Giant artwork has eminent fan

The visit to Northumberlandia of one of the world's best-known scientists, Nobel Prize winner Dr James Watson, who discovered the Double Helix structure of DNA with his partner Francis Crick almost 60 years ago.
The visit to Northumberlandia of one of the world's best-known scientists, Nobel Prize winner Dr James Watson, who discovered the Double Helix structure of DNA with his partner Francis Crick almost 60 years ago.
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A HUGE new Northumberland landform has found a fan in one of the world’s most respected scientists.

Nobel Prize winner Dr James Watson, who discovered the structure of DNA with Francis Crick almost 60 years ago, took a tour of the Northumberlandia site near Blagdon as a guest of Viscount Ridley.

And Dr Watson and his wife Liz, who are friends of the landform’s designer Charles Jencks, were impressed at the progress made in developing the 100ft high figure.

Dr Watson said: “It’s far better even than I expected. It’ll look great when work on the project is finished later this year and would be a perfect location for shooting a film or television mystery thriller.”

Northumberlandia, which will be the world’s largest human landform, is being created with a £3million investment from land owner the Blagdon Estate and mining business the Banks Group as the centrepiece of a 47-acre public park.

It will provide a lasting legacy of Banks’ Shotton Surface Mine, which is providing the material to create the sculpture.

Landscaping work is set to be completed later this year and when the park opens to the public it will contain more than two-and-a-half miles of surfaced paths and more than one-and-a-half miles of grass paths.

Viscount Ridley said: “Dr Watson has been at the centre of some amazing scientific landmarks for more than six decades and it was a pleasure to be able to show him and Mrs Watson our own region’s latest landmark.”

Banks Group Communications Manager Katie Perkin said: “It’s a real honour to have hosted such an eminent figure at Northumberlandia and we’re very pleased that she left a positive impression.”

For more information about the project visit www.northumberlandia.com