Stunning sunrise image welcomes visitors to Northumberland coast

Part of Emma Rothera's winning image, Lindisfarne Castle Sunrise.
Part of Emma Rothera's winning image, Lindisfarne Castle Sunrise.

The image chosen for the front cover of next year’s Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide has been revealed.

Lindisfarne Castle Sunrise, by Holy Island-based photographer Emma Rothera, will grace the front of more than 40,000 visitors guides next summer.

Hannah on Bamburgh Beach, by Gillian McDonald, was the runner-up

Hannah on Bamburgh Beach, by Gillian McDonald, was the runner-up

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership held a competition to find a photograph for the guide and the results were announced at the AONB’s Annual Forum in Alnmouth last week.

Emma said: “My image, Lindisfarne Castle Sunrise, was taken at high tide and I think it conveys the island as I see it through my eyes, a beautiful and truly majestic place, with a unique spirituality and calm,

“The unspoiled beauty of this area of the coast makes it an amazing place to visit and to photograph. The landscape continually changes with the tide so that no view ever looks the same.

“I fell so much in love with Holy Island and its landscape that I relocated in 2009 and am now fortunate to call it home.

“I am absolutely delighted that my photo was chosen as the winner of the 2015 photography competition and will appear on the front cover of the Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide.”

Emma’s image was chosen as the winner by judges Coun John Woodman, Ken Stait. who runs Stait Photo and sponsored the competition, and the Gazette’s very own Jane Coltman.

Emma will also receive a £150 voucher for Stait Photo in Morpeth.

Coun Woodman said: “I love the way that Emma has captured how calm and peaceful the Northumberland coast can be with this photograph.

“Judging was very difficult; the standard of entries was very high and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter.”

Jane said: “I really enjoyed judging the competition. All of the judges had their own views, but we were unanimous when it came to the winning photograph.”

Ken said: “We had quite a few sunrise photos to judge but the simplicity and serenity of this photograph set it apart. It is a beautiful shot.”

The runner-up was Hannah on Bamburgh Beach by Gillian McDonald, of Winlaton. Highly commended were Summer Solstice on the North Side of the Coquet Estuary by David Gerrard, from Amble, and Sunrise at Lindisfarne by John Green, from Blyth.

The Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide, which will be published in March, provides information to visitors about the landscape, history, wildlife and villages of the coast as well lots of things for visitors to do and see during their stay.

The Forum, held in the Hindmarsh Hall, offered an opportunity for attendees to receive updates on the work of the AONB Partnership as well as hear from guest speakers.

This year, there were talks on everything from filming TV shows and an arts project to puffins and an online travel guide.

In terms of looking back on the past year, projects highlighted included Bamburgh Castle’s support for barn owls, the farmland birds project and looking after the little terns at Long Nanny.

But the AONB is about more than just conservation with access and natural environment officer Iain Robson highlighting that the Northumberland Coast Path has around 3,000 through visitors a year, each spending around £80 on food, travel, etc, and bringing in around £240,000 for the local economy annually. This year (2015/16) also marks the 10th anniversary of the AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund and there was a run-down of some of the projects that have been supported, which have a total value of £3million,