A Distinctive Place - Outcome 2.1

Outcome 2.1 – A distinctive place that will maintain a sense of inspiration and tranquillity.

Target – To protect and enhance tranquillity levels as the highest in England; conserve and enhance the National Park’s distinctive characteristics and sense of place; to ensure that all new development within or on the fringe of the National Park will conserve or enhance the natural and cultural qualities of the National Park.

Performance – Acceptable (Storm Arwen Impacted)

Trend –Static

Impact – NNPA continue to work with partners and stakeholders ensuring that NNP retains its sense of place. ’Low impact’ tourism opportunities are being embedded, overhead powerlines are being buried in areas of greatest visual impact and we continue to ensure that woodland planting is permitted in line with the principal of ‘the right tree in the right place’. Storm Arwen in November 2021 had a significant impact on the tranquillity and sense of place as around one million trees fell, nationally, in one night. Within the National park it is estimated that around 1,000 ha of trees fell. This has impacted the visitor offer and meant that 18% of our public rights of way were temporarily closed. It has not been until July 2022 that many of the forests have been cleared to re-open to the public.

Key Points

  • Storm Arwen caused significant damage to the forestry landscape and PRoW of NNP.
  • The new Local Plan adopted in July 2020.
  • Tranquillity protected through existing and future planning policy.
  • Dark Sky awareness campaigns protect the Gold status of Northumberland Dark Sky Park and targeting a reduction of sources of light pollution in the Park.
  • Low impact tourism is being promoted through the use of electric bikes and ongoing financial support of Hadrian’s Wall Bus (HWB). The bus did not operate in 2020 but re-started in 2021.
  • A Landscape Enhancement Initiative bid has been developed to make significant improvements and reduce erosion on Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail.
  • New native woodland planting inside the park boundary is being driven by woodland grant schemes and the current Countryside Stewardship grants.