When you think of The Natural History Museum, of course Dippy the Dinosaur and the Blue Whale come to mind, but that may soon change as an exciting new project has been officially green lit for the iconic South Kensington landmark.
The Urban Nature Project will totally revolutionise the museum’s five acre gardens, and turn them into a hub for wildlife research and conservation; a project unlike anything undertaken at the legendary space before. The gardens look set to host an on-site ‘living lab’ and ‘education centre’, which will host keen nature lovers and undertake important research which will make a scientific impact on a global scale.
Of course, the rejuvenation of the space will also see a vast increase in natural habitats for local animals (who doesn’t love that?!) and the East part of the garden will host an exciting area telling the history of the earth.
Perhaps most excitingly, the project has been endorsed by none other than Mr Nature himself – Sir David Attenborough, whose wise words will adorn the entrance and set the tone for how we can do better as a species: “The future of the natural world, on which we all depend, is in your hands.”
The legendary TV presenter 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.
“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.”
To answer Sir David Attenborough’s prayers the project is set to roll out a nationwide learning programme for families and schools – this will include advanced e-learning platforms and an onsite education hub.
Commenting on the facility, Clare Matterson, Executive Director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum said: “At a time when people have spent most of the year social distancing at home, the nature on our doorsteps takes on ever greater appreciation and importance.
“We hope the Urban Nature Project will not only galvanise people to reengage with the nature on their doorsteps, but building on the Museum’s scientific and public work, we want to trigger a movement that will ultimately help reverse these declines,” she concluded.
And if you’re wondering where Dippy the Dinosaur is… we’ve got some good news: the iconic National History Museum resident is set to make a comeback and will overlook the East Garden, a space telling the story of Earth’s history.
The space will open to the public in 2023, and needless to say another green space in central London can’t come soon enough for us!