County’s best gather before the big lady

HRH Princess Anne visiting Northumberlandia in Cramlington to officially open the artwork.  She is with Viscount Ridley and the artist Charles Jenks.
HRH Princess Anne visiting Northumberlandia in Cramlington to officially open the artwork. She is with Viscount Ridley and the artist Charles Jenks.

AN event to showcase the best of Northumberland will be held at its newest tourist attraction.

Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human landform, will mark the start of its full opening hours with a community event on Saturday.

The landform and surrounding 47-acre public park near Blagdon was created by artist Charles Jencks with a £3million investment by the Blagdon Estate and mining company the Banks Group.

It was officially opened by The Princess Royal last month and has been open on selected days since, but from next week it will be open full-time.

To celebrate, the event on Saturday will offer food and drink, music, dancing and family activities, as well as presentations by some of the county’s other attractions, such as Bamburgh Castle, Kirkley Hall Zoo and Woodhorn Museum.

Chief Executive of The Land Trust, which manages the site, Euan Hall said: “One of the main aims of the Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate when creating the sculpture was for her to act as a tourism gateway to Northumberland.

“We are using this first event as an opportunity to showcase the best of Northumberland and are delighted that so many of the county’s excellent attractions have taken up our offer and will be at the event to show people what a great place this is.”

The park and landform was created using 1.5million tonnes of stone, clay and soil from Banks’ nearby Shotton Surface Mine and took two-and-half years to construct. It aims to provide an amenity for the community, as well as an attraction for visitors.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Azure Charitable Enterprises will also be involved in its management.

Mr Hall added: “This event will be the first of many to be held on this stunningly unique venue.

“Alongside the Wildlife Trust, we will start to put together a programme of events to make the most of this special park for everyone.

“As such, we’re open to ideas from any local businesses, organisations or people who think Northumberlandia can benefit them.”

The community day starts at 11am.

Afterwards, Northumberlandia will be open daily, from dawn to dusk, with the car park open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9.30am to 4pm.

For more information, visit www.northumberlandia.com