Ex-RAF Upper Heyford base fails in world heritage bid

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

A former Cold War air base in Oxfordshire has failed in its bid to make a shortlist for World Heritage site status.

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

It was one of 38 places competing to be recognised by the United Nations cultural body Unesco.

Eleven sites made the "tentative" UK shortlist, including Cumbria's Lake District.

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose announced the list earlier.

The UK government will make its final six nominations in 2012.

The Forth Bridge and the British Overseas Territories of the Island of St Helena, in the south Atlantic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean also made the UK shortlist.

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

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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