Let’s harness a new vision for our village

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Have your say

THE Save Beadnell Association came into being to resist inappropriate coastal development within our village.

However, we consider ourselves to be more than just a single issue protest group. We have a positive vision that could provide the basis for a tremendously exciting and ongoing village project.

Beadnell is a wonderful place but it is a place that does not make the most of itself. In order to realise more of it’s potential we require a blueprint of ideas that can be agreed and progressed over the coming years. There are gifted people in and around the village who could offer an enormous contribution if only we can harness and co-ordinate their knowledge and energy to a common goal.

Beadnell can be so much more than just houses by the sea. We need to enhance our village for the benefit of residents, holidaymakers and the increasing number of visitors from all over the world. In order for us to gain maximum benefit it is necessary to capitalise on what Beadnell has to offer in the most effective ways possible. This has to be geared to the benefit of all who live, visit and earn their livings from the village.

The attractions of Beadnell are many fold. It’s major draw is it’s situation on the breathtaking Northumberland Heritage coastline. For that reason, and that reason alone, people will always come here. However, much of Beadnell’s inherent uniqueness not only lies dormant but is positively hidden under a bushel.

We need to formalise, organise and publicise these aspects so that people can get the maximum benefit from time spent here. Areas to consider and indeed highlight, promote and develop include:

l Fossil beds just north of Beadnell. What marvellous opportunities for children and adults alike to come into contact with evidence of life from over 300million years ago.

l Rock formations and geology on coast. How has the land evolved to its present state?

l Coastal erosion rates, changes and protection employed. Examples all along Beadnell’s coast. Is it a problem? How best to address/accommodate it?

l Fishing past and present, notes, photographs, cobles, displays, bark pots

l Lime processing history

l Harbour history, present and future uses

l Coal mining

l Quarrying

l Smuggling

l Tourism, history and trends.

lChristianity, Ebba’s nook, Beadnell church

lAncient history, burial cists

l Natural history, flora and fauna

l Tourist activities, water sports, beach sports, sea angling, rambling

l Rights of way

l Village greens, seats, tables, viewpoints, wheelchair access.

At present, many visitors to Beadnell aren’t aware of the majority of the above and even if they are, there is no easy or obvious way to tap into them. Heritage Trails, way-marked and punctuated with points of interest and literature and featured in Beadnell’s promotional material would be an obvious course of action here.

Sooner or later the community has to come together and put the present harbour dispute behind us. We need to identify a common cause that we can all share and work towards.

Maybe this past painful year of disagreement and introspection can convince us that the future lies not so much in attempting to build luxury properties right on our coast and thereby destroying much of the potential to make this village even more special, but to appreciate and understand the necessity to incorporate this delightful, historical coastline, into the broader picture of an altogether better and more appealing Beadnell.

The planning decision on coastal building has yet to be made. However, Beadnell Parish Council has recently voted, unanimously, to support an application for Village Green status for the land in question. In addition, the county council has also voted in favour of our rights of way submissions, so that walking across this significant ground can be continued as it has been for generations. The rejection of building proposals and the granting of Village Green status would provide a splendid opportunity to build a platform for a much more imaginative kind of Beadnell development.

A forward-looking enterprise focused on people, environment, history and heritage, whilst at the same time acknowledging and adapting to the changing times in which we live.

This vision is undoubtedly dependent on the preservation of and public access to, Beadnell’s remaining coastline.

It is up to all of us, who love the village for whatever reason, to grasp this nettle of opportunity and to make this unique coastal settlement a source of pride and inspiration to all who are associated with it both now and into the future.

Jim Norris

Save Beadnell Association