The UK's first flying theatre ride to open at the Legoland® Windsor Resort

The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort has today revealed that its new multi-million-pound land, created by kids for kids, will be home to the UK’s first Flying Theatre ride when it opens this May.

Standing at over 25 metres tall, the Flight of the Sky Lion ride will be at the heart of LEGO® MYTHICA: World of Mythical Creatures, the hotly anticipated new land which marks the Park’s single biggest investment since the gates opened 25 years ago.

Once aboard the Flying Theatre ride, families will quite literally be taken under the Sky Lion’s (Maximus) wing and transported to the parallel universe of LEGO MYTHICA, where mythical LEGO creatures come to life. As they swoop, duck and dive over the incredible landscape, families will come face-to-face with the realm’s many characters, including the two-headed Hydra (Duo), Fire and Ice Bird (Crystal Flame) and the Greek mythology inspired Chimera creature.

As part of today’s announcement, the Resort has released an incredible artist’s impression showing the other exhilarating new rides and attractions that feature in the land. Standing at 13 metres tall, the equivalent of 325 LEGO Minifigures, are two drop towers named Fire and Ice Freefall, and prepare to get wet on Hydra’s Challenge as guests steer their own vessel on this thrilling water attraction.

Also not to be missed will be the 13 mythical creatures made from more than 1.7 million LEGO bricks by a team of 15 master builders over the course of 8,649 hours, almost a full year of building. Adorning the Flying Theatre building will be the breath-taking model of the Sky Lion, Maximus, made of 685,530 LEGO bricks, weighing more than 5,819 kilogrammes. Using the Resort’s new augmented reality technology, guests will be able to see the mythical LEGO creatures come to life before their very eyes using the LEGOLAND App. 

Working in partnership with Kids Industries, the LEGOLAND Windsor team behind the new land spent a year discussing and testing ideas and concepts with seven to 11-year olds and their parents who influenced everything from the final ride experiences, names and characters.

Helen Bull, Divisional Director at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing the first Flying Theatre ride to the UK and today revealing all the rides and attractions which will make LEGO MYTHICA: World of Mythical Creatures a must-do experience for families in 2021.

“The whole country has never needed escapism more than they do right now and we’ve worked closely with children and their families to make sure our new land delivers the thrills for everyone, whether it’s their 25th visit to LEGOLAND Windsor or their very first. Subject to Government guidelines, we’re planning to open LEGO MYTHICA on Saturday 29 May and tickets are on sale now to experience the country’s first Flying Theatre as well as everything else the Park has to offer.”

Also set to feature in the new land will be the Creature Creation where guests can build their very own LEGO MYTHICA creatures; an adventure play area called Lava Dragon Play; a character meet and greet experience, Creature Encounter and The Hungry Troll restaurant and Beastly Bites snack bar.

The Resort’s existing 4D Cinema will feature a new and exclusive LEGO MYTHICA film which tells the story behind the mysteries of the parallel universe through the eyes of the loveable BitsandBobs character.

LEGO MYTHICA: World of Mythical Creatures is currently under construction and will be found between Heartlake City and the Resort’s LEGO-themed Hotels.

Day tickets start from £29 per person, kids under 90cm go free. Make a weekend of it by booking an overnight stay at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort Hotel or the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel with prices starting from £341* for a family of four. To book visit www.legoland.co.uk

A Kind of Spark and A Day in the Life of a Poo, A Gnu and You are crowned winners of the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards

Spanning themes of friendship and celebrating difference to a laugh out loud cartoon book that explains unusual facts in a hilarious way, the winners of the annual Blue Peter Book Awards are sure to make readers laugh and cry in equal measure. Beating the stiff competition this year, the winner of Best Story is Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll and winner of the Best Books with Facts is A Day in the Life of a Poo, A Gnu and You by Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley.

A Kind of Spark is the brilliant debut novel from neurodivergent writer Elle McNicoll, offering an utterly convincing and honest narrative voice. Challenging the stereotypes that can be associated with autism, this is a powerful book with a gentle touch which teaches us that there are ‘many different ways to be autistic’. Readers will revel in joining Addie in her crusade for equality and truth, celebrating the fact that it is okay to be different.

Author, Elle McNicoll said: "As someone who grew up watching Blue Peter and discovering brilliant new books from the show, it is an extraordinary moment to be recognised. To be a part of their World Book Day celebrations is great, and to have been voted the winner by readers is life changing.”

