Battle launched to save famous Milton Keynes dinosaur from crumbling into extinction

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'I am not going to allow Leonasaurus Rex to be destroyed' vows the man who helped create it

A battle has been launched to prevent an MK dinosaur called Leonasaurus Rex from crumbling away.

The massive statue was built by artist Bill Billings with students from Leon School on the Lakes Estate in the early 1990s.

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It was the idea of the then headmaster Bruce Abbott, who wanted a sculpture at the bottom of the school field which would be the first thing passengers on trains entering Milton Keynes from London would see.

The Leon dinosaurThe Leon dinosaur
The Leon dinosaur

He recruited local author David Ashcroft to help.

"Originally Bruce thought of a series of Easter Island heads along the bottom of the field but I felt this was too ambitious and needed something different. It was Bruce’s idea but he passed it to me to make happen," said David.

"At the time Jurassic Park was a popular film from Stephen Spielberg. Local community artist Bill Billings had constructed the Peartree Bridge Dinosaur so I persuade Headmaster Abbott to opt for Leonasaurus – The Leon Dinosaur. I applied for and was granted planning permission then engaged Bill Billings to work with Leon Students to construct the giant sculpture. I am still in contact with many students who were involved in the project. A time capsule was placed inside the dinosaur’s stomach."

Years later, the Leon changed management and it was decided to moved the dinosaur off the school premises and onto the nearby recreation ground.

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Chunks are missing from the dinosaurChunks are missing from the dinosaur
Chunks are missing from the dinosaur

"It was a very sad day when a future management team expelled the statue from the school field, I remember residents were angry and think they actually got up a petition. However, the dinosaur was moved..." said David.

Now in the ownership of MK Council, the statue has sadly fallen into disrepair. Chunks are missing from its body and tail and it is in dire need of a prehistoric facelift. David fears it will crumble into extinction if nothing is done.

"The Leon Dinosaur is special to me and as, a result of neglect on the part of Milton Keynes Council, it is now in danger of being lost for all time," he said. "I am deeply distressed by the poor condition it has been allowed to descend into. If something is not done as a matter of urgency this heritage will be lost for ever."

David added: "Milton Keynes Council destroyed the fundamental ley-line about which our new city was planned and built. They destroyed the MK Development Corporation’s foundation stone that no building shall be taller than the surrounding trees and gave us the most hideous skyline with Central Milton Keynes to be found anywhere in the world. I am not going to allow Leonasaurus Rex to be destroyed!" he added.

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The Leon dinosaurThe Leon dinosaur
The Leon dinosaur

David has contacted MK Council about the dinosaur and he says they are being "very positive and supportive" about his request that it be restored. Residents and former residents are also supporting his battle.