Whipsnade's Chalk Lion gets a bright red nose for Xmas
Tuesday 6 December 2005
The Whipsnade White Lion, a 250m chalk carving on the side of the Dunstable Downs will light up the Bedfordshire countryside again just in time for Christmas!
Extensive repair work has been carried out on this local landmark and now a brighter, more festive lion will be visible for miles around.
The outline of the lion is to be lit up by 800m of white rope light and to give it that extra christmassy touch, 30m of red rope light will give the lion a wonderful red nose.
The previous lighting system perished nearly three years ago, mainly as a result of exposure to the elements and the free roaming animals that are such a familiar sight in the park. A repair of this magnitude is very costly and, as a conservation charity, Whipsnade have to prioritise its limited funds which made immediate repair impossible.Fortunately a local company, Eastern Contracting agreed to supply and install the lighting free of charge.
Simon Rayner, Head of Communications said, 'We recognize that the Whipsnade white lion is an important local landmark and are really pleased to be able to see it lit up again.'
The lion itself was designed by R B Brook-Greaves, the work took about 18 months and in spite of blizzards in March, it was completed by Easter 1933. It is not an outline but a solid shape which was all manually dug out with pick and shovel.