Get ready for a dinosaur road trip: Dippy the Diplodocus is on the move and coming to Birmingham. Never before on public display outside of London, Dippy will travel the length and breadth of the country from early 2018 to late 2020, stopping at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for four months as part of the tour. The British icon is on a mission to inspire five million natural history adventures, encouraging families to explore nature on their doorstep.

Dippy, has delighted visitors since he arrived in London in 1905. With generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the tour will spark the imagination of the next generation of scientists and connect the nation with nature.

The showcase in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery will see Dippy arrive at the Gas Hall on 17th May 2018 as part of a wider exhibition which will celebrate and display Birmingham and the West Midland’s natural science collections.

The full skeleton in its displayed pose is an impressive 21.3 metres long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.25 metres high. The exhibition will situate Dippy within a timeline of life on Earth, and aims to encourage visitors to consider their impact on the future environment, by asking them to think in new ways about the natural world, past and present.

Dr Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “I remember encountering Dippy on my first visit to London at the age of 11, when I was fascinated equally by fossils and mummies. I am thrilled that we are now able to bring the most famous dinosaur cast in Britain to Birmingham.

“Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is the only venue to host Dippy the Diplodocus in the Midlands. We look forward to showcasing this great specimen to dinosaur-fanciers of all ages and inspiring the next generation of palaeontologists in the region.”

A total of 90 venues responded to the open-call for potential partners in 2015. Dippy will visit Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and five regions across England. In chronological order, Dippy will be on show at: Dorset County Museum, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Ulster Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow, Great North Museum Newcastle, National Assembly of Wales, Number One Riverside Rochdale, and Norwich Cathedral.

Each partner will use Dippy’s visit to showcase their local nature and natural history collections, forging new partnerships between regional cultural, scientific and wildlife organisations.

Dippy’s journey across the UK will follow the grand sweep of geological time. The tour begins on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, and ends in Norwich exploring how we may secure a sustainable future. Along the way, Dippy will draw attention to the rich array of past and present UK biodiversity.

Dippy’s last day on show in London will be 4 January 2017. Conservators will take the next 12 months to prepare the delicate plaster-of-Paris cast for its journey.

The Garfield Weston Foundation is supporting the tour. Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, says: “Generations of children have been awestruck by Dippy’s spectacular presence at the heart of the Natural History Museum and we hope he continues to inspire the nation to rediscover nature as he works his way round the UK.  The Foundation’s Trustees are looking forward to Dippy taking pride of place in the different venues and to seeing children enthused and engaged by the wildlife around them.”

“Everyone at the Foundation is looking forward to seeing Dippy take pride of place in all the different venues, and seeing children inspired to explore the wildlife around them.”