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‘Red sky in the morning…’

Colin Adsley
By Colin Adsley

A chill dawn, flaring with promise (or is it warning?) of the day ahead, breaks dramatically over the north Northumberland coast.

The AONB Partnership, overseen and funded by Northumberland County Council, aims to protect and enhance the special landscapes, wildlife and amenity features that make this area so cherished by residents and visitors alike. A dedicated team of professionals foster the many strands of activity – historical, environmental, architectural, economic – which maintain the life of the area, while protecting its landscapes and heritage assets. In 2018 the Partnership celebrated sixty years since the area was declared an AONB.

But like other specially protected maritime areas around the UK, our coast is not immune to the threats such attractiveness brings. High numbers of second homes or estates built largely for holiday rental, together with commercial development that impacts on unspoilt landscapes and their tranquillity, exert pressures that are persistent and increasing. Good planning means a balance needs to be struck between the economic, social, environmental and spiritual needs of people. Our North Northumberland Coast is a wonderful asset, but one that demands constant vigilance if the promise of its special qualities, preserved for future generations to enjoy, is to go on being fulfilled.