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Northumberland Coast | Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Newsletter of the Northumberland Coast
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Issue No.XX / Spring 2017

The run up to Easter is always a busy time along the Northumberland Coast as accommodation providers and tourism businesses prepare themselves for visitors arriving over the summer months. One of the events many attend in preparation is the North Tourism Fair in Alnwick to collect copies of our new Visitor Guide.

The Guide is a popular and useful tool for visitors. This year, as well as including places to go and activities to pursue, the visitor guide has an article on local food and another on the dune plants found along the Northumberland Coast.  We are pleased to be able to print 50,000 copies again which will ensure availability throughout the year. 

Why not come along, say hello and pick up copies of our Visitor Guide when we're in Alnwick on Tuesday 13th March? If you aren't able to make it, the article below gives details of how to get your copies of the guide. 

Jeff Watson
Cllr Jeff Watson
Chair, Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
Visitor Guide
Our Visitor Guide for 2018/19 will be launched at the North Tourism Fair at Willowburn Leisure Centre, Alnwick on Tuesday 13th March. The Fair is a great way for local people to find out about festivals, events and family days out in 2018.

The guide will also be available from Tourist Information Centres, tourist attractions and accommodation businesses. If you are a tourism business and need a supply of guides, please contact us to arrange delivery.  The visitor guide will soon be available to download from our website. 
Take care during lambing
With lambing season approaching and reports of dog attacks on sheep increasing, the National Sheep Association (NSA) and RSPCA have teamed up to urge dog owners to take extra care.Here are some common-sense guidelines which will help prevent attacks on livestock:
  • Watch for signs warning of livestock and keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and in areas you suspect animals may be grazing, or avoid them completely.
  • If your dog chases sheep, report it to the farmer even if there is no apparent injury as the stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs
  • Make sure your dog is wormed regularly and pick up it's mess to stop diseases spreading to livestock
Gorse Removal
We've recently had some contractors working to clear some gorse on Bamburgh Golf Course. Much of the golf course is part of Site of Special Scientific Interest for it's rare plant communities that are associated with the underlying whin sill geology.

Gorse has grown over the grassland and the rarer plants can't compete. Contractors have been cutting the gorse with chainsaws and clearing away to allow the grassland to flourish again. The work has been done through our Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership and has been funded by players of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

You can read more about whin grasslands on our website

Pink Footed Geese
Britain hosts 85% of the world population of Pink-footed Geese in winter. These are birds that breed in Greenland and Iceland and migrate to Britain for the winter.  By this time of year most of them are returning to their northern breeding grounds. 

Louis Driver recently visited Lindisfarne NNR to see the geese - you can read his fantastic blog - Wild Northumberland - here 
Northumberland Coast Barn Owl Project
Money raised from the sale of plastic bags in Bamburgh Castle's gift shop has gone directly to Northumberland Coast Barn Owl Project, an initiative which aims to boost barn owl numbers on the coast. Francis Watson Armstrong, owner of the Castle said: "Having worked with the Northumberland Coast AONB for a number of years providing inhabited barn owl nest box sites on Bamburgh Castle Estate, I felt this was a wonderful opportunity to help give these beautiful birds every chance to increase their numbers here on the Northumberland Coast"

Coast Care volunteers helped to construct the first nest boxes a couple of week ago. 
Nature's Calendar with the Woodland Trust
Nature's Calendar is a Woodland Trust project, which oversees the collection of data for the UK Phenology Network. In recent years they have seen a decline in numbers of 'expert' phenology recorders submitting more than 50 observations per year to the UK phenology database. They are now trying to attract at least 200 new 'expert' (those who will record 50+ observations per year) recorders in order to maintain the database's scientific credibility and help them continue to provide organisations such as the IPCC with data that will help them assess the effects of climate change on wildlife. If you are interested in getting involved visit the Nature's Calendar website 

Help! There is a seal on the beach ...
Jane Lancaster is a National Trust Warden and trained Marine Mammal Medic for British Divers Marine Life Rescue in Seahouses. BDMLR Is a voluntary network who respond to call outs for seals and other marine wildlife. Jane said: "We have over 2,000 grey seal pups born on the Farne Islands annually. Pups are often left alone while their mother is looking for food. When you see a live pup on the beach, observe from a distance of 50metres, look for signs of cough or injury keeping dogs away. Please do NOT chase pups back into the sea". If you are unsure if the pup is safe or if the animal is injured please ring the BDMLR hotline 01825 765546 or 07787 433412 (out of hours)
Newton Stargazing

The Newton Trust has arranged for Northumberland Astronomy Society (Nastro) to come to St Mary's church, Newton on Saturday 24th March at 7.30pm. The format will be a brief lecture and then, clear skies permitting, an observing session. The Newton Trust are covering the costs of the event, but it would be very helpful if we could have a rough idea of numbers, so please e-mail or telephone Jane Elphick if you will be attending E: elphick.jane@gmail.com  t: 01665570111. 

Castles to Cowsheds

There is still time to hear John Grundy - local historian and TV presenter - at the launch event for our 60th anniversary celebrations on Friday 23rd March. He is a passionate enthusiast for the history and architecture of the North East, bringing stories vividly to life with his unique and engaging style. His talk - "Castles to Cowsheds: the extraordinary buildings of the Northumberland Coast" - will be perfect for anyone who shares his love for the area. The talk is free so book early to avoid disappointment. 
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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.

The Northumberland Coast AONB is part of the AONB Family - the UK's Landscapes for Life
Northumberland Coast | Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Landscapes for Life.org.uk | Northumberland Coast - One of the AONB Family
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