Park in the running for prestigious award

Northumberland National Park.

Northumberland National Park.

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An online poll is now open to vote for Northumberland National Park to become the UK’s National Park of the Year.

The park is in the running for the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2015/16 after Countryfile presenter, Ellie Harrison nominated it in response to the magazine’s request for experts to draw up a shortlist of nominees.

The nomination describes the park’s ‘meadows, moorland, peat bogs, ancient woodlands and still-wild coastline’ and highlights its ‘vivid history, solitude, dark skies and superb wildlife such as stoats, black grouse and red squirrels.’

Other national parks nominated in the category are Cairngorms, Pembrokeshire Coast, Norfolk Broads and New Forest.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “The nomination is a fantastic achievement for Northumberland and yet again, recognises the county’s outstanding natural beauty on a national stage amongst other major rural attractions.

“I would urge people to cast their vote for Northumberland National Park. By winning this award, Northumberland’s profile will be boosted further, seeing more visitors in the future and potentially delivering significant benefit to the county’s economy.”

Votes can be cast by visiting the BBC Countryfile Magazine website: www.countryfile.com/awards2015-16

Glen Sanderson, chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are hugely delighted to be nominated for the National Park of the Year Award. I am sure that this national recognition will really help put Northumberland National Park even more on the map and attract lots more visitors, allowing them to enjoy our stunning destination.

“Being nominated is largely down to the fantastic dedicated staff that we have working within the National Park Authority, of whom I am very proud.”

The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2015-16, now in their fifth year, are a celebration of Britain’s countryside and its people from great heritage attractions and favourite holiday destinations, to the best nature reserves and the finest rural pubs.

Voting closes on January 31. The winners will be announced in an online ceremony in March and will appear in the May issue of the magazine. Postal votes are also accepted. Write to: BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, BBC Countryfile Magazine, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN.

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