Northumberland beauty spot recognised in awards

Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands.
Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands.

A north Northumberland beauty spot, which featured on a television series starring Robson Green, has been voted as one of Britain’s best nature locations.

The Farne Islands has taken third place in the Favourite Nature Reserve category of the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2013-14.

Brownsea Island, in Dorset, was the winner, while Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest took second spot.

The Farnes boast possibly the most exciting seabird colony in England with unrivalled views of 23 species, including around 37,000 pairs of puffin. It’s also home to a large grey seal colony, with more than 1,000 pups born every autumn.

Historically, the islands have strong links with Celtic Christianity and St Cuthbert, who lived here in the 7th century. There’s also a medieval pele tower and Victorian lighthouse, plus a visitor centre and easy access boardwalk.

Robson Green visited the Farne Islands during his ITV television series, Tales from Northumberland.

Now in its third year, the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards are a celebration of the countryside and its people, from great heritage attractions and countryside writers, to the best conservation projects and the finest market towns.

The 2013-14 awards were launched in the August 2013 issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine and featured 10 categories. BBC Countryfile Magazine asked experts in each field to draw up shortlists of candidates in each category. The awards were then voted for by readers of the magazine.


Best market town: Winner, Whitby; Runner-up, Cornwall; Third, Dorset.

Best heritage site: Winner, The Lost Gardens of Heligan; Runner-up, Blenheim Palace; Third, Hadrian’s Wall.

Garden of the Year: Winner, RHS Wisley, Surrey; Runner-up, Old English Garden, Battersea Park, London; Third, Bodnant Garden, Gwynedd.

Reader photo: Winner, Black Beauty by Jim George; Runner-up, Shimmering Sands by Chris Mole; Third, Sunset at Hay Bluff by Liz Fletcher.

Nature reserve: Winner, Brownsea Island; Runner-up, Sherwood Forest; Third, Farne Islands.

Rural presenter of the Year: Winner, Matt Baker; Runner-up, Julia Bradbury; Third, Chris Packham.

Outdoor brand of the Year: Winner, Regatta; Runner-up, Berghaus; Third, Craghoppers.

Conservation Project of the Year: Winner, Scottish Beaver Trial; Runner-up, Basking Shark Tagging Project; Third, Campaign against Neonicotinoids.

Favourite holiday destination: Winner, Cornwall; Runner-up, Lake District; Third, Highlands.

Best country writer: Winner, Simon Armitage for Walking Home; Runner-up, Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways; Third, Dan Keiran’s The Idle Traveller.