Tag Archives: Northumberland

Unique Holy Island hut torched in suspected arson attack

An organic hut at Holy Island, Northumberland, has been damaged by fire in what is thought to have been a deliberate attack.

The fire damaged hut at Holy Island

 

Arsonists are believed to be behind a blaze that almost destroyed a unique attraction at Holy Island.

Seal Hut is a wood and stone structure positioned on a remote sand dune, which was created by visitors with items they had collected on the beach.

It also housed a book in which people could write their thoughts.

But the unusual hut’s roof was completely destroyed by a fire that broke out, on Wednesday.

And the blaze is believed to have been started deliberately.  Northumbria Police have  arrested and questioned a 49-year old man in connection with the fire.

News of the suspected arson has saddened regular visitors to the hut, but is  hoped it can be re-built.

Patrick Norris, from Belford, who runs walking tours in the area : “It is sad. My feeling is if the surrounding walls which are just built up from stone off the beach are still there, people will start to put the roof back on again.

Lindisