Giant dinosaurs heading for Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:03 12 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:02 16 May 2016

A view of the Strand Gardens in Exmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5026-16-11SH

A view of the Strand Gardens in Exmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5026-16-11SH

Archant

Dinosaurs are to return to the Jurassic Coast for the first time in 65 million years, after plans to install giant models in Exmouth were confirmed.

The life-sized replica reptiles, standing several metres tall, will be placed around the town centre and seafront to form a Jurassic Journey, with sponsorship from local businesses.

They will initially be in place for a year, but could stay for longer if they are well received.

Eight dinosaurs have been sponsored so far, including a stegosaurus standing just under five metres tall, and a pterosaur with a wingspan of around six metres.

Sponsorship is still being sought to bring in a Tyrannosaurus rex, which would stand more than six metres tall.

The idea has been developed by the Exmouth Town Team, which represents independent retailers, working with Exmouth Town Council and tourism champion Councillor Alison Greenhalgh.

It is hoped the dinosaurs will be in place by August.

Cllr Greenhalgh said: “Dinosaurs are a key topic in primary schools and it is a great way to capture the imagination of school-age children - and therefore their families - who visit or live in Exmouth and the surrounding area.

“We believe it will also provide a day out ‘dinosaur hunt’ for visitors, similar to other trails such as Paddington Bear in London, which proved hugely popular and received a lot of media attention.

“Children have a real fascination for dinosaurs, and the Jurassic Coast, which starts in Exmouth, existed way before dinosaurs even walked the Earth and we want to introduce them to this unique history, right on their doorstep whilst having a great deal of fun at the same time!”

Town team member Liz Oram said: “The Jurassic Journey is intended to lead us into developing Exmouth as the premier coastal resort for residents and visitors alike, and to make the most of some of our most valuable, natural assets and geology, which will be the start of a wider promotional campaign.”

The town council is to produce a companion leaflet containing lots of information about Exmouth’s ancient geology and a dinosaur hunt map aimed at children.

To enquire about sponsoring a dinosaur, contact town management officer Suzanne Birkett by emailing tmassistant@exmouth.gov.uk.

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