National Park of the Year nomination

Northumberland National Park has been nominated for a prestigious Park of the Year Award and all it needs is your vote!

An online poll is now open to vote for Northumberland National Park to become the UK’s National Park of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018.

The Park won the revered award in 2016 and is now urging people across the North East to vote and help to ensure that the least populated National Park in the country is the undisputed people’s champion once again.

The Park was nominated after a panel of expert judges which included TV presenter John Craven, scrutinised suggestions from BBC Countryfile readers to select five contenders in each category.

Describing Northumberland National Park, judge Mark Rowe, a rural affairs and travel writer, said:

“You have fantastic mountains, you have the Cheviots, the Simonside Hills… on a clear day, you feel like you can see all of the North of England, and you can certainly see across to the Lake District. It’s just an absolutely smashing landscape.”

On the Countryfile website, the judging panel also describes the Park as “One of the quietest places in the country, and blessedly so.

“That doesn’t mean it is dull however – with sparkling dark skies, Hadrian’s Wall, the Whin Sill and the Cheviot Hills, Northumberland National Park is home to some of the most spectacular sights in the country. One can’t help but admire the dramatic geology.  Spot red squirrels, otters and black grouse while wandering woodland, hay meadows and wild moorland.”

College Valley and Cheviot

The College Valley and Cheviot from the summit of Great Hetha, Northumberland National Park, England

Other national parks competing in the category are the New Forest, The Broads, Exmoor National Park and Snowdonia.

Northumberland National Park is not the only North East location to be named as a finalist. High Force Waterfall on the River Tees in County Durham is nominated in the Landmark of the Year category and Clara Vale near Crawcrook in Tyne and Wear is in the running for Nature Reserve of the Year.

Glen Sanderson, chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “It’s a huge achievement to make the shortlist and we are thrilled to be nominated.

“The Countryfile Awards represent a prestigious national platform so it’s fantastic to see the North East rank so highly with three exceptional examples of what the region’s countryside has to offer.

“I’d like to congratulate both High Force Waterfall in the North Pennines (AONB) and the Clara Vale Conservation Trust on their nominations.

“Everyone at the National Park is extremely proud to be nominated again; it’s a triumph for the county. Not only does it recognise the exceptional qualities and unique beauty of our rural landscapes, it’s also a great way to encourage more visitors to enjoy this stunning destination.

“I would like to urge people to get involved and support the North East when casting their votes. It would be fantastic if we could secure a hat trick for the region across all three categories.”

The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards celebrate the best of the British countryside. The categories range from iconic landmarks and rural pubs to conservation success stories and the results are based solely on public votes.

Voting for the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018 runs until 5 March. Vote online at: http://bit.ly/VoteNland or fill in the Awards form and return to BBC Countryfile Magazine, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3BN. The winners will be announced online on 13 March 2018 and featured in the May issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine.