Northumberland National Park heritage project shortlisted for award

Restoration of an ancient monument by the Heritage at Risk project.
Restoration of an ancient monument by the Heritage at Risk project.

A project which aims to protect the archaeological heritage of the Northumberland National Park is in the running for an award.

Northumberland is one of the most archaeologically diverse National Parks, with more than 400 heritage sites of national importance from pre-historic settlements and medieval houses to Roman remains.

However, more than 55 per cent of these ancient monuments are at risk of falling into decline.

The Heritage at Risk project works with local people and volunteers to restore these valued archaeological sites.

It was announced this week that Heritage at Risk is one of six projects which have been shortlisted for the Campaign for National Parks’ Park Protector Award.

The shortlist has been whittled down from 26 nominations, all of which are ensuring local communities are involved in looking after National Parks. The winning project will be presented with a £2,000 grant in October.

Chris Jones, historic environment officer from the Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted. This is a fantastic recognition of the hard work of the volunteers and staff of Northumberland National Park Authority and Historic England to protect our region’s fascinating archaeological heritage.”

The Heritage at Risk project has surveyed more than 300 ancient monuments, looking for risks such as bracken growth, natural erosion, animal burrowing and in some cases criminal damage such as illegal metal detecting.

They have successfully removed 12 per cent of monuments from the risk register, ensuring they are protected so future generations will be able to revel in the history of Northumberland National Park’s archaeological sites.