Reviving Lost Worlds: A Community Palaeo Planting Project
The famous Crystal Palace Dinosaur landscapes are missing the plants that tell the full story of the lost worlds. You can join Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (FCPD) in bringing the story of evolution of plants back to life with a unique horticultural project. In 2018 we are organising hands-on planting work with a team of volunteers on the Dinosaur Islands, interesting talks throughout the summer and a vibrant ‘Dino Days’ event in September.
The Crystal Palace Park site was the world’s first large-scale science ‘edu-tainment’. Life-sized reconstructions of extinct animals were set out in a time series that covered 400 million years and surrounded by palaeo-plantings that aimed to be appropriate to different geologic ages over deep time. This living horticultural feature has largely been lost, so we aim restore it with the help of the community. The Dinosaurs are Grade 1 listed monuments and are the most visited attraction in the Park, drawing half of its 1.8 million annual visitors.
Our volunteers will contribute to long-term maintenance both directly and through friendly pressure on the park’s owners and managers. The Dinosaur Days will amplify and expand the message from the landscape project, weaving plants in to the big story of how science uncovers evidence for ecosystems in palaeo-history. During the Dinosaur Days there will be a range of events including expert talks and panel discussions, spectacular street theatre, participatory family events and behind-the-scenes conservation tours.
The Palaeo Planting Project includes:
- Monthly meetings and working sessions for the volunteer team throughout 2018;
- Planning, clearing and planting historically and scientifically appropriate plants;
- Planning, guidance and education by a horticultural specialist, following guidance report by palaeobotanist;
- Tree pruning work by Capel Manor, who have experience, tools and safety training;
- Information fliers and web info to reach everyone, even beyond our volunteer team;
- Talks for the public on related topics by specialists.
Dinosaur Days includes:
- Expert talks and panel discussions;
- ‘The Iguanodon Restaurant’ street theatre – rollicking fun that brings the real history of palaeontology to life from around the time of opening of the Crystal Palace (also partly funded by the Arts Council);
- Drawing events for kids and art installations for everyone;
- Experiential demos from organisations with related missions;
- Hands-on conservation demos and behind-the-scenes conservation tours for the sculptures on the Dinosaur Islands;
- Listing as part of the national Heritage Open Days, with broad advertising and promotional support heritageopendays.org.uk.
Bring your enthusiasm and skills of all kinds, from gardening to outreach, for our monthly working meetings. We are particularly looking for committed people who want to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project. The palaeo plants will need friends into the future!
If you would like to be part of this exciting project please fill in your contact details in the form in the link below so we can keep you up to date on volunteering opportunities and free events. We will also host a programme of talks and events around the project, to make it an experience with something for everyone.