Enjoy a staycation and explore what Northumberland has to offer

Holburn Moss. Picture by Duncan Hutt
Holburn Moss. Picture by Duncan Hutt

A wildlife charity is encouraging Northumberland residents to look a little closer to home when planning what to do this summer.

As part of its campaign to get people enjoying nature and avoiding the stresses and delays of foreign travel, Northumberland Wildlife Trust is encouraging everybody to take a staycation this summer and check out all its reserves.

The Trust has more than 60 sites within Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside and better still, they are all free.

There is a diverse range of reserve habitats – coastal, wetland, upland, river, stream and urban – all of which host species unique to those particular areas.

Some reserves are big, some small, some are easily accessible and a number of the sites offer easy-going routes which are accessible to assisted wheelchair users – whatever the case, each site is special in its own way.

The peat bogs of Ford and Holburn Moss, near Belford, contain a wide range of mosses, lichens and insect-eating sundew plants while other reserves such as the upland oak and juniper woods of the Holystone Valley, near Rothbury, are home to a variety of wonderful birds, including pied flycatchers and goshawks.

There’s an urban garden in the grounds of St Nicholas’ Hospital in the middle of Gosforth, Newcastle, and Big Waters on the outskirts of the city has wonderful bird-watching facilities.

From East Chevington and Druridge Pools on the coast, up to Flodden Quarry in the north and across to Close House, South Close Field and Briarwood Banks in the south of Northumberland, nature is accessible to everybody, so get out there and have a look.

For details on what each of the wildlife charity’s reserves has to offer, log on to the website – www.nwt.org.uk/wild life/reserves