Northumberland National Park celebrates milestone anniversary

Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park has launched an exciting new interactive exhibition at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, to celebrate 70 years since the 1949 Act of Parliament that established the family of UK National Parks.

Curated in-house by the Park’s team of experts, the temporary exhibit Yours Since 1949 explores why National Parks were created, the important work they do now, and also gathers the public’s thoughts on their future.

Designed to make the work of the National Park accessible to all, the exhibition features interactive elements such as digital story maps, a 3D holographic archive of archaeological artefacts, and a thrilling virtual reality flying experience where visitors can experience Northumberland National Park from a bird’s eye view.

“We’re incredibly proud of what we have created with the Yours Since 1949 exhibit,” said Sarah Burn, Head of Activities and Exhibitions at Northumberland National Park Authority.

“We wanted to create something which would tell the story of our National Park and celebrate its history, but that would also explore how people will play a part in the Park’s future. It is a truly accessible exhibition, utilising innovative digital technologies in order to bring our heritage to life for visitors to The Sill.”

One of 15 National Parks across the country, Northumberland National Park has been hailed as the ‘last great wilderness’ with its 405 square mile expanse boasting some of the cleanest rivers in England, some of Europe’s darkest starry night skies, and a wide variety of rare flora and fauna. There thousands of years of history and culture to be explored, and the rolling landscape is also home to some of the county’s ancient monuments, including Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive at Northumberland National Park Authority said, “We’r delighted to be working with Campaign for National Parks to celebrate the 70th anniversary with this very special exhibition in a truly world-class location at The Sill.

“National Park status is the highest form of landscape protection in the UK and our remit as custodians encompasses all aspects of conversation and protection of our open spaces and wildlife, and areas of special scientific and historical interest.

“Our National Parks are important to supporting people’s health and well-being and contributing to the local and rural economy. In Northumberland alone, the National Park helped to attract more than 1.4 million visitors to the region in 2018, successfully contributing over £140 million to the local economy.

“As well as looking back at everything which has already been achieved, the exhibition looks to the future of National Parks and encourages visitors to have their say in how we should shape our focus to create a future-proof landscape for generations to enjoy.”

Yours Since 1949 is now open to the public and will be on display at The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre until October 2019.