A Day in the Life of a Poo, A Gnu and You gives readers the inside story of brains, pimples, farts, porcupines, Japanese knotweed, clouds, clocks, Mars rovers, snowflakes - and everything in between. Each element has its own page and is written in the form of a first-person diary, hilariously presented in strip cartoons. This book is fabulously informative as well as very funny and gives the reader the feeling of knowing everything that’s worth knowing.

Author, Mike Barfield said on receiving the award: “Winning any award is a huge honour but winning the Blue Peter Book Award is extra special. I adored the programme as a child, and again as a parent, watching it with my own (now grown-up) children. The child in me that still persists to this day does find it rather amusing that a book with ‘Poo’ in its title will now have to be mentioned several times on the show. Gnu-sized thanks to the programme, to BookTrust, my brilliant illustrator Jess Bradley, to publisher Buster Books and my lovely agent Anne Clark. All are a part of winning this prize.”

Illustrator, Jess Bradley said: “As someone who grew up watching Blue Peter, this is the MOST exciting award to win, so a massive thank you to all of the readers who voted for us. I had so much fun drawing everything from poos to gnus, and I’m really happy to know that so many children enjoyed reading about them!”

Managed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, the immensely popular Blue Peter Book Awards honour amazing authors, imaginative illustrators and the best books for children, published in the last 12 months. The winning titles were voted for by over 200 children from 12 schools across the UK.

Diana Gerald, CEO, BookTrust commented: “Every year without fail, the Blue Peter Book Awards showcase the exceptional talent in the world of children's books and this year is no different. These fantastic books will help children to be inspired, creative, confident and encourage different ways of thinking. As always with the judging, it was a very close call, but Elle, Mike and Jess triumphed. Congratulations to the very deserving winners.”

On Thursday 4th March, Elle Mike and Jess will all be guests in the special World Book Day edition of Blue Peter on CBBC and BBC iPlayer from 5pm. 

Blue Peter Editor, Ellen Evans, says: The Blue Peter Book Awards give kids the opportunity to vote for their favourite books and it’s fantastic to hear them talk about reading for fun. The two winners are brilliant books. I hope Elle McNicoll’s A Kind of Spark will inspire kids to find their own voice, like Addie, and to stand up for what they believe in. Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley’s A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You, is so visual and fun, that young readers will love discovering all kind of facts about the world they live in, from the secret diary of a slug, to how your heart beats, or why volcanoes explode.”

Blue Peter is live  every Thursday at 5pm on CBBC and BBC iPlayer -https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/blue-peter

Keep up-to-date with the Awards at www.booktrust.org.uk/bluepeter and on Twitter by following @Booktrust and #BPBA

 

Women invited to join study into nutrition advice in pregnancy


The University of Bristol in the UK is seeking volunteers for a new study that will identify the foods women tend to avoid during pregnancy and the information sources that influence their decision to include or avoid certain foods.

The PEAR Study (Pregnancy, the Environment And nutRition) is run by Dr Caroline Taylor and Dr Lucy Beasant from the Centre for Academic Child Health at the University of Bristol’s Medical School, and is funded by the Medical Research Council.

The researchers are looking for women in England who have a had baby in the last year to complete an online survey about their eating habits during pregnancy.

Dr Caroline Taylor said: “It is well known that nutrition and diet is key for a healthy pregnancy – for both mother and baby. There is a great deal of information available about which foods pregnant women should eat to stay healthy, but it can be less clear what foods to cut down on or not eat at all.

“We are keen to know what women ate while they were pregnant, and whether that was different to before they were pregnant.”

Dr Lucy Beasant said: “We also want to find out where women get their information from, who they trust, and how closely they follow advice. We’ll be asking about what information was available to them about nutrition and diet during their pregnancy: perhaps a leaflet from their midwife, or through a website or app, maybe a magazine article, or perhaps through a friend or relative.”

The researchers will also be asking registered midwives who practice in England to fill in a questionnaire.

 “We want to know if midwives have access to the resources they need and how they can pass on advice in a way that women are most receptive to,” said Dr Taylor.

“The findings of this study will be invaluable in providing information to help develop recommendations on the content of information provided to women about diet in pregnancy, and the best ways to provide that information.”

