Preparations get under way for 'summer of dinosaurs' in Norwich

The GoGo Discover trail and Dippy's visit to Norwich Cathedral will bring a summer of dinosaurs to Norwich. 

The GoGoDiscover trail and Dippy's visit to Norwich Cathedral will bring a summer of dinosaurs to Norwich. - Credit: Mark Benfield/Trustees of the National History Museum

Dippy is not the only prehistoric visitor heading to Norwich this summer, with 20 more dinosaurs set to appear across the city.

The Natural History Museum's iconic Diplodocus cast, which ordinarily stands in its entrance hall, is coming to Norwich Cathedral's Nave on the final leg of its UK tour from July 13 to October 30.

Dippy's was originally set to arrive on July 11 last year, but when the pandemic hit the Norwich date was postponed to January 2021.

Dippy the dinosaur is coming to Norwich Cathedral on the final leg of its UK tour. 

Dippy the dinosaur is coming to Norwich Cathedral on the final leg of its UK tour. - Credit: Trustees of the Natural History Museum

In November, with lockdown restrictions still in full force, the visit was moved again to summer 2021.

But it will certainly be worth the wait when the 26-metre long dinosaur stomps into the city, with a whole host of activities planned.

Dippy will be in the Norwich Cathedral Nave.

Dippy will be in the Norwich Cathedral Nave. - Credit: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

This includes dinosaur-themed workshops, a time tunnel in the cloisters, films nights and on Fridays the cathedral will be open late.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Reverend Jane Hedges, said: "We were keen to get Dippy as over the last few years we have been working hard to get faith to engage with science.

The very reverend Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich.

The Very Reverend Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich. - Credit: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

"Having Dippy encourages us to look at the big questions like climate change and food sustainability as well as being fun and bringing a lot of people here that wouldn't otherwise come."

To complement Dippy's visit, charity Break, which supports young people on the edge of, in or leaving care, will be running its GoGoDiscover trail from July 12 to September 11 in partnership with Wild At Art.

Peter Marron and Ellie Edge from Break with a T. rex and mammoth model. 

Peter Marron and Ellie Edge from Break with a T. rex and mammoth model. - Credit: Mark Benfield

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There will be 20 Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures, with many painted by local artists, across the city and it follows the success of GoGoGorillas in 2013, GoGoDragons in 2015 and GoGoHares in 2018. 

Maps will be available to download on an app, with hard copies available from local venues. 

Peter Marron, Break corporate fundraising manager, said: "We are expecting thousands of people to come and see Dippy and the trail will compliment this.

Peter Marron from Break with a T. rex. 

Peter Marron from Break with a T. rex. - Credit: Mark Benfield

"It is going to be the summer of dinosaurs in and around the city."

But the dinosaurs won't disappear into extinction after September and will return in 2022, with the addition of Steppe Mammoth sculptures across the county, linking to Norfolk's deep history coast. 

There will also be a learning and community programme and the auction of the sculptures will take place in October 2022. 

Both Dippy and GoGo Discover are free, with donations encouraged, and Norwich Cathedral is currently looking for volunteers - find out more at cathedral.org.uk/dippy-on-tour

Our Summer in the City campaign encourages people to make the most of all Norwich has to offer this summer.

Our Summer in the City campaign encourages people to make the most of all Norwich has to offer this summer. - Credit: Archant

Our Summer in the City campaign encourages people to get out and about in Norwich this summer, and to make the most of its shops, pubs and restaurants and events.

Summer in the City is sponsored by Chantry Place and Norwich BID.

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