More for visitors at Lady of the North

Left to right, Daniel Straughan, general manager at contractors WL Straughan & Son Ltd; Matthew Fitch, Northumberland Wildlife Trust; Jeannie Kielty, The Banks Group; and Ian Kendall, The Land Trust.
Left to right, Daniel Straughan, general manager at contractors WL Straughan & Son Ltd; Matthew Fitch, Northumberland Wildlife Trust; Jeannie Kielty, The Banks Group; and Ian Kendall, The Land Trust.

New visitor facilities are being installed at Northumberlandia Country Park.

The 46-acre site is benefiting from a £10,000 grant from the Banks Community Fund, which is providing car park improvements and new seating around the entrance.

The free park, managed by the Land Trust and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, attracts nearly 90,000 visitors a year.

Its centrepiece is Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North – a human landform sculpture of a reclining woman, designed by internationally-renowned artist Charles Jencks.

Made of 1.5million tonnes of rock, clay and soil, she is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long.

Northumberlandia’s development and construction was funded by the Banks Group and Blagdon Estate during the development of Shotton surface mine.

Matthew Fitch, Northumberland Wildlife Trust site manager, said: “This grant has given us an excellent opportunity to improve the main entrance and car parking facilities at Northumberlandia.

“The works will provide a more clearly-defined, enhanced entrance for visitors and additional car parking space for busy days and events.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from the Banks Community Fund in making these improvements possible.”

Ian Kendall, North East estates manager with The Land Trust, added: “We know people feel happier and healthier when they are outdoors.

“These improvements are part of a wider plan to expand visitor opportunities at Northumberlandia, creating a fantastic free green space for all the community to enjoy.”

Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “We’re extremely proud of how quickly Northumberlandia has become an integral part of the North East’s tourism infrastructure, and of how our work at the Shotton surface mine has enabled the delivery of a project that will be enjoyed by both local residents and visitors to the region for decades to come.

“These latest improvements to the site will hopefully encourage even more people to visit Northumberlandia and we’re very pleased to be continuing our support for this fantastic landmark’s development.”

For more information about visiting or volunteering at Northumberlandia Country Park, visit the Land Trust at www.thelandtrust.org.uk