Shaping the future of Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA) has today (Thursday 31 March 2022) launched a public consultation on a ‘Management Plan’ which will help shape the future of one of Britain’s finest landscapes for the next 25 years.
The consultation aims to engage with those who live, work, and spend time in the National Park to help the Authority and its partners, to create a bold, ambitious, and long-term strategy for the unique and special landscape. The consultation is also aimed at communities and individuals who are not currently benefitting from what the Park has to offer as it aims to become a ‘national park for everyone’
The Plan focuses on five key themes for the National Park, including: Nature Recovery, Climate Action, Valuing Culture and Heritage, A Welcoming Park for All and Thriving Communities.
Spanning over 400 square miles, the National Park stretches from the Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site to The Cheviots. It is home to some of England’s cleanest rivers, clearest air, and darkest skies, designated an International Dark Sky Park with Gold Tier status in 2013.
The public consultation will run for a period of five weeks.
Jean Davidson, Chair of the Northumberland National Park Authority, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity for everyone to help shape the future of Northumberland National Park. The National Park is cherished and loved by many for its sense of tranquillity, rich cultural heritage, biodiversity and geology, and distinctive landscape character.
“Like all rural areas, National Parks are currently facing unprecedented challenges, ranging from fundamental shifts in farm support payments and land use, declining biodiversity, and lack of infrastructure, to severe storms as climate change affects weather patterns.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, increasing numbers of visitors are exploring Northumberland National Park’s beautiful landscapes and heritage, with all the health and wellbeing benefits spending time in nature can provide. To provide a warm welcome for our new visitors, investment is needed in transport, digital and the right facilities and services.
“The Draft Management Plan sets out some far-reaching ambitions from recovering and expanding nature to taking action on climate, supporting thriving local communities and to ensuring the National Park more accessible and welcoming to everyone.”
Members of the public are being invited to have their say on the future health of the National Park via an online questionnaire and a range of other means including social media and face to face meetings to be held across the Park.
The questionnaire and a full version of the Draft Management Plan can be viewed on Northumberland National Park Authority’s website – www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/dmpconsultation.
A hard copy of the Draft Management Plan can also be viewed at the welcome desk in The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.
The consultation runs between Thursday 31 March and Sunday 15 May 2022.
There will also be the opportunity for people to discuss the Draft Management Plan with National Park staff at one of our drop-in events taking place at various locations within the National Park. The dates for these are:
Kirknewton Village Hall: Thursday 21 April 2pm to 4.30pm
Jubilee Hall, Rothbury: Thursday 28 April 2022 2pm to 4.30pm
Otterburn Village Hall: Wednesday 4 May 2pm to 5pm
The Sill, NE47 7AN: Tuesday 10 May 2pm to 6pm