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Free entry to Fort Amherst this summer

Date: 08/07/2008           Category: Tourism

The spectacular Napoleonic fortification of Fort Amherst in Chatham will be open free of charge this summer, from Sunday 13 July and every following Sunday until 14 September 2008. There will also be free entry on August Bank Holiday Monday, 25 August, and Saturday 13 September. Opening times are 10.30am – 4pm. The free admission on these days is a joint undertaking between Chatham World Heritage and Fort Amherst Heritage Trust, aimed at increasing public awareness of the future Great Lines City Park, and the World Heritage Site application for Chatham Dockyard and its defences. Visitors will be amazed at the extent of these fortifications in the heart of Medway, and a free guided tour through the maze of tunnels dug deep into the chalk cliffs will lead to one of the finest views across Chatham and Rochester. ##ENDS## Notes to Editors (1) Fort Amherst was constructed as part of the Chatham Lines (begun in 1756), to defend the landward approaches to Chatham Dockyard against attack from invading forces from France. Use by the military continued throughout the 19th and 20th century, finally being used as an anti-invasion headquarters and a civil defence control centre. Fort Amherst is managed and restored by the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust charity Contact: Gerd Hoad.: 07977 218752, gerd@emandc.freeserve.co.uk (2) The Great Lines City Park: The Great Lines is 75ha of outstanding greenspace and heritage importance. It forms part of Chatham’s internationally significant naval and military legacy, having provided Chatham Dockyard with an impenetrable layer of defence. The Great Lines City Park project will revitalise and greatly increase public access to this massive community and international asset. It will be a world-class park for a world-class region. (3) World Heritage Site status. Chatham has been on the government’s shortlist of potential World Heritage Sites since 1999. Decisions on which sites will be added to the World Heritage List are made by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which encourages the identification, protection and preservation of outstanding heritage around the world. The list comprises 850 sites in 138 countries. The UK proposes one site each year and the next potentially available application date is January 2011. (4) Chatham World Heritage is funded by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Medway Council and English Heritage. For more information, please visit www.chathamworldheritage.co.uk. Contact: Joanne Cable: 01634 331176, joanne.cable@medway.gov.uk. Lisa Caleno: 01634 338308, lisa.caleno@medway.gov.uk