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£3m art collection up for sale

Sir Peter Blake – The Party

An art collection worth £3 million is going on display in Chester this weekend.

Pieces by Salford artist LS Lowry and Sir Peter Blake will make up the exhibit as part of the Chester Art Fair which spans 40 galleries. A painting of John Lennon will also go up for auction to raise money for a children's charity. Full details here.

LS Lowry - The Professor

Chester Restaurant celebrates 25 years at the top.

`Chef Simon Radley Credit: Chester Grosvenor

While Manchester and Liverpool are still without a Michelin star between them - the Chester Grosvenor is celebrating its 25th in a row.

‘Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor’ is one of only four other English restaurants to ever have been awarded one or more Michelin stars consecutively for so many years, and sits alongside industry greats like LeManoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Le Gavroche.

Executive chef Simon Radley said: “Twenty five years is an important landmark for us. It’s a great reward for all the hard work we’ve put in over the years.”

Simon Radley joined the team at The Chester Grosvenor in 1986 he handpicks suppliers, mentors young chefs through the Simon Radley Kitchen Academy and is an integral part of the hotel’s senior management team.

Managing director Jonathan Slater said:“This is a fitting tribute to Simon Radley and his superb teams both in the kitchen and on the restaurant floor. It is due to Simon’s loyalty to our wonderful hotel, his consistent leadership and his creative vision that has kept us our star for so many years.”

Other restaurants in the North West to be awarded stars are L'Enclume in Cartmel in Cumbria which gets two, Birkenhead's Fraiche, Ambleside's The Samling and Northcote Manor in Langho in Lancashire.


Camilla opens Chester Country Park today

Duchess of Cornwall in Chester to open country park Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cornwall, will be officially opening a new park in Chester today.

Camilla will open the Countess of Chester Country Park which is next to the city's hospital and will unveil a plaque and sculpture to mark the occasion.

She will be entertained throughout with a performance by The Queen’s Lower School choir.

The park will be managed and maintained by the Land Trust, a national charity dedicated to looking after open spaces for public benefit.

Chester cricketers truimph in national competition

Chester Boughton Hall Cricket club have been crowned National Club T20 champions. They beat Ashtead by 98 runs in finals day at Northamptonshire's County Ground.

Moment endangered ducks hatch captured

The moment a rare duck hatched at Chester Zoo, has been captured by experts.

The Bare's pochard is critically endangered, with as few as 30 thought to be living in the wild. There's some facts about the birds below the video.

  • The Baer’s pochard is a diving duck found in eastern Asia. It spends the summer in southeast Russia and northeast China, migrating in winter to southern China, Vietnam, Japan and India.
  • The species breeds in the wild on marshy ponds in southeast Russia and northeast China, migrating in winter to southern China, Vietnam, Japan, and India
  • They dive up to a depth of 2 m to hunt aquatic insects, molluscs, shrimps and fishes. They also eat algae, aquatic plants and seeds, especially during winter
  • Chester Zoo is one of the few one of the few institutions in Europe to currently work with this rare diving duck
  • The species is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered. They are threatened due to habitat loss, illegal poisoning and trapping

Rare ducklings 'perilously close' to extinction

Chester Zoo is celebrating the arrival of 30 Bare's pochard ducklings, but warning the birds could soon be extinvt

Curator of Birds Andrew Owen said: “We’re perilously close to losing this species in the wild and that’s why our recent hatchlings are very, very important indeed.

"They’re without doubt some of the rarest ducks in the world.

“Thirty Baer’s pochards have been bred here this breeding season and whilst it’s good news in the sense that it’s a record for us, rather frighteningly, there may only be similar numbers left in the wild.”


Rare ducks hatch at Chester Zoo

Thirty rare duck chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo. The zoo's 30 chicks could be as many as are left in the wild in the rest of the world.

The ducks are critically endangered in the wild Credit: Chester Zoo

The Baer’s pochard ducklings are listed by the International Union for the Conservation Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered as a result of hunting and loss of their habitat in Siberia and eastern Asia where they were once commonly found in their tens of thousands.

Experts fear just a few individuals are now left and the species could soon vanish altogether in the wild.

The 30 at the zoo could equal the number left in the wild Credit: Chester Zoo
The ducks hatched in an incubator Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo named top visitor attraction

Chester Zoo Credit: ITV

Chester Zoo has been named as the North West's top visitor attraction, by tourism chiefs at Visit England.

More than 1.4 million visitors saw the zoo's animals last year. It has already been classed as the UK's best by the travel rating website TripAdvisor.

More than 1.4 million people visited the zoo last year Credit: ITV

"Hear Ye, hear ye" - town criers do battle in Chester

Some of the world's finest criers are in the North West to compete in the Chester World Town Crier Tournament. 24 criers from 10 nations will compete to make the best proclamations and come from as far afield as Germany, Australia and Canada, home of the current world champion.

Credit: PA

Town criers or the Bellmen, as they're sometimes called, date back to at least the 1500's. They were often the chief means of news communication with townspeople as many were unable to read.

Chester Zoo's celebrating the arrival of a pair of rare chicks

Newborn West African crane chick Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is celebrating the arrival of two extremely rare chicks usually found in the African Savannah.

The baby birds are the first of their kind to hatch in a UK zoo this year and arrived after a 30-day incubation period.

West African black-crowned crane with newborn chicks

Keepers captured the moment the pair of West African black-crowned cranes as they take their first tentative steps with their watchful mum.

"This is a very significant breeding - the first in the UK this year.

Currently the chicks are small, yellow and fluffy and it's hard to believe that they'll grow up to look as striking and unusual as mum and dad.

But soon enough they'll develop golden feathers on top of their heads that almost resemble a Roman helmet. Already the young are very confident and capable of foraging with their parents."

– Curator of birds at Chester Zoo Andrew Owen
West African black crowned crane Credit: Chester Zoo

West African black-crowed cranes are vulnerable to extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with just 15,000 estimated to remain in the wild.

The striking birds can be found from the western African country of Senegal to the central African country of Chad, but their habitat is under threat due to drainage, overgrazing and pesticide pollution.

The capture and trade of the species as 'guard dogs' is also having a dramatic effect on wild numbers.

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