Stay safe this summer

School’s out for summer and the sun is finally here, and though we are pleased to welcome an increase in visitors to the Northumberland National Park when the sunshine appears, the heat can have an incredible impact on visitors and the environment.

A large majority of visitor hotspots in the National Park are in remote areas, and when extreme weather conditions occur, we would like to remind visitors to plan their visit and be mindful of the weather and destination you’re visiting.

Margaret Anderson, Senior Ranger here at the National Park, shares her top tips on how to prepare for your visit to the Park when the weather is hot:

Choose a cooler time of day to walk

The sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm during the summer months, and its intense heat continues past 4pm on extremely hot days, so we advise visitors to consider this and either choose the morning or late afternoon/evening to spend time outdoors. If there is shade, please seek this during the day’s peak temperature.

Three women walking along Hadrian's Wall

Select a walking route that includes shade

Many of our walking routes, particularly along Hadrian’s Wall and north of the Park in the Cheviots (and the more remote places), have limited shade. Please bear this in mind and choose walking routes and picnic spots that are more shaded and be prepared to also create your own shade. Please remember to wear a sun hat to protect your head, and regularly apply a high SPF sunscreen.

A forest in the National Park

Ensure you have enough water

Dehydration and heat sickness can be dangerous, so we ask visitors to please drink enough water and bring plenty of fluids with them when they visit the National Park. Not all places have shops or facilities close by to buy refreshments, so make sure you bring a sufficient amount with you.

Hethpool Stream leading to Hethpool Linn

Ensure someone knows where you are going

It’s important, regardless of the weather, to ensure someone knows where you are going. Signal and Wi-Fi can be poor in some areas of the National Park, so to stay safe and to help emergency services reach you if you do find yourself in trouble, please let someone know where you are going and when.

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Help keep the countryside safe

The heat can cause problems and sometimes have a devastating impact on the environment and wildlife. If you intend on taking a picnic with you to enjoy during your visit, please do not bring a barbecue. Barbecues, if placed directly onto grass, burn deeply and can reignite a long time after you’ve gone home. Broken glass, too, can cause a fire to start, so please take your litter home with you; the wildlife, local communities and emergency services will thank you for it.

A photo of the River Breamish

Ensuring dogs are cared for

Keeping dogs cool in the heat can be lifesaving, literally. Our four-legged friends can suffer from heatstroke within minutes, so it’s important to keep your dog cool, hydrated, and out of the sun when it’s at its hottest. For advice on keeping your dog safe during a heatwave, click here.

A black dog on a lead enjoys a drink of water from its owners cupped hands.

 

Be responsible, considerate and kind

To accommodate the anticipated increase in visitor numbers, the National Park has placed more Rangers and Volunteers in busier spots, including along Hadrian’s Wall, and the Ingram and Breamish Valleys.

We love welcoming people to the National Park to enjoy nature in such fine weather, and we encourage visitors to continue being responsible, considerate and kind.