Dorset gets UK's first competitive sand sculpture park

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Windsor Castle recreated in sand on Weymouth beach in June 2009, by sculptor Mark Anderson.
Image caption,
The sand sculpture park will run alongside the regular seafront exhibitions

The UK's first competitive sand sculpture park is to open in Weymouth.

Sandworld, which will exhibit sand and water creations with a maritime theme, will open on 22 April.

The sculptures will be created by competing world class artists in March and members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite.

Work has already started on the site of the tourist attraction at Lodmoor Country Park.

Mark Anderson, who has created the park with local businessman David Hicks, said: "Sandworld is a natural progression from my seafront exhibition and builds on the worldwide success of sand sculpting events."

Mr Anderson, who recreated Windsor Palace in sand for the Queen during her visit to Weymouth in June 2009, will continue to run his seafront exhibition, which was started by his grandfather Fred Darrington in the 1920s.

Sandworld will open until the end of October, and the creator of the winning sculpture will claim the UK Competitive Sandworld International Sculptor title.

Mr Hicks said the park will reopen as a "Weymouth winter wonderland" attraction during the Christmas holidays.

He added: "We will then be asking the sand masters to come back in 2012 to create masterpieces on an ancient Greek, Olympic theme."