Connect more people with the natural environment

The Sill was selected by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to represent UK’s nomination. Defra stated the centre’s innovative ability to inspire, involve and engage a variety of people in learning, participation and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of landscapes as the reason behind its selection.

The Landscape Award is a bi-annual competition led by the Council of Europe and was first awarded in 2008. It is intended to raise awareness of the value of landscapes, their role and changes to them. Twenty-three projects were nominated from across Europe with the main award presented to Switzerland for its ‘Renaturation Project of the River Aire’.

The Sill was one of the projects chosen for special recognition, highlighting the centre’s work to preserve the landscape, engaging people to learn more about their surroundings and prompting action in supporting its preservation.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority said: “We are delighted that The Sill has been recognised for such a prestigious award and we want to thank the Council of Europe for their recognition and commendation. We would also like to thank Defra for choosing our centre as the UK entry; we want to use this recognition as another stepping stone in The Sill’s development and ensure it continues to inspire future generations to engage with the landscapes surrounding them.”

National Parks Minister Lord Gardiner said: “This award is well-deserved recognition of the fantastic efforts undertaken by the Northumberland National Park Authority with a contemporary building being part of one of England’s most beautiful landscapes. The Sill

Centre perfectly encapsulates one of our 25 Year Environment Plan’s key ambitions to connect more people with the natural environment, and I would encourage a visit to this exceptional winner.”

Maguelonne Dejant-Pons, Executive Secretary of the European Landscape Convention said:

“We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the Northumberland National Park Authority, United Kingdom and our special thanks to the Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs, for the national selection performed.”

The Sill first opened in July 2017, and is the main visitor centre for Northumberland National Park. Sitting within the UNESCO world heritage site of Hadrian’s Wall, The Sill acts as a gateway to many visitors to the national park and allows greater accessibility for those who find it difficult to experience landscapes.

Learn more about The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre by visiting