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news & jobs at UK parks receive summer cash boost

Four sites to receive share of more than £6m as part of joint HLF/BIG initiative By Pete Hayman

More than £6m worth of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG) grants have been awarded to four parks across the UK as part of the Parks for People scheme. A further 11 parks will net a

share of more than £1m worth of development funding as part of the initiative, which will help towards a range of projects that aim to restore historic features and enhance landscapes. Wallsend Parks in Tyne and

Wear has secured nearly £2.5m – the largest share of funding – towards the restoration of the Vinery Wall and Fernery in the Hall Gardens, as well as to train volunteers to be guides. Priory Park, Dudley, has

been handed nearly £1.8m, which will go towards major


New coastal path opens in North Wales Welsh environment minister

Dudley's Priory Park is among the recipients of confirmed grants

improvements, such as repairs to the priory structures and a revamp of the 19th century parklands. The pavilion will also be upgraded. Middleton Park, Leeds, has

been awarded nearly £1.5m and Marine Cove Gardens, Burnham-on-Sea, has secured £344,200 as part of the

confirmed awards, which will help to improve each park. HLF chief executive Carole

Souter said: "Summer is finally here, and it's the perfect time to enjoy our public parks. It's important everyone in our towns and cities has somewhere free, green and open to enjoy in their leisure time."

Aberdeen city square revamp plans move forward By Pete Hayman

An international design competition for a multi-million pound overhaul of Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens has been given the green light by local councillors. Aberdeen City Council (ACC)

backed proposals to move forward with the City Square Project, having already approved an offer worth £50m towards the scheme from businessman Sir Ian Wood. Designers and architects

from around the world will soon be invited to submit ideas for the gardens project, with Sir Ian contributing up to 50 per cent of the competition costs. The £140m development will

include reclaiming 5 acres (22 hectares) of land by raising the site and covering a dual

© Cybertrek 2010

Jane Davidson has launched a new 27-mile (43.5km) coastal path between Prestatyn and Llandudno in North Wales. The path – developed with Welsh Assembly Government and the European Regional Development Fund funding – aims to provide walkers and cyclists with improved access to the coastline. The route will also contribute towards plans for the creation of a path around the entire Welsh coastline by 2012 as part of the One Wales commitment.

DCC unveils 'lost species' memorial plans A new landmark memorial –

designed to increase awareness of "lost species" of animals and plants – will be created on Portland after the plans were backed by Dorset County Council. The council's cabinet agreed to provide a one-off £30,000 grant from its special projects budget towards the £150,000 development stage of the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory scheme. Two further pledges from private benefactors will also help to finance the development stage of the project, which will cost between £3-5m and will be completed in 2012.

New walking trail to celebrate poet's work A poem written by Dylan

Plans incorporate an outdoor performance stage and green space

carriageway, a cultural hub and an outdoor performance stage. Water features that recognise

the importance of Aberdeen as a major North Sea port, an amphitheatre and green space are also proposed as part of the project. ACC leader John Stewart said:

"Clearly there are risks – and what we have to do now is

assess and evaluate them. The only way to do that is move forward to the next stage of the project. To stop now would leave us all wondering 'what if'." A project management board

will be set up to offer strategic leadership in the scheme's early stages, which will comprise two councillors and representatives from a range of organisations.

Thomas on his 30th birthday has been used to inspire a new walking trail in Laugharne, South Wales. The trail – being developed by the Laugharne Corporation – will guide visitors through an area of woodland detailed in A Poem in October and will feature interpretative panels. Carmarthenshire County Council and Menter Bro Dinefwr contributed nearly £13,000 towards the creation of the trail.

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