News from Northumberland National Park

As we approach the Summer solstice already, we would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the first six months of 2019 and share with you some highlights from Northumberland National Park.

2019 is the government’s Year of Green Action (YOGA); designed to connect people with nature and to demonstrate how we can all take positive action to improve our environment. Our education and activities programme at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre has provided the perfect vehicle for us to deliver this and it has been a joy to connect with people from all backgrounds and inspire a new generation of landscape enthusiasts. Since the project began The Sill has provided 20,700 education activity days, engaged 40,400 event participants in a landscape inspired activity and has been supported by 10,700 volunteer days.

Our conservation, farming and access teams have also been busy; we are one of five National Parks taking part in a Historic Farm Building Restoration Pilot Scheme, in collaboration with our partners we are working on the completion of 7 moorland management plans to improve upland habitats and in conjunction with Revitalising Redesdale we have improved 2.5km of the Pennine Way. Our farming team has been working with farmers from within the National Park to help shape future Environmental and Land Management Schemes which will replace existing Countryside Stewardship schemes following the UK's exit from the EU.

We hope you enjoy the highlights below from the first half of 2019.

The National Park Experience Collection
A new collection of more than 70 bookable visitor experiences alongside over 80 accommodation providers was launched at the start of the year across nine of England’s National Parks, including Northumberland National Park.

Highlights from the Northumberland National Park Collection include joining a Ranger patrol of Hadrian’s Wall on Ebike!

Northumberland National Park played host to Flow Country, a major national exhibition we were privileged to host at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre from March to April this year.

The exhibition celebrated the peatlands of the Flow Country, which stretch through Caithness and Sutherland in the far north of Scotland and is the best blanket bog of its type in the world.

The Sill welcomes 250,000th visitor
Designed to enable more people to enjoy the rich history and stunning landscapes of rural Northumberland, the £14.8 million visitor centre at Once Brewed on Hadrian’s Wall has smashed all of Northumberland National Park Authority’s visitor predictions to achieve this key milestone more than 10 months ahead of target.

Big win for big data
Our Digital Landscapes exhibition, which premiered at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre last summer, was designed to showcase how Northumberland National Park is utilising data to help gain a deeper understanding of our landscape in order to benefit the area’s tourist industry, as well as land management and conservation work.

Using pioneering interactive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and photogrammetry, alongside data dashboards of live data sets collected by National Park Rangers, visitors could get hands-on to explore hidden areas of our landscape and gain a never-before-seen glimpse of the inner workings of the National Park. In May 2019 Digital Landscapes won the ESRI Community Engagement Award. Read more about this recent win below.

Final call to help Northumberland National Park shape its future

Residents, business owners, land owners and visitors are being urged to have their say on the latest draft planning policies which will guide the development and use of land in Northumberland National Park over the next 20 years. We’re hosting a series of drop-in consultation events; find out when and where they are happening here.

Spotlight on conservation

Conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of Northumberland National Park is instilled in everything we do. Our team of expert officers regularly contribute to Northumberland National Park’s blog – click on one of the topics below to find out more about the work we are doing here in the Park.

Get Stuck In

There’s a whole host of activities and events taking place across Northumberland National Park from guided walks to storytelling, willow craft to bike rides – there’s something for everyone. Take a look at our events guide and #GetStuckIn!

Get Stuck In - Walltown Warrior

Challenge your family, get close to nature and throw yourself over, under and through obstacles in the shadow of the spectacular Hadrian’s Wall.

Walltown Warrior is an event for families and friends to challenge their fitness and have a bit of good old fashioned fun!

Taking place at the National Park’s Walltown Country Park, a site with spectacular views, woodlands, wildflowers, ponds, and dramatic crags. The event takes place on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September. Buy your Walltown Warrior Tickets Here

Programmes Officer Abi Mansley explains her work on Steng Moss Bog.
Find out how we manage a National Trail on a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Find out more about our important peat restoration work on Great Tongue Rigg on Lampert farm.
Ranger Shaun Hackett talks about the creation of nectar corridors in the National Park.