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Arts & Culture

Three times the charm for Northumberland National Park in Countryfile Awards

Northumberland National Park has won the prestigious accolade of National Park of The Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2020.

It is the third time the National Park has won the nationwide competition, with votes cast by over 17,500 members of the public, one of the biggest responses in the awards’ history. The runner up was Snowdonia with other nominees including South Downs, Cairngorms, and Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Northumberland National Park was one of three local attractions recognised in this year’s awards, with Northumberlandia and Alnwick Garden’s Poison Garden winning Landmark of the Year and Garden of the Year respectively.

Glen Sanderson, Chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “This win is great for the National Park and Northumberland as a whole and we are overwhelmed by how much the public value this wonderful place.”

“We are proud of the varied landscapes, wildlife and heritage we have in the National Park and I am hugely grateful to our staff, members, volunteers and local communities who help to conserve its distinct qualities and make the place as special as it is. Through the Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre we are ensuring more and more people get to experience our national park.

“Northumberland National Park and all our national parks are an important asset to people’s health and wellbeing.”

On the Countryfile website, the judging panel said: “From rugged uplands, crystal-clear rivers and spectacular waterfalls, hay meadows, moody woodlands and the solitude of the Cheviot Hills, our least-populated national park has diverse and stunning landscapes to discover. Rare wildlife, such as black grouse and curlews, are found here, and as an International Dark Sky Park, it’s a stargazer’s dream, with Europe’s largest area of protected night sky.

“The awe-inspiring Hadrian’s Wall is just one of the fascinating Roman ruins to explore, and mighty medieval castles add to the area’s rich heritage. Handsome new visitor centre, The Sill, also offers exhibitions, learning and event spaces, a new youth hostel, a café serving local food, a rural business hub, plus a shop specialising in local crafts.”

The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards celebrate the best of the British countryside. The categories range from iconic landmarks and rural pubs to conservation success stories and the results are based solely on public votes.