The study is looking for volunteers in three stages:

  1. First, volunteers (midwives and women who’ve recently had a baby) are needed to help refine and finalise the survey questions and to ensure there are no electronic ‘glitches’.
  2. Once finalised, midwives and women who’ve recently had a baby will be needed to fill in the online surveys.
  3. In the final stage, researchers want to speak to a small group of women and midwives from those who filled in the survey, via a video or phone discussion, to provide more detail about their thoughts on information on diet in pregnancy.

Researchers are recruiting now for the stage 1 (video or phone discussion to help with finalising the survey questionnaire) and will open up the surveys for stage 2 soon after.

Dr Caroline Taylor said: “We are also looking for women to take part in a virtual advisory group - we’ll be asking you to give us feedback on different parts of our study (for example, on the ways we keep in contact with our volunteers, the content of our recruitment adverts, and so on). We want to make the study as successful as possible and your input will help us get everything just right first time.”

Further information

The PEAR Study

Funded by the University of Bristol and the Medical Research Council, the aim of the study is to help women who are expecting a baby to make confident decisions about what they choose to eat, based on accurate and up-to-date scientific evidence.

For more information, please visit the study website or to speak to one of the academics involved, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ 07971 067 978.

Planting project at Stoughton Recreation Ground completed 

Stoughton Recreation Ground

Trees, shrubs and bulbs have been planted at the Stoughton Recreation Ground for everyone visiting in the future to enjoy. It was part of a planting project which started in 2019 as part of Surrey’s Greener Future Design Challenge. 

The Eco Team at Stoughton’s Emmanuel Church was one of ten winners of the challenge which invited Surrey residents, businesses and students to submit ideas on how they could work with their local community to tackle climate change. 

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Cllr James Steel says: 

“The residents of Stoughton and Westborough strive to get things done and it’s a testament of their work that they have achieved so much to help to bring about the planting of new trees and greenery on Stoughton Recreational Ground. From a climate and nature aspect, it’s great to see this project come to life.” 

A grant was awarded from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and was supported by the Emmanuel’s Eco Church Group, Surrey County Council and RHS who gave £500 towards the project. The funding covered the cost of trees and shrubs, plant protection, 10,000 bulbs and watering for three years to help the trees to establish. Our Parks and Countryside teams pledged their time, advice, expertise, labour and watering services and supplied all the bulbs for the project. 

The new trees include a variety of heritage fruit trees, including a number which are local to Surrey. These varieties have been specially selected to yield fruit over the whole growing season, and to also provide nectar for insects throughout the whole season.  

Councillor for Stoughton Ward, Cllr Pauline Searle says: 

“This is a fantastic project and we have seen such great community spirit. Our local residents are looking forward to seeing the new plants develop and offer new food sources and habitats as well as helping to combat air pollution.” 

Cllr Julia McShane, Lead Councillor for the Community says:  

“I would like to thank everyone involved in making this happen. Our green spaces are so important, especially so through this pandemic and I am sure that the communities around the recreation ground will benefit greatly from this project. We know how important these spaces are for our health and wellbeing and this planting to enhance the environment and encourage nature to move in is really exciting. I can’t wait for the better weather and to be able to gather with others to enjoy Stoughton Rec again.” 

Hearts are flying at Go Ape!

Love is in the treetops this Valentines day! Most Valentine’s date destinations are closed, but you can still plan for the perfect post lockdown adventure date by giving Go Ape Gift Vouchers.

We think that Go Ape is the ideal romantic date for the outdoor adventure lovers out there. What could be better than getting to know a person while you challenge yourself, have a great time and even face your fears? Whether it’s your first date, or your fiftieth Valentines anniversary, get yourself through this lockdown by making plans for a thrilling adventure with a special someone.

Across our 34 locations, there is the perfect treat for every couple. If you’re a regular spider monkey choose a Treetop Challenge Voucher (height and age restrictions apply). If you’re a motor maniac, try out our Eco-friendly, off-road Forest Segway Vouchers. Exclusively at certain sites, experience exhilarating plummets, axe-throwing and zip-trekking adventures.

Forget the standard presents this year and give something far greater, the gift of adventure.

Go Ape is temporarily closed in line with the current government lockdown. We look forward to safely reopening as soon as government guidance allows us to. In the meantime you can buy gift vouchers for a future adventure and keep an eye on our website or socials for updated on our re-opening.

For further information please see our website. Booking in advance is always recommended to make sure you get the session you want as well as the best price.

For further information and to book a Go Ape adventure, please visit www.goape.co.uk

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