Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal (centre) being greeted by East Devon District Council’s Chief Executive Mark Williams (right) as she arrives at Seaton Jurassic. Photo by Cllr Ian Thomas.

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal was in the East Devon seaside town of Seaton on Thursday 14th April visiting the town’s newest tourist attraction, Seaton Jurassic.

She arrived by helicopter in the early afternoon following an earlier engagement at Dartmouth Royal Naval College.

On arrival The Princess waved to onlookers who had lined the streets around the town’s Underfleet. She then spent an hour touring Seaton Jurassic’s exhibition halls, meeting children from the local Seaton Primary School and representatives of the many organisations that have been involved in getting the £4.4million attraction off the ground.

The charity Devon Wildlife Trust  is Seaton Jurassic’s operator and its Chief Executive Harry Barton escorted the Princess on her tour. The charity’s Harry Barton said:

It was such a pleasure to show Her Royal Highness around Seaton Jurassic. I was struck by how interested she was in the local area and the wonderful natural heritage we have in East Devon.  Her Royal Highness was very impressed by the commitment from local people and volunteers helping Devon Wildlife Trust run the Centre. I hope it encourages everyone to feel as proud of Seaton Jurassic as I am.

Seaton Jurassic is a flagship project for East Devon District Council, who own the centre. The Council’s Leader Cllr Paul Diviani and its Chief Executive Mark Williams spent time with the Princess discussing the project and its importance to the town’s economy. Cllr Paul Diviani said:

The Princess Royal was fascinated in how the project has evolved. We were very proud to be able to explain that East Devon District Council is the main funder of Seaton Jurassic which is already making a positive difference to the local economy. It is a unique project and we believe it will be a catalyst for the further regeneration of the area.

The Princess concluded her visit by unveiling a plaque which formally marked the opening of Seaton Jurassic. Afterwards, in a short speech, Her Royal Highness offered her congratulations to all the partners involved and said:

Seaton Jurassic is a real achievement and you have set a fine example in what you have done here. I would like to think that others will follow.

Mike Ruiter is Seaton Jurassic’s manager and said:

The Princess’ visit has been a wonderful culmination to a busy opening three weeks at Seaton Jurassic. We’ve been delighted by people’s response. We’ve had almost 10,000 people visit us and the feedback we are getting about the visitor experience we’re offering, our café and shop have been very encouraging. My message to everyone out there is if you haven’t already visited us, come and see what we’re all about.

Seaton Jurassic is open seven days a week, 10am to 5pm.