We are a small team, mainly volunteers, based at the new Wirksworth Heritage Centre, which is run as a charity. For most of the last 200 years the bones of a 43,000 year old woolly rhino have remained safely boxed but largely forgotten in the stores of the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Found by local leadminers in a small underground cavity known as the 'Dream Cave', their significance was understood by William Buckland, the person who coined the term 'dinosaur'. The bones of this now extinct animal have a new importance today, as very few have been found worldwide that haven't been badly gnawed by hyenas!
Our aim is to bring back for a special exhibition several of these original bones for display in our new Heritage Centre, to excite and inspire visitors and generate pride and awareness in local people.
The Oxford Museum have agreed to the loan, but we need to do justice to telling this amazing story. To really capture people's imagination we need to produce 3d replicas of some of the most important bones and attract some first class speakers. The 3d replica bones will allow people to handle and feel exact copies, and potentially buy their own as souvenir!
We get no external public support funding and have to raise money for all our actual costs. We are £800 short of our target to properly display the 'Secrets of the Dream Cave' and explain the significance of the bones of Wirksworth's long lost woolly ancestor - can you help?