is free. Glasgow Museums house an extraordinary permanent collection of fine art, historic objects and natural history exhibited in some of Glasgow’s most stunning public buildings.

Great North Museum: Hancock is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on behalf of Newcastle University. The Museum brings together the North East’s premier collections of archaeology, natural history, geology and world cultures under one roof. It incorporates collections from the original Hancock Museum, Newcastle University’s former Museum of Antiquities and the Shefton Museum. The Great North Museum is a partnership between Newcastle University, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Newcastle City Council, the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne (SANT).

The National Assembly for Wales is working in collaboration with the National Museum of Wales to deliver Dippy on Tour. It is the democratically elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people, makes laws for Wales and holds the Welsh Government to account. The Senedd, as the home of the National Assembly for Wales, is the place where the 60 elected Assembly Members debate issues that affect life in Wales - like health, education, the environment and transport. The Senedd is a public building so it’s free to visit and watch Assembly Members in action.

Rochdale Borough Council is a local authority in the North West of England which serves more than 200,000 residents. Sitting in the foothills of the Pennines and close to the major cities of Manchester and Leeds, the council is playing a key role in the Northern Powerhouse, and its priorities are people, place and prosperity. Link4Life is the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust, delivering leisure and cultural provision across the Rochdale borough, including the award-winning arts and heritage centre, Touchstones Rochdale. 

Norwich Cathedral is a Christian presence in the heart of Norfolk and the Diocese of Norwich. It began, over 900 years ago, as the Cathedral church of a Benedictine Monastery, built to inspire by its sheer size and magnificence. The Cathedral continues to fill today’s visitors with a sense of awe and wonder. The primary purpose of a Cathedral is to be a place of Christian worship. It was at the centre of the monastery and the focus of the monks’ most important work, the worship of God. Norwich Cathedral is also the focus of both city and county life. As well as playing host to special civic and legal services, it is also a venue for concerts, talks, exhibitions, degree ceremonies and other community events.