#NineStandardsRigg #Cumbria #NorthPenninesAONB
#NineStandardsRigg #Cumbria #NorthPenninesAONB
There’s no need to wait for summer to get outdoors and get fit when you can walk in a winter wonderland in one of England’s finest upland landscapes.
The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark covers a large area of County Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland and offers a beautiful landscape for walkers in any season with high moorland, wooded river valleys, stunning waterfalls and welcoming villages.
And now you can pick one of five favourite winter walks chosen by members of the staff team at the North Pennines AONB Partnership so you can get to know the area even better in this often surprising season, whether you’re a photographer, wildlife watcher or simply a lover of the outdoors.
Simon Wilson, from the North Pennines AONB Partnership, explains: “There are over 120 self-guided walks free to download from our explorenorthpennines.org.uk website, with great opportunities for people to get out and benefit from the North Pennines countryside during the winter months.
“The interactive map on our website allows you to search for activities by area, meaning it is easy to plan your day around other essentials like a village start or end point that includes a visit to a cosy pub or café.”
The top five for winter are:
Paul Mitchinson, British Mountaineering Council (BMC) North East Area Meeting Hill Walking Representative and local walking guide adds: “There is little finer than enjoying the wildlife and tranquillity of a crisp winter’s day in the North Pennines, with the crunch of frozen ground underfoot and the sound of a stream your only distractions. When walking in winter especially in remote upland areas, you should always be prepared for the winter weather, have the right kit, know how to use it and explore within your abilities. The BMC has great walking skills resources and information at thebmc.co.uk to help you get started.”
Organisations, community groups and individuals are being asked for their views on the consultation draft of a five year plan to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the North Pennines.
Every five years the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership produces a management plan, on behalf of the area’s five local authorities, which sets out a framework for looking after the North Pennines AONB. The AONB Partnership has launched an online consultation on the latest plan.
The plan focuses on landscape, biodiversity, geology and cultural heritage which combine to create a sense of place in this unique area of England. It also addresses issues around how people can better explore, enjoy and understand the landscape and in doing so support an economy rooted in our nature and culture.
Jan Simmonds, Chair of the AONB Partnership said, “This is a plan for the area, not a work plan for the AONB team, and many organisations, individuals and communities can have a role in helping to deliver it. This is an important time for conservation, especially because the future of agri-environment funding in particular is still uncertain. Support for High Nature Value farming, and the farmers behind it, is an important aspect of the plan, which sets out how farmers, land managers, conservation bodies and communities might look after and celebrate our outstanding natural and cultural heritage together.”
The online survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/northpennines until 31 January 2019.
A STUNNING VISUAL ARTWORK which has been a big hit with visitors to Upper Teesdale is nearing the end of its stay, and people are being urged to take their last chance to see and photograph it.
Natural Creation, which was commissioned by the North Pennines AONB Partnership with funding from the National Lottery, was created by artist Rob Mulholland. It will be in place near to Low Force waterfall in Teesdale until 11 October. Made up of a series of highly polished stainless steel sculptures, the piece responds to the geology of this part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and UNESCO Global Geopark. It aims to bring to life a 320 million year old geological story in the beautiful landscape of Teesdale. Human figures mingle with geometrical shapes which echo the shape of the Whin Sill, sections of which emerge from the landscape to create some of its most distinctive features.
The sculptures have been a very popular feature over the summer months, with people visiting from far afield. Photographers have been particularly keen, sharing their images on social media. Two striking images were featured in the Times and Telegraph newspapers, as well as in the local and regional press.
The National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), have supported Natural Creation as part of a programme of new work celebrating and building on the North Pennines’ UNESCO Global Geopark designation. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will receive £376,200 over three years. Natural Creation was also supported by Arts Council England.
Chris Woodley-Stewart, director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The response to Natural Creation has been overwhelmingly positive and we are delighted that it has helped to bring people to the North Pennines and connects them with the geology and the landscape.
