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The Newsletter of the Northumberland Coast
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
May 2015
Dear ,

Bait digging is a familiar sight along much of the Northumberland Coastline but it struck me as particularly relevant whilst out walking this week.

June is the 800 year anniversary of the Magna Carter. The medieval 'Great Charter', written in 1215, enshrined the right of the common people to access natural resources such as sea fishing and to dig bait which until then had been under the monopoly of the King. 

Admittedly subsequent legislation has provided regulation of fishing and bait digging since and but the principle was established 800 years ago. In fact only three of the original clauses in Magna Carta are still law. One defends the freedom and rights of the English church, another confirms the liberties and customs of London and other towns, and the third paved the way for trial by jury.
Our region played a pivotal role in the creation of this astounding document. John FitzRobert, the Lord of Warkworth and Eustace de Vesci, Lord of Alnwick, were two of the 25 barons who acted as guarantor of the Magna Carter and ensured that King John observed it. So it is particularly fitting that Warkworth will be the focus for much of this anniversary weekend celebration on 12th – 14th June.

Cllr John Woodman,
Chair, Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
Magna Carta celebrations in Warkworth
Warkworth Castle Photo: Joan Robinson
On June 12th – 14th, a full weekend of events is planned in Warkworth to celebrate the 800 year anniversary of the Magna Carta.

John FitzRobert, the Lord of Warkworth was one of the 25 rebel barons that negotiated the charter which established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law. Whilst all but three of the clauses have been repealed in modern times the Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British constitution.

The celebration events will be centered on St Lawrence's Church where a facsimile of the Magna Carta will be on display. Other events planned for the weekend include medieval craft in the churchyard, children storytelling and drama on the Saturday and an Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday.

On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14th English Heritage at Warkworth Castle will be staging of 'Magna Carta' a three handed play taking a light-hearted look at the signing of the document .


All change on the buses
Arriva X18 at Craster Photo: Iain Robson
The summer timetable for services between Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed via the coast started on 24th May.

This timetable, for the Arriva X18 and Travelsure 418,  runs until the end of September and gives an hourly daytime service along the coastal route serving Alnwick, Longhoughton, Craster, Seahouses, Bamburgh and Belford.

Arriva have produced a new timetable leaflet which is available from Tourist Information Centres. You can also download a handy summary timetable from our 'car-free AONB' webpage.

Looking ahead to the Summer holidays, Perryman's Buses have announced that they have extended the 477 service from Berwick to Holy Island to run Monday to Saturday from 29th June 2015 through to September. 

Landscapes for Life Conference 2015
Landscapes for Life Conference 2015 – Winchester,  30th June-2nd July

2014 Conference
The theme of L4L2015  is Sharing, Learning, Inspiring. Delgates will discuss how collaborative working between people and organisations can ensure that our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks are well managed and safeguarded for future generations.

Three days of presentations, discussion, networking and site visits will investigate and highlight the examples of outstanding work from AONB Partnerships, Conservation Boards and National Park Authorities.

Philip Hygate, Chairman of the National Association of AONBs said, "We are delighted to bring delegates to Winchester. We look forward to lively debate and discussion which will result in useful practical action throughout the UK's Protected Landscapes. I am sure that delegates will leave the conference with the knowledge that the AONB Family and partners are working hard to protect our most valuable resource, ensuring that AONBs remain Landscapes for Life.

The conference is open to all. 

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Galoots by Peter Drew
Local artist Peter Drew is exhibiting at Alnwick Playhouse from 9th June to 18th July.

His exhibition, entitled 'Galoots' is inspired by the geology of the Northumberland Coast and in particular pebbles that have been bored by Piddocks.  

Piddocks, sometime known as 'Angel Wings', are bivalves, and their specially-adapted oval shells are edged with fine teeth which enables them to excavate burrows in rock to create tunnel home. 

Peter has collected these beautiful pebbles, reinterpreted and presents them in a completely different context. 

GALOOTS......... In this instance
                          Unruly unpredictable characters

                          Formed by the sea
                          And angel wings

                          Washed up and beached
                          On Northumberland's coast


Coquet Estuary by Kayak
Kayak at Warkworth Photo:CST
Coquet Shorebase Trust received funding from our Sustainable Development Fund last year to help set up guided tours of the Coquet Estuary by kayak.  

These tours are aimed at visitors who would like to learn more about the history, wildlife and geology of the harbour and tidal river whilst getting training and advice on safe canoeing on the coast.
Vic Brown from the Shorebase Trust said "The SDF funding has enabled us to buy a number of 'sit-on-top' seakayaks, which are easy to paddle, making them suitable for complete beginners.They are unlikely to capsize but wetsuits and buoyancy aids are provided."

Tours are programmed every week but extra sessions and group bookings can be arranged.   

Plastic Challenge
Marine Conservation Society is challenging people to avoid single-use plastics for the month of June. Plastic Challenge, which aims to highlight how reliant we have become on plastic. This is reflected in the amount of plastic now known to be turning parts of our seas and oceans into a 'plastic soup'.

MCS senior pollution policy officer, Dr Sue Kinsey said: 'We want to change people's attitudes towards single use plastics, and to encourage people to value plastic as a resource – not just buying stuff without any thought of the environmental impact.

'People taking on the Plastic Challenge are often shocked to find out just how much single use plastic is used every day. Have a go at the Plastic Challenge, even if you can only manage a single day, and you'll never look at your shopping in the same way again!'

The charity will offer help to 2015 Plastic Challengers via its website and social media feed which also has a tip swap area and the opportunity to get help when the going gets tough!

Dros y Ffin
Iolo Williams
Television naturalist Iolo Williams was in Northumberland last year, filming a new wildlife series 'Dros Y Ffin' which translates to 'Over the Border'.

The production company sought the advice of the AONB staff team on the best places to film on the coast.

The Northumberland episode will be broadcast on the Welsh language station S4C on 3rd June at 19.30.

S4C can be watched with subtitles on Virgin TV – 166, Freesat – 120, and Sky – 134. The program will also be available online on S4C Clic

S4C Clic

Outdoors Northumberland
Outdoors Northumberland is a network of professional activity providers who provide services across the whole of Northumberland. 

Members deliver a wide range of activities on and off shore including walking, cycling, nature watching and watersports.

Northumberland Coast
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Northumberland Coast AONB was designated in 1958 and covers 39 miles of coast from Berwick to the Coquet estuary. Within this stretch of coastline is some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the country.

The Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership is responsible for making sure that this landscape is conserved and enhanced now and for future generations.
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Northumberland Coast
AONB Partnership
c/o County Hall
NE61 2EF
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Telephone: 01670 620306
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