Visitor centre at Northumberlandia reopens following successful trial period
Following a successful trial period, the visitor centre at Northumberlandia is now fully open again.
Along with thousands of other venues across the UK, the visitor centre and café on Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s popular site on Blagdon Lane in Cramlington had been closed since March 15.
But now, thanks to a small team of staff and emergency funding from the National Lottery Emergency Fund, the Trust has been able to put a number of safety measures in place in order to open the café as a takeaway service.
These safety measures include hand sanitising stations, one-way access, contactless payments and employing an additional cleaner to help keep all public areas and toilets clean.
The café will be open between 10am and 4pm, each week, from Thursday to Sunday, with the takeaway menu remaining in place until government guidelines say it is safe to go back to its usual full service.
Although there won’t be any activities on site for the near future the Trust has a programme of socially distanced summer events in its calendar, including a celebration for World Conservation Day on July 28.
Clare Darcy, Northumberlandia’s events and site officer, said: ‘It’s a case of small steps to start off with.
“Nobody has ever worked in such circumstances before and although its’s been a challenge, we are happy that we have been able to reopen the café, even with a limited menu. But don’t worry, the ice cream freezer is well stocked ready for everybody coming back.”
The wildlife charity is reiterating its call for people to take their litter home and, to re-visit at a quieter time if they turn up and find the car park is already full.
The idea for Northumberlandia, a stunning human landform sculpture of a reclining lady, originated in 2004 when the Blagdon Estate and the Banks Group were applying for permission to dig for coal and fire clay (for bricks) nearby. They saw a unique opportunity to create a spectacular art form that would provide a legacy for future generations. The project began in 2010.