SIR Roger the Asian elephant and the Spitfire suspended from the ceiling of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are just two of the most popular exhibits to be involved in a redesign of the venue, the first since it reopened to to the public after a major refurbishment in 2006.

The popular Life Gallery in the West Court will include new specimens from the natural history and world cultures collections after the two-year project, which starts on October 5.

A fundraising campaign, to raise £10,000 towards the cost of the redisplay, has just been launched.

"It feels like this is one of the biggest projects we've done and for me personally there feels slightly more pressure than usual because this is such a well-loved area by the children of Glasgow," said Neil Ballantyne, manager of Kelvingrove.

The work will be in two phases. The main deadline is to do with the Spitfire because by the middle of November it is the 10th anniversary of it being suspended. Regulations state that is must be on the ground before then," he added.

"We have to dismantle displays underneath and the work on the Spitfire will involve closing the gallery and moving about a quarter of the exhibits."

He said the museum has known for a number of years this would happen coming and decided to take the opportunity to redo the West Court.

Charity Friends of Glasgow Museums will donate up to £50,000 for a redisplay of the Afro-tropics eco zone, featuring Sir Roger.

"This sum is out of our funds which we are in a happy position to be able to make because of bequests we have received," said Liz Dent, chairman of Friends of Glasgow Museums.

"This is such a popular section, particularly with children. So many are brought to Kelvingrove and see this display and it can start a lifelong interest in natural history. We want to encourage that and hopefully in future they will keep coming back."

Among new specimens to be featured if the fundraising target is met are a wandering albatross, obtained for Glasgow Museums by the British Antarctic Survey, an Arctic tern, a leopard donated from Glasgow Zoo and a ghost net sculpture of a sawfish has been commissioned from Australia. All to go on show alongside Sir Roger.

Teenage author and blogger Jake McGowan-Lowe from Braco, near Dunblane, is one of the UK's 50 most influential conservation heroes and a specialist in bones.

He said it was visiting Kelvingrove, and other museums, as a five-year-old that sparked his interest in natural history.

"I'm interested in anything to do with nature, particularly bones," he said after inspecting two bones from a New Zealand Moa bid that has been extinct for 600 years.

"I come to Kelvingrove regularly and like the T-Rex skeleton. I think the fundraising is a really good idea because this museum has inspired kids to get into nature and science. It is one of the museums that sparked my interest."

Plans for the redisplay were drawn up after a public consultation last year. The new displays will group animals, plants and world cultures in eco zones, linked by the Arctic tern's annual journey from Pole to Pole.

To donate, text WEST COURT to 70300 to give £3 or visit