Last month I spent hours wandering around Middlesbrough taking photographs for my Instagram project. One of the places I visited was Teesaurus Park, which is full of giant metal dinosaur sculptures.
These were some of my favourite images and I wanted to share their story.
The park was built on an old industrial site around the original triceratops sculpture, which was designed by Genevieve Glatt in 1979 and built by local workers who were part of a youth training scheme. Other sculptures were later built to stand alongside Teesaurus and the park now includes a stegosaurus, brontosaurus, T-Rex, brachiosaurus and a mammoth, plus a couple of baby dinosaurs.
Teesaurus Park is one of Middlesbrough’s less well known places. It’s hidden in the middle of an industrial estate alongside the River Tees, where the Teesdale Walk runs from the South Gare across to Cumbria. It can take a bit of finding if you’re not familiar with the area.
Over the years the park has been neglected. The first time I visited litter was strewn through the trees, the grass was overgrown and the dinosaur sculptures looked shabby and in need of a fresh coat of paint. But recently the park seems to be better maintained and it’s actually a pleasant and quirky place to visit.
Despite this, at the end of last year the local council announced that they would be hunting for a buyer for the land, as budget cuts meant that they could no longer support the park’s maintenance. This means that, should the land be purchased for redevelopment, the dinosaurs will be forced to find a new home.
So far it seems that redevelopment plans aren’t progressing, as the dinosaurs remain in their industrial home alongside the river.
If you live on Teesside and you’ve never visited Teesaurus Park, consider stopping at Riverside Park to check out the dinosaurs whilst they’re still standing.
Read more from my So I’m a Smoggie series.