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Future of Hurst Castle lighthouse secured A historic lighthouse at Hurst

Castle in Lymington, Hampshire, has been saved for the nation after English Heritage acquired the property from its previous owner, Trinity House. First brought into use in 1911, the Low Lighthouse is situated on the castle's ramparts. The 70ft (21m)-high structure replaced a previous lighthouse built in 1866 to protect shipping in the Solent. The Low Lighthouse was taken out of service in 1997.

Report urges 'tougher' petting farm rules An investigation into an

outbreak of the E.coli 0157 bacteria at Godstone Farm and Playbarn in Surrey last year has called for tougher measures to be introduced. Professor George Griffin – professor of infectious diseases and medicines at St George's, University of London – was asked to review the cause and handling of the outbreak by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Griffin criticised the farm's "inadequate" risk assessment and said the HPA had shown a "lack of public health leadership" in its handling of the outbreak once it had started.

Blackstone sells Merlin stake to CVC Luxembourg-based CVC Capital

Partners has acquired a 28 per cent share in UK-based visitor attractions operator Merlin Entertainments. The stake was sold by Merlin's largest shareholder, private equity giant Blackstone Group, which had originally hoped to float the business. As markets remain volatile, however, Blackstone has agreed to offload its shareholding in Merlin, five years after it acquired the company from Hermes Private Equity in a deal worth £102.5m.


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New museums strategy for Wales Assembly Government launches plans to attract new audiences to region's museums

By Pete Hayman Museums across Wales will have to be "smart and innovative" in order to attract new, younger audiences and encourage more volunteers, according to the Welsh Assembly Government. Welsh heritage minister Alun

Ffred Jones launched the country's "first-ever" museum strategy at Swansea Museum, which addresses three key areas for attractions to focus on over the next five years. The Assembly Government's

new strategy calls on museums across the country to contribute towards local communities and help promote lifelong learning opportunities; continue the preservation and development of collections; and manage sites more effectively. Attractions will also have to develop ways of encouraging

Welsh museums are being encouraged to attract younger visitors

more volunteers to get involved; to attract more children to visit; to share exhibitions with other sites; and contribute towards efforts to grow the Welsh language. "The museums of Wales play

a critical part in both preserv- ing this rich heritage and in sharing the excitement of their stories locally, nationally and internationally," said Jones.

Ropes course for Edinburgh Zoo By Tom Walker

Edinburgh Zoo has added a large high ropes adventure as one if its main new attractions for the 2010 summer season. Supplied by UK-based

Innovative Leisure, the new Sky Trail has been designed to blend into the surrounding landscape with its jungle theming and outdoor wilder- ness-style colours. The course has been installed

adjacent to the award-winning £6m Budongo Trail chimpanzee enclosure, providing partici- pants with a 'chimps eye view' of the enclosure and perhaps a chance to imitate some of the climbing exploits of the adjacent inmates. The trail consists of an 80m (262.5ft)

The course will be adjacent to the chimpanzee enclosure

long track, 6m (19.7ft) above the ground, and takes up to 25 participants at any one time, providing an hourly throughput of approximately 100. Edinburgh Zoo's commercial

director Gary Wilson said: "It is great to have this type of play equipment beside a chimpan- zee enclosure where the kids can interact with the chimps."

Read Leisure Opportunities online "I urge museums to develop

different ways of working and look beyond existing structures, to explore further joint working and innovative ways to generate income "Our first national museums

strategy for Wales offers realistic action that museums can take to improve services and demonstrate the benefits of museums to everybody."

Wizard attraction for Hertfordshire?

A new visitor attraction based on the Harry Potter character is being planned as part of a wider expansion of Warner Brothers' Leavesden Film Studios in Hertfordshire. According to the Sunday

Times, the new Hogwarts Experience will include recreations of locations such as Hogwarts school hall and Albus Dumbledore's study. Visitors will be given a

chance to explore the studios where the Harry Potter movies were filmed, with costumes worn by characters. The proposed expansion of

Leavesden Film Studios reportedly has the support of two local authorities, as well as a number of film agencies.

© Cybertrek 2010

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