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£1m Hengistbury Head visitor centre to open at weekend
THE new £1million Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre will open its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday December 14.
Visitors will get the chance to celebrate the diversity of the area from the Stone Age to the present day. Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr Rod Cooper will open the gates at 10am, welcoming the public to the thatched barn, where work has been taking place over the last year.
The existing barn cottage has been extended and now includes an interactive exhibition display and a wildlife garden.
Work has been funded from developer contributions, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Landfill Communities Fund, via Canford Environmental Ltd.
Cllr Lawrence Williams, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “Hengistbury Head attracts more than one million visitors every year and for the first time we will have a unique and dedicated visitor centre.
“Members of the public will be able to come and learn about the area’s rich heritage, including the wildlife, geology and archaeology that can be found here.”
The centre will remain open until January 5 before closing for four weeks for the shop to be fitted out and volunteers to be trained. It will be fully open from February 1.
Attractions include: An exhibition area for archaeology, ecology and geology Interactive displays including video presentations, microscopes and wildlife webcams Outdoor learning areas and a wildlife area Easy access for all abilities and ages Work space for staff, volunteers and other community groups including Hengistbury Head Supporters Group, Hengsitbury Residents Association, Christchurch Ornithological Group, Brockenhurst College and the RSPB n A retail outlet similar to a National Trust shop
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