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Carbon Literacy for Dinosaurs?

December 2018 by Lynsey Jones

The Natural History Museum’s famous dinosaur, Dippy the Diplodocus, is leaving the museum for the first time to go on a tour of the UK. Rochdale has been selected as one of the eight venues that will host him during the tour and will be his only stop in the North West.

Dippy will be in Rochdale from February to June of 2020. Plenty of time before we have to get started on this project you might think? Not really. Staff at Touchstones Rochdale, Link4Life and Rochdale Borough Council have already been working with the Natural History Museum for the last 18 months to get this project up and running.

One of the themes of the exhibition in Rochdale will be environmental sustainability, and as Museum Development North West (MDNW) is now recognised as a Carbon Literacy Training Organisation (one of only three globally), we’ve been working with them on how to incorporate Carbon Literacy into the project.

Staff have already been thinking about how to make this exhibition environmentally sustainable – it wouldn’t do to put on an exhibition about sustainability that generates a lot of waste! This is where MDNW come in. As a starting point, we already have workshops arranged for Touchstones Rochdale staff and volunteers to become Carbon Literate. Following on from those, we have the potential to deliver training to other staff involved, all the additional volunteers who will be recruited to work on the Dippy project from next summer, and the community groups who form such a key part in developing the activity and events based around Dippy’s visit.

Dippy’s influence won’t be confined to just Rochdale. We’re also working with other museums in the North West to put on lots of events using their collections to look at biodiversity and environmental sustainability – there’ll be displays, arts and crafts activities, and adventures in local nature.

So in 2020, make sure to follow the dinosaur footprints to Rochdale, where Dippy will hope to have a big presence but a small carbon footprint!

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