This February half term, The Sill project team at Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England and Wales) have teamed up with Sage Gateshead and Newcastle Astronomical Society to host a magical bushcraft and stargazing adventure day for all the family.

On Saturday 22 February (11am –5pm; stargazing 7pm – 10pm), members of the public are invited to join the team round the campfire at this all-day drop-in adventure which will take place at the UK’s only earth-sheltered village hall, Bardon Mill and Henshaw Village Hall.

The exciting play-park, all-weather woodland nature trail and stunning indoor venue offer the perfect setting to experience everything from survival skills and bushcraft to songs round the campfire, crafts and stargazing – whatever the weather. On the hour every hour, a National Park ranger will host survival skill sessions packed with games and activities to teach people about the natural world and environment. Campfire crafts will run throughout the day inside the hall and between 2pm and 4pm, musician Joe Johnston from Sage Gateshead will lead music and classic campfire songs, offering a memorable experience to bring the whole family together this half term.

As Northumberland National Park celebrates its status as part of Europe’s biggest Dark Sky Park, The Sill team is working with Newcastle Astronomical Society to offer a special stargazing event as part of this adventure day. Stargazing and a fun astronomy based talk will take place at the village hall from 7pm.

Inspiring people to discover and explore the many exciting features of our natural environment is one of the key aims of The Sill project, Northumberland’s planned new Landscape Discovery Centre and throughout the course of the development phase of the project, the team are trialling a wide range of activities such as this exciting adventure day, which open up this theme to people of all ages.

Georgia Villalobos is The Sill Learning and Participation Officer at Northumberland National Park Authority. She said: “Northumberland National Park is a fascinating place just waiting to be discovered and this February half term, The Sill project team hopes to introduce people to the exciting activities that would be on offer should The Sill go ahead. Our free bushcraft adventure day will offer entertainment for all the family; you’ll learn how to build dens, take part in skills passed down by our ancestors and even experience campfire cooking and everyone’s favourite – roasted marshmallows. Following the survival skill session, crafts and campfire songs during the day, we’ll also be offering a special stargazing evening which is open to everyone.

“The Sill project is all about working in partnership with a wide range of organisations and we’re delighted that Sage Gateshead and the Newcastle Astronomical Society have come on board to support our family adventure day this half term. A day full of adventure, inspiration and discovery for all the family, awaits.”

Joe Johnston will lead the songs round the campfire sessions on behalf of Sage Gateshead. Speaking about the event, he said: “Sage Gateshead is pleased to be working in partnership with The Sill project on this exciting half term event. It doesn’t get much better than the feel-good family fun on offer from our campfire music and games and combined with the other fun activities taking place throughout the day, this is an event not to be missed!”

The Bushcraft Adventure Day on Saturday 22 February, is free and open to people of all ages.

The development phase of The Sill project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA are seeking to secure an additional £3.7million in funding for the full project costs and to make their vision for The Sill a reality, the project needs your support. You can support The Sill by volunteering, attending one of the project’s consultation events or making a donation towards the £3.7million target. If you are interested in getting involved, contact The Sill team on [email protected]

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