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‘Army’ of volunteers needed to survey heritage sites in UK

The annual ‘at-risk’ survey by English Heritage has found 7,500 listed buildings or sites deemed to be imperilled by neglect or decay, a decrease of 131 from the previ- ous year. An ‘army’ of volunteers is to be recruited

to help survey England’s 345,000 Grade II Listed buildings and prevent damage being done to buildings every year. Te first surveys are expected to take

place in autumn, with volunteers being offered training via English heritage and other organisations. Meanwhile archaeologists have warned

that budget cuts to the sector will leave future generations facing a lost legacy of heritage abandoned to “short termism” and “financial expediency”. Rescue: The British Archaeological

Trust has warned that years of cutbacks mean Britain is “close to reaching a point at which provision of services designed to safeguard our historic environment is no longer adequate. It went on to say that “there is no sign of

this rate declining with further cuts planned for 2013-14.” Details:

Work starts on £30m Zoo Island

Construction work has begun on the £30m Islands project at Chester Zoo in Cheshire following a groundbreaking ceremony. Set to open in 2015,

Islands will fill a previously unoccupied area of the zoo and will feature flora and fauna from foreign climates. There will also be an

Indonesian jungle house, one of the largest indoor zoo exhibits in the UK, which will house orang- utans, macaques and the sunda gavial crocodile – an endangered spe- cies with only 2,500 mature individuals still in existence around the world. Te jungle house, which will be known as

Te attraction will fill a previously unoccupied area of the zoo

awarded the build following a nationwide ten- der process. Chester Zoo director general, Mark Pilgrim,

Monsoon Forest, will feature raised walkways, underwater viewings and free flight bird areas in a sub-tropical climate. Engineering company Laing O’Rourke was

said that the new jungle house would be “the largest of its kind in the UK,” while also stat- ing that the Islands project would “transform the zoo so it can become one of the biggest in Europe.” Details:

Hadid’s Serpentine Gallery opens in London

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, a £14.5m arts and gal- lery space designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, has opened in London. Te Sackler is Hadid’s first

Margam Country Park has been voted Britain’s best

Margam Country Park tops People’s Choice polls

Margam Country Park in Wales has been voted the winner in the 2013 People’s Choice category in the Green Flag Awards, which is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales. The 850-acre country estate, at Port

Talbot, is home to a 19th century Tudor mansion and was offically opened to the public in 1977. Managed by Neath Port Talbot County

Borough Council, the park offers a host of activities including orienteering, cycling, fishing, deer watching, geocaching, archery and Go Ape. London’s Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets,

which has recently been refurbished, was runner up. Details:


permanent structure to be created in central London and features 900m of exhibi- tion space, a restaurant and room for socialising. Te building is seven min-

utes’ walk from the main Serpentine Gallery. Located in Kensington

Gardens – in an 1805 gun- powder store formerly known as Te Magazine – the gallery hon- ours Dr Mortimer and Dame Teresa Sackler, whose foundation made the project possible through the largest single giſt received by the Serpentine in its 43 years of existence.

Te Serpentine Gallery has been a constantly evolving project since 2010 Te project has been ongoing since 2010,

when the Serpentine won the tender from Te Royal Parks to bring the Grade II listed building into public use for the first time in its history. Details:

Indoor Illuminations for Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

A new indoor Illuminations attraction is to open at the Olympia Arena at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens entertainment complex on 18 April next year. Te indoor illuminations will be featured over five floors and cover 5,000sq ſt (465sq m)

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and five interactive ‘worlds’, including Land of the Giants and a planetarium complete with live entertainment. Te attraction will be open every day, all

year round and will adapt Chinese lantern craſts with the latest in lighting technology.

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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