Oxford

Former RAF Upper Heyford base seeks heritage status

Air base shelters
Image caption The base is described as the best-preserved Cold War air base in Britain

A former Cold War air base in Oxfordshire is bidding for World Heritage site status.

The old RAF site at Upper Heyford was one of the largest US Air Force bases in Europe.

The site is among 38 UK places competing to be recognised by the United Nations' cultural body Unesco.

Previously, English Heritage said the base was the best-preserved Cold War air base in Britain and should be protected.

Daniel Scharf from the Oxford Trust for Contemporary History, who was involved in the application process, said it was an extremely significant site.

He said: "The Cold War was a global conflict and it's Upper Heyford that was part of that global enterprise.

"There was enough capability on that site to destroy half of Russia, and I think that the world should recognise that."

The UK government will submit a final list next year with a view to making six nominations in 2012.

There are currently more than 800 World Heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty.

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