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

Far from being sleepy backwaters, England's finest landscapes contribute more than £20bn each year to our economy – similar to that of Birmingham, according to a new report.

The publication 'So much more than the view…' from England's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks, highlights the wide range of benefits these iconic areas provide to society.

Covering a quarter of England, National Parks and AONBs are our most beautiful and cherished landscapes, with iconic archaeological and historical sites and valuable wildlife habitats. Yet they provide so much more to society than a beautiful view. 

AONBs and National Parks welcome more than 260 million visitors who spend in excess of £6bn and support thousands of jobs and more than 85,000 businesses. 

Rightly regarded as a treasured national resource and internationally recognised for their special qualities, they provide a base for businesses that rely on a high quality environment; creative and sporting inspiration; homes for people and wildlife; food and drink; and life enhancing experiences for millions of visitors of all ages.

I encourage you to read the report which you will find a link to in the article below.

Cllr John Woodman,
Chair, Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
England's most iconic landscapes – a hidden economic powerhouse 
So Much More than the View
A report called 'So much more than the view' from England's AONBs and National Parks highlights the wide range of benefits provided by the protected landscapes. 

Commenting on the new report, Environment Minister Rory Stewart said "Our British landscapes are among the most beautiful and precious in the world. And such land remains central to the British imagination, to our souls and to our identity.

"We would miss such landscapes profoundly if they were gone. We have a deep obligation to protect this land, its farms and its communities. 

"This report also reminds us that safeguarding our countryside can also generate economic value, how our protected landscapes are increasingly rare in a rapidly developing world and just how precious they are to visitors and residents. However, while we celebrate the fact that they have also the potential to bring prosperity, we must never reduce such places simply to their economic value – they are so much more than that."

Catch the Bus Week 29 June - 5 July 2015
Catch the Bus Week
Catch the Bus Week is a nationwide campaign aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of taking the bus. This year, the campaign runs from the 29 June to 5 July and there will be events, ticket give-aways and other activities taking place across the country, with bus companies, local authorities and passenger groups involved.

In Northumberland, we have joined forces with the Northumberland County Council, Northumberland National Park Authority and the bus companies to promote itineraries that allow people to explore our beautiful county by bus. Six different itineraries have been created and are available to download and of course, they are not just for catch the bus week, they can be done throughout the summer.

Sound Strata at Woodhorn
Sound Strata of Coastal Northumberland is a sound installation by artist Susan Stenger based on a diagram of coastal geological formations from the River Tyne to the Scottish border, drawn by local mining engineer Nicholas Wood in 1838.

The exhibition tour continues to Woodhorn Museum between 27th June and 27th July. Woodhorn is an historic colliery site that reflects the importance of the coal measures in Nicholas Wood's geological strata diagram. The exhibition includes an additional special archive display about Nicholas Wood and his pioneering work as a mining engineer.

Community Film Nights – At Howick Village Hall
The beautiful old village hall in Howick Village is now playing host to a fabulous community run film club which uses the hall's 3 metre screen and 6 speaker surround sound. Film nights are held every 3-4 weeks on alternate Friday and Sunday evenings with mainstream feature films on Sundays and old classics, world cinema and arthouse on Fridays. 

No booking required and the 'cabaret style' table layout means you can sit with your family and friends, and you are welcome to bring your own drinks. The tables are decorated with tea lights and during the winter there is a roaring log fire. There is not an admission charge but the group would appreciate small voluntary donations to cover the running costs.

To find out more and to add your name to the circulation list for details of forthcoming films please call John Roper on 01665 576413 or email

Summer Geo-walks 
Dr Ian Kille
A series of six walks and talks have been organised by local geologist Dr Ian Kille of Northumbrian Earth and author Helen Page. 

This series of walks form part of the "Northumberland Coast Rocks!" project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and being run by the Howick Heritage Group. 
The walks and talks are free and open to all and will be informal entertaining and informative. Each session will start with a walk lasting about an hour looking at some of the fascinating geological features to be found on a particular stretch of coastline. 

They will be followed by tea and biscuits at venues near to the end of each walk, with a talk explaining more about geology and all it connects to and an opportunity to ask questions in a relaxed atmosphere.

The first of the walks, on July 8th at 2pm (meet at the small car park at Howick Sea Houses Farm) and will explore the beautiful coast south of the Bathing House and promises an erratic monster, ripples large and small, some explanation of tea and a shipwreck.

Details of all of the walks can be found on the Northumbrian Earth website.

Thou shalt hev a fishy...and a whole lot more!
Locally landed seafood
Amble Harbour Village will be hosting the next Northumberland Seafood Event in the Seafood Centre on Friday 3rd July between 2pm and 6pm and Saturday 4th July between 10am and 4pm. 

Mouth-watering recipes produced by local chefs will be dished out and a professional filleter will be on site giving fish preparation tips and demonstrations. There is the opportunity to pre-order crabs, lobsters and prawns (see website for details).

If fish is not your thing, then the guest Artisan Food businesses will be selling delicious, local produce from Chocolate to Charcuterie over the two days and we are hoping will be a regular feature for events at the Seafood Centre. Full details are on the Harbour Village Website

Traditional Music Concerts
The WatchhornsAndrew and Margaret Watchorn are again holding a series of traditional music concerts over the summer at venues across the AONB.

Margaret Watchhorn said "Yet again, we've planned all the events within the Northumberland Coast AONB and are already finding that people who have come along in previous years are contacting us to ask if we're playing during their holiday here.

"The first concert was in Craster last week and the hall was packed to the doors – so much so that the ladies on the door had to go home so that visitors could have their seats.

 "It's amazing to think that all this started off with a grant from the AONB Sustainable Development Fund in 2009, and here we are in our seventh season of concerts!" 

Pipes and Fiddles

Dunstanburgh Walk
We have revamped our Dunstanburgh Circular Trail walking leaflet, giving it a fresh new look and updated information. 

The leaflet is available from Tourist Information Centres for 50p. If you are interested in retailing the leaflet in your business, just ask.
Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter
A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky.

The two bright planets will be extremely close, appearing only 0.3 degrees apart on July 1st. Despite our evening skies being very light it might be possible to see this impressive pairing in the western sky just after sunset.

They will move apart again during the rest of July.
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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