Safety fears close nature reserve

SAFETY fears have forced a Suffolk nature reserve to close until emergency repair work can be completed.Concerns were raised over public safety after a major fault was found on the landing jetty at the National Trust's Orford Ness reserve on Wednesday.

SAFETY fears have forced a Suffolk nature reserve to close until emergency repair work can be completed.

Concerns were raised over public safety after a major fault was found on the landing jetty at the National Trust's Orford Ness reserve on Wednesday.

Emergency repairs are due to be carried out on the jetty over the next few weeks and the site is expected to re-open to the public on Saturday July 10, with the first ferry crossing at 10am.

A spokesman for the National Trust said: "There are structural problems that have been highlighted with the jetty and although it is not actually collapsing at the moment, it is work that desperately needs to be completed."

The news is a blow to the popular site which attracts thousands of tourists every summer, but organisers are keen to point out all previously booked events will still take place at the arranged times with alternative access provisions in place.

Next week the casing of a nuclear bomb is due to be delivered to the site, ready for the opening of a brand new exhibition on August 3.

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The nuclear bomb casing will become the centre-piece of a new display explaining the work of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) and the important role of the secret Orford Ness site in the Cold War.

From 1954 to 1971, Orford Ness was the centre for environmental testing of Britain's atomic and nuclear weapons.

The WE177A casing is being loaned by the Ministry of Defence through the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Aldermaston, who undertook trial work on Orford Ness during this period.

For more information on site opening times contact 01394 450057 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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