“We hope that over the next couple of weeks people who haven’t seen it will take the opportunity to visit. Those who have seen it over the summer will also be able to revisit the sculptures now that the seasons have begun to change.”
Artist Rob Mulholland said: “Natural Creation celebrates the creative power and majesty of nature. My installation imagines the geological forces shaping and forming the land over millions of years. My aim is to reflect the dynamic forces at play in nature through the representation of the Whin Sill forcing its way through the ground. The mirrored figures represent our innate connection with our natural environment. They stand passively guarding the elements; a vestige of our past and a mirror to our future.”
The geology of Low Force has a story which goes back over 320 million years, to the Carboniferous Period of Earth history. Millions of years of changing climates and environments created alternating layers of limestone and sandstone rock, sometimes with a layer of shale. 295 million years ago, in the early Permian Period, molten magma welled up in the Earth through cracks and fissures in the layered rocks and spread out in a roughly horizontal layer between the Farne Islands and Teesdale. It never reached the surface (or we’d have had a volcano in the North Pennines) but instead it cooled underground for around 50 years, forming a hard, flat-lying layer that the old miners called the Whin Sill. Over the nearly three hundred million years since then, the rocks above the Whin Sill have been weathered and eroded away by Earth processes. Where the hard, erosion resistant Whin Sill crops out across the course of rivers, it forms the lip of waterfalls like at Low Force and High Force, just upstream.
The installation will be in place on the north bank of the Tees at Low Force until 11 October. Parking is available at the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Bowlees Visitor Centre, with a five to ten minute walk to the artwork. To share your images of Natural Creation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, please use the hashtag #lowforceart.
Residents of Weardale in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark are invited to the launch of a new garden and activity trail to celebrate invertebrates.
The North Pennines AONB Partnership has created ‘Bug Corner’ at the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope, and will be holding a community event for the official opening on Saturday 22 September, from 12 noon to 3pm. There will be an afternoon of mini-beast themed family activities, including ‘Six Legs’ an interactive insect theatre show performed by Cap-A-Pie, bug-inspired craft activities using leather and clay, bug hunts in the Durham Dales Centre gardens and a visit to Ashes Quarry with Butterfly Conservation’s Dr Dave Wainwright and the Weardale Wildlife Group. Bring a picnic and join in the bug high tea.
Pupils from Weardale Schools have worked with the project over the past few months to create art installations for Bug Corner to help visitors to learn about and love creepy crawlies. The North Pennines AONB Partnership has also commissioned Durham artist, Graeme Hopper, to create a large showcase sculpture to start the trail and this will be unveiled at the community event.
Bug Corner is part of the AONB Partnership’s Cold-blooded and Spineless project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and made possible by National Lottery players. Cold-blooded and Spineless focuses on recording and raising awareness of the many important species of invertebrates in the North Pennines, and the role they play in the ecosystem. Additional funding for the Weardale community activities has been provided by Arts Council England and Northumbrian Water.
Sam Tranter, Project Officer at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “Bug Corner will be a fantastic place to go to find out more about the tiny creatures that play a big part in our ecosystem. The launch event will be the first chance to see the amazing sculpture and take part in the trail activities, but we hope that families will enjoy Bug Corner whenever they visit the Durham Dales Centre.
“What is lovely to see is the range of artwork produced by children from up and down the dale, alongside the eye-catching sculpture.”
Artist Graeme Hopper said: “The sculpture is inspired by drawings by Weardale school pupils. Working with the children I have incorporated their ideas and also made the insect as anatomically correct as possible.
“The resulting sculpture is really striking and I’m sure will draw people in to the garden.”
The sculpture will sit in a mini wildflower meadow, planted with plug plants grown from seeds collected in local Weardale verges as part of another Heritage Lottery Fund project, Plugging the Gaps. This will help to increase the number of nectar-rich plant in the area and attract pollinating insects to the area.
Places for the community launch event are free but please book a place online at http://www.northpennines.org.uk/events-calendar/bugcornerlaunch/ or email email@example.com