“My best advice to visitors is to help us to care and look after Northumberland. The experiences people have and the memories they make in Northumberland, the National Park, and the North East’s various beauty spots, can last a lifetime. By caring for these unique and special surroundings today, future generations can continue to enjoy them for years to come.”
Margaret Anderson is a country girl through and through, born and bred in Northumberland, her family has farmed the area for as long as she can look back into her family history.
She has worked for Northumberland National Park since 2006 in various roles and is now a senior ranger. She adores the outdoors and Northumberland’s natural beauty and is well established and respected in the local community.
Being a people person, she loves to welcome people to the county but is aware of the impact visitors can have on the landscape and wildlife.
When we chatted about the Love it like it’s Yours campaign, this is what she had to say.
“I really love my job and being outdoors, especially working alongside the people who make the Park so unique and special; from those who live and work in the landscape to our visitors.
“As we farm in Northumberland, my favourite place has to be at home on the farm. But my favourite place in the Northumberland National Park is Outer Golden Pot at the top end of the Coquet Valley - on a good day you can see for miles and the landscape goes on forever.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a record number of people visiting the National Park. It has been great welcoming families and independent adults, as well as a newer, younger audience and we recognise having access to the great outdoors has had a huge, positive impact on mental and physical wellbeing.
“As a team we help to protect and conserve Northumberland National Park’s unique and special landscape whilst engaging with different people to pass on our passion and understanding to inspire others to care for the Park when they visit.
“My biggest concern when people are visiting is the damage that can be caused to this wonderful landscape. Be that through leaving litter or inadvertently starting a wildfire - which is more common than you might think. Parking irresponsibly can also stop those who live and work here going about their day-to-day lives. It can also impact emergency vehicles from accessing potential incidents.
“With the increase in visitors, there has also unfortunately been an increase in litter problems. Litter can also cause wildfires, a serious problem we face here especially in the sunnier, drier months. Broken glass, as an example, can cause a fire to start and devastate acres and acres of land and wildlife.
“We ask people to leave the Park as they find it, be responsible for their rubbish; bag it and bin it, or better still, take it home to avoid rubbish bins overflowing and becoming even more of a problem. The wildlife, local communities, visitors and emergency services will thank you for it.
“My best advice to visitors is to help us to care and look after Northumberland. The experiences people have and the memories they make in Northumberland, the National Park, and the North East’s various beauty spots, can last a lifetime. By caring for these unique and special surroundings today, future generations can continue to enjoy them for years to come.
"I hope the National Park will continue to be a Park for everyone, rich in nature, culture, heritage, and thriving communities. It has some of England’s cleanest rivers, clearest air, most tranquil spaces and darkest skies, and I hope future generations can continue to enjoy it.”