Dinosaur garden launched

A VANDAL attack and stormy weather couldn’t stop the launch of Emersons Green’s dinosaur garden.

The Friends of Emersons Green Park started building a living willow dinosaur sculpture, named Dinomite, next to the park’s willow domes in February.

Modelled on a saltasaurus, one of the titanosaurs that roamed the Earth 100 million years ago, the sculpture has been a talking point for visitors to the park, and its opening marked the start of this year’s Earthfest celebration of nature.

Before the opening could take place the dinosaur’s original head was broken off and vanished, and had to be remade in time for the launch event on May 25, by which time the willow had started to take root, with leaves breaking out on the sculpture.

Earthfest lead organiser Chris Sunderland said: “On a wet day, sheltering in tents from the rain, around 50 people gathered to celebrate the new dinosaur garden in Emersons Green Park.

“Spirits were not dampened by the weather, as young and old set to making little dinosaurs out of willow and casting dinosaur footprints in plaster of Paris.” 

The opening event featured a story called ‘The Earth and Us’, written by Chris and told with the help of storyteller Michael Loader and musician Fiona Barrow.

Chris said: “It starts when all the Earth was just rocks and water, takes us through the origins of life as tiny bacteria and, of course, leads to dinosaurs, and finally humans.”

Chris said the event was a “fitting opening” to this year’s Earthfest, which was founded in 2021 as the Three Greens Festival and is organised by the Friends.

This year it has expanded from a one-day event in the park to a series of activities over four weeks, which culminated in a picnic in the park on June 22.

Chris said the original dinosaur head has mysteriously reappeared, having recently been found lying by the dinosaur. 

Dinosaurs also feature in the ‘Earth Trail’ which was launched in the park in June, with QR codes placed on six posts at various locations for visitors to scan and listen to recordings telling the history of the planet.