CPRE Northumberland

Skip to navigation

National Parks 80 years on

On Saturday, 30 July, the Campaign for National Parks held walks in each of the National Parks in England and Wales.

This year is the 80th anniversary of a highly significant date. 1936 was the year CPRE, together with the Ramblers, the Youth Hostels Association and other voluntary bodies, set up the Standing Committee on National Parks to lobby parliament in support of their creation. Other countries had them, they argued, why not Britain?

The Second World War put things on hold for some years, but in 1949 the Act of Parliament was eventually passed that brought National Parks into being. Over the next few years the first 10 National Parks were set up, including ours in Northumberland. (This year is our 60th anniversary, another reason to celebrate).

The Standing Committee of 1936 is now the Campaign for National Parks and continues to press for the highest levels of protection for these glorious stretches of countryside which are so highly valued by millions in our country. It was fitting, therefore, that the Campaign arranged for professional guides to lead walks in each of the National Parks through some of the very best unspoilt scenery in this, or indeed any country.

          IMG 0649

          Land of far horizons                                                                                       Photo: Patrick Wild 

The walk in Northumberland began at Ingram and took a circular tour out of the valley and up to the summits of Cochrane Pike and Wether Hill. Our guide, Patrick Norris, was a fount of knowledge on the numerous historic features, dating back to the Bronze Age, which we encountered on the way. The ages of the party spanned 75 years, but regular stops to observe these relics ensured that even the oldest walkers could comfortably manage the hill climbs. 

Three hours of pleasant exercise, with stunning views at every step, brought us back to Ingram where the cafe and exhibition room had stayed open to serve us. For a family walk in a location where you can immerse yourself in a world of gentle, green hills you could hardly do better.

Our National Parks were set up to provide exactly this kind of opportunity, free to all, in living and thriving landscapes protected from obtrusive commercialism. CPRE passionately supports the view that National Parks fulfil their important function in our lives simply by being there. They do not need to justify their existence economically. Recreation for bodies and uplift for the spirits have a value that cannot be calculated in monetary terms.

Northumberland is blest by a superb National Park complemented by two equally stunning Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the north Pennines and the north Northumberland coast. They are yours to enjoy and return to time and again in a lifetime relationship. Make the most of them.

external website Northumberland National Park

join us

Back to top