The Cheviot Hills, Northumberland National Park\n© Simon Fraser

Message from the Chief Executive

National Parks are a resource for all of society and Northumberland National Park is one of ten national parks in England and one of England’s finest landscapes. Northumberland National Park Authority and its partners have a vision for the 405 scenic square miles (1049km2) of this protected landscape that we share with the many people who live in, work in and visit the National Park.

Our vision is that Northumberland National Park will be a truly welcoming and distinctive place, easily accessible to all. Its natural and cultural assets will be widely recognised and valued and its living, working landscape will contribute positively to the well-being of the thriving and vibrant communities in and around it.

The Management Plan is guiding the work and decisions of the Authority and its partners from now through to 2014 and beyond. We are rightly ambitious and, over the next few years, we have prioritised the care of the natural, built and cultural qualities of the national park; the maintenance of the thriving communities; and engagement with young people. 

Government’s Uplands Policy Review, published in March 2011, set out the framework for the future of our uplands and their communities. The landscape of the National Park has been shaped by farming and rural business activity over the centuries and the future of our upland communities is vital to its future maintenance. The National Park Authority is working on many initiatives such as rural growth hubs and broadband development, which will help deliver our government's vision.

The Authority is also working with its partners and local communities to help implement the natural environment White Paper: Securing the Value of Nature – which seeks to establish a coherent and resilient ecological network across England. In Northumberland we have established a Local Nature Partnership with the North Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Nidderdale which will address coherent approaches to developing a resilient, ecological network in the North Pennines chain, a considerable part of the North of England. We are also working with our partners to extend this network into Scotland through a new Border Uplands initiative.

Northumberland National Park is an exceptional place and we want everyone who visits the Park to have a truly exceptional experience and be inspired by what they see. Over the next two years we will be working with the Youth Hostel Association and other partners on developing a new landscape centre in the iconic Hadrian's Wall part of the National Park - 'The Sill'.  Our ambition is nothing less than to transform how people understand and interact with the landscape and we see 'The Sill' as being a regional and national resource in this respect.  

The future of our National Parks will be determined by how future generations value, use and care for them.  Over the next few years Northumberland National Park Authority will be continuing to develop a range of means through which young people can visit and enjoy the National Park, by developing opportunities for education, volunteering and pathways to employment.  We want to help local young people make a future for themselves in the National Park and inspire young people from outside the National Park to enjoy, value and care for the area.  

If you share our ambition and would like to work with the National Park Authority and its partners to achieve our aims, please contact us.

Tony Gates
Chief Executive (National Park Officer)

September 2012

© Northumberland National Park Authority, Eastburn, South Park, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 1BS, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1434 605555 Fax: +44 (0)1434 611675 Email: