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Natural History Museum to host ice rink for final time as plans move forward for Urban Nature redevelopment project

The ice rink was cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic




Ice skating will return for the final time before the NHM grounds are transformed into an urban nature area   Credit: NHM

London’s Natural History Museum will host its famous ice rink for the final time this winter, with the space used for the pop-up attraction set to make way for the institution’s urban nature redevelopment.

Following its cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festive attraction will make a return this year from October 22 until January 16.

“We’re really pleased that the Ice Rink is able to return for one last Christmas after such a difficult winter last year,” said Clare Matterson, executive director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum.

“Following the closure of this year’s Ice Rink, the museum grounds will be transformed into a biodiversity hub through our Urban Nature Project, helping the next generation develop the strong connection with nature.”

Urban Nature

Design firm Feilden Fowles, working closely with landscape architects J&L Gibbons, are leading a multi-disciplinary team to reimagine the five-acres gardens surrounding the Natural History Museum’s Grade I listed home. The key aims of the Urban Nature project are increasing biodiversity, accessibility, opportunities for education and the usability of the museum’s grounds.

The plans feature a café and exhibition space below ground, on top of which sits a new green square at street level. The gardens will also double as a research facility, with researchers using it to monitor the city’s ecosystem.

At the heart of the gardens will be a weatherproof bronze cast of Dippy the Dinosaur – the museum’s famous diplodocus skeleton that stood in the museum’s entrance hall before being replaced by a blue whale in 2017.

The plans for the project have received strong praise, even receiving backing from Sir David Attenborough.

“The natural world is under threat as never before,” said Attenborough. “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.

“The Urban Nature Project opens the door for young people to fall in love with nature on their doorsteps and develop a lifelong concern for the world’s wild places. Nature isn’t just nice to have - it’s the linchpin of our very existence, and ventures like the Urban Nature Project help the next generation develop the strong connection with nature that is needed to protect it.”

In addition to offering nature to the masses, the redevelopment is also designed to improve flow around NHM, with a new entry point into the grounds opening through a pedestrian tunnel coming from the local underground station.

As part of a larger strategy, NHM is introducing "three great narratives", which will guide visitors around the museum based on the origins and evolution of life, the diversity of life on Earth today, and the long-term sustainability of humans' custodianship of the planet.

The museum's five-acre site in South Kensington is being transformed into a welcoming, accessible and biologically diverse green space in the heart of London   CREDIT: NHM



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Opinion In depth Video LIVE
Natural History Museum to host ice rink for final time as plans move forward for Urban Nature redevelopment project | Planet Attractions

news

Natural History Museum to host ice rink for final time as plans move forward for Urban Nature redevelopment project

The ice rink was cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic




Ice skating will return for the final time before the NHM grounds are transformed into an urban nature area   Credit: NHM

London’s Natural History Museum will host its famous ice rink for the final time this winter, with the space used for the pop-up attraction set to make way for the institution’s urban nature redevelopment.

Following its cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festive attraction will make a return this year from October 22 until January 16.

“We’re really pleased that the Ice Rink is able to return for one last Christmas after such a difficult winter last year,” said Clare Matterson, executive director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum.

“Following the closure of this year’s Ice Rink, the museum grounds will be transformed into a biodiversity hub through our Urban Nature Project, helping the next generation develop the strong connection with nature.”

Urban Nature

Design firm Feilden Fowles, working closely with landscape architects J&L Gibbons, are leading a multi-disciplinary team to reimagine the five-acres gardens surrounding the Natural History Museum’s Grade I listed home. The key aims of the Urban Nature project are increasing biodiversity, accessibility, opportunities for education and the usability of the museum’s grounds.

The plans feature a café and exhibition space below ground, on top of which sits a new green square at street level. The gardens will also double as a research facility, with researchers using it to monitor the city’s ecosystem.

At the heart of the gardens will be a weatherproof bronze cast of Dippy the Dinosaur – the museum’s famous diplodocus skeleton that stood in the museum’s entrance hall before being replaced by a blue whale in 2017.

The plans for the project have received strong praise, even receiving backing from Sir David Attenborough.

“The natural world is under threat as never before,” said Attenborough. “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.

“The Urban Nature Project opens the door for young people to fall in love with nature on their doorsteps and develop a lifelong concern for the world’s wild places. Nature isn’t just nice to have - it’s the linchpin of our very existence, and ventures like the Urban Nature Project help the next generation develop the strong connection with nature that is needed to protect it.”

In addition to offering nature to the masses, the redevelopment is also designed to improve flow around NHM, with a new entry point into the grounds opening through a pedestrian tunnel coming from the local underground station.

As part of a larger strategy, NHM is introducing "three great narratives", which will guide visitors around the museum based on the origins and evolution of life, the diversity of life on Earth today, and the long-term sustainability of humans' custodianship of the planet.

The museum's five-acre site in South Kensington is being transformed into a welcoming, accessible and biologically diverse green space in the heart of London   CREDIT: NHM



 



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