CPRE Northumberland

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Life on the wild side

Windy Gyle Fell Race, 2014 Windy Gyle Fell Race, 2014 © Andy Russell

For the energetic lover of our coast and countryside, nothing beats a walk, run or swim in beautiful surroundings.

Northumberland is blest with open spaces where people can enjoy the natural world, whether they are challenging their powers of endurance, finding a secluded beach or fresh mountain stream to immerse themselves in, or just drinking in the views as they pass from one vantage point to another.

Fell running, for instance - long associated with the Lake District - is growing in popularity in Northumberland with a regular programme of events. Devotees of wild swimming pick out Linhope Spout, the Coquet near Barrowburn or beaches like Football Cove near Low Newton for a quiet splash. As for walkers, there is no other county in England that offers so many stunning routes where one may walk for hours without bumping into more than a handful of sheep or a few wild goats.

But one should never forget the work done by CPRE and other groups to safeguard our countryside. National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty did not come about by chance but by the concerted efforts of campaigners of the past. Now it is our turn to oppose inappropriate developments - wind turbines that blight the horizons of treasured landscapes, mine works near our best beaches or pastoral valleys, electricity pylons that cut across unspoilt vistas.

If we don't, our wild places will cease to be a vital source of solace and escape where we can challenge ourselves and find the natural man or woman lost within our urban lifestyles.

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