Record number of visitors
Despite restrictions in place over the past 12 months, the Park saw a record number of visitors in 2020, reflecting a growing demand for access to nature and green spaces for health and wellbeing benefits. Research undertaken by National Park Rangers and volunteers has shown people who had not previously experienced the National Park travelled from urban areas to more remote locations in great numbers to enjoy the unique qualities of the landscape, including its tranquillity, clear air, and clean waters.
Northumberland National Park Chief Executive, Tony Gates said: “Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen how important natural spaces have been for everyone as a place to improve our physical and mental wellbeing.
“We’re delighted to launch our new ‘Now & Forever’ campaign to help celebrate and showcase the best qualities of the National Park, allowing us to work with our local communities and support visitors to understand the part they need to play in protecting these treasured landscapes; we want to ensure that the Park can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.”
Supporting those who live and work in the area
The National Park will also be supporting those who live and work in the area by providing campaign posters and social media assets which can be displayed to customers or visitors or shared online. Tony Gates added: “By extending the campaign across our communities in this way, we hope to help businesses and communities most affected by the pandemic, including those who rely on tourism and hospitality. We’re keen to welcome visitors, new and old, to enjoy all that we have to offer, whilst reminding them of our collective responsibility to care for and protect the wonderful natural resources here in the Park.”
The campaign launch follows the announcement of a £133k grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund which will be used to place resource within the Park to accommodate the increase in visitor numbers, as well as set up new heritage trails and new on-site interpretation featuring landscape, nature and wildlife, culture and heritage in some of the National Park’s most popular locations.