10:00am Thursday 29th March 2012
By James Tourgout
DINOSAURS will be soaring above the skies of the Jurassic Coast once more.
The creatures will feature in an air flight simulator taking passengers on a virtual tour of the world heritage site 185 million years ago.
The Onboard: Jurassic Airlines ride is one of the attractions of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival 2012 over the summer.
More than 250,000 people are expected to pour into the area for the extravaganza.
The 747 simulator will whisk passengers back 185million years to fly with pterodactyls, cruise along the Jurassic Coastline and plunge into the waters of the Jurassic seas to encounter ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs during the 15 minute trip.
Then it is back into the skies again for a flight around the Earth to see other world heritage sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon.
Richard Hartnell of Hartnell Creative is behind the innovative scheme.
It will have its first flight in Lyme Regis on May 4 before moving to Weymouth for the Olympic and Paralympic sailing and windsurfing events.
Candida Blaker, who is director of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival 2012, said: “We have a thrilling programme of events which have been developed from all sections of the community.
“They will take place in all types of venues, from the beach to museums, theatres, village halls and even the virtual world.
“The Earth Festival and the Fossil Festival have won the rare accolades of UNESCO patronage.
“The Jurassic Coast World Heritage site will provide the thread that brings together volunteers, scientists, artists and other professionals, enabling communities to investigate, share and celebrate the earth sciences.”
There will be more than 30 events from May to September, including a Fossil Festival in Lyme Regis and Charmouth, children’s cinema, music, walks and art exhibitions.
Marcus Dixon, who is chief executive of the Lyme Regis Development Trust, added: “The Earth Festival will attract a local, national and international audience.
“It will forge lasting collaborative partnerships that will encourage people to take an active part in understand- ing and safeguarding the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.”
THE entertainment includes the sixth annual Fossil Festival on May 4 to 6 on Lyme Regis’s Marine Parade and Charmouth’s beach.
This year the theme is Discovering the Earth.
Entertainers Robyn Hitchcock and John Hegley will perform A Celebration of Time in Lyme Regis’s Marine Theatre on May 5.
Charmouth and Lyme Regis will run Fossil Hunting Walks from May through to September.
Battle for the Winds performance art starts in Lyme Regis on May 6 then spreads throughout the south west.
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