March 9 2014 Latest news:
Final designs for The Sill, Northumberland’s proposed £11.2m national Landscape Discovery Centre, have been unveiled. The centre will house state-of-the-art education facilities, exhibition space and a local produce cafe. The designs created by award-winning architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall, have been refined with materials utilised in the construction phase from dry stone walling to grassland roof, reflecting the natural habitat of the national park.
Recent storms have uncovered what are believed to be Bronze Age footprints on the south coast of Wales at Port Eynon beach. The discovery was made by Dr Edith Evans from the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, which has been running a volunteer project to monitor the archaeology of the area.
Bristol’s Old Vic theatre is set to undergo a £12m refurbishment to coincide with its 250th anniversary in 2016. The work has been approved by the City Council and will include a new spacious entrance foyer, new studio theatre, improved bar and restaurant facilities, as well as returning Coppers’ Hall (old foyer) to its original 18th-century function as an events space. Tom Morris, artistic director, said, “The plans have unlocked Bristol Old Vic’s historical riches.”
After the species was first reintroduced into Scotland in 1975, the number of white-tailed eagles (also known as sea eagles) has gone from strength to strength with an estimated 80 breeding pairs today. Once a regular sight in Scotland’s skies, the white-tailed eagle was driven to extinction in the Victorian era. Between 2007-13 a further 85 sea eagles were reintroduced to Scotland’s east coast; the species is now also spotted in central Scotland. Though reintroduction has met with some controversy, an RSPB Scotland study found that at least £5m per year can be generated for local economy through eagle-spotting tourism.
This summer will see giant tree-house pavilions erected in London’s Regent’s Park in a project patroned by Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Artists Claudia Moseley and Edward Shuster are behind this innovative public platform for art within nature. Artists are inviting the public to suggest performances, workshops and talks they would like to see.
Derbyshire County Council has announced plans to save Grade II-listed Elvaston Castle, which has been on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register for several years. The council’s 10-year plan would see the property receive £6m worth of repairs to bring the 19th-century building back into public use.
Several of John Piper artworks, which reflect the artist’s unique vision of Wales, have been acquired for Wales’ national art collection. The series of works by the mid 20th-century neo-romantic artist has been purchased from a private individual with links to Wales, thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Derek Williams Trust and the Art Fund, totalling almost £1m. The works are currently on display at the National Museum Cardiff. Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said, “This is a very exciting acquisition for National Museum Wales and we are delighted to be able to support it. This popular artist and his works have a strong connection to Wales and these acquired paintings play an important part in interpreting and reflecting our diverse landscapes. Snowdonia is one of our national heritage jewels and is beautifully portrayed in John Piper’s pieces. We look forward to seeing them displayed around Wales and used in new and exciting ways so that people can learn more about heritage.”
Following a lengthy closure, Oxford University Museum of Natural History has reopened its doors and collections, which include a 40ft tyrannosaurus rex and Alice’s dodo, to visitors. During the restoration, all of the museum’s 8,500 glass roof panes have been cleaned and resealed, while a number of major displays, such as the whale skeletons, have received conservation attention for the first time in 100 years. Founded in 1860, the Grade I-listed neo-Gothic building was created by Benjamin Woodward and Thomas Newenham Deane as a “cathedral to science”. The museum was originally a research centre for the university, steadily gathering collections of entomological, geological and zoological specimens.
A network of tunnels under Ramsgate in Kent is set to be turned into the town’s latest tourist attraction this summer. Extended from a Victorian railway tunnel, the passages were first created as an extensive air raid shelter where around 26,000 people took refuge during bombing in the Second World War. Creating new subterranean communities, the townspeople were visited by eminent figures of the day, including Churchill. Plans include guided tours and exhibitions.