Essential work is undertaken at historic venue

Cragside. Picture by Tony Bartholomew.
Cragside. Picture by Tony Bartholomew.

Essential maintenance has been carried out at a popular visitor attraction, which will reopen for the February school half-term.

Over the winter, a team of dedicated staff and volunteers have continued to look after the vast Cragside estate, at Rothbury, allowing for important work and repairs to take place.

Starting in the house, a team of expert conservation assistants has spent the last three months checking, recording and cleaning the entire collection.

This is a mammoth task, with a museum-quality collection compromising 17,500 individual objects and 6,000 books.

Outside, a new path has been installed at Debdon Valley, to prevent land erosion by the burn that had been caused on the previous route.

The new path still takes in the views of the house and Iron Bridge, but now follows Lord Armstrong’s original walking route through the Pinetum.

Ranger Martin Paminter said: “We’ve diverted the path from an old route that had lots of steps and quite a difficult surface in places to a brand new path with no steps, which will make it easier to visitors to walk on.

“From a maintenance point of view, the new path is a big improvement as we were having problems with the bridge that we’ve now been able to remove.”

The new season kicks off on Saturday and Cragside will be open every day during the half-term with a range of family-friendly activities.

For details about opening times, prices and events, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside or call 01669 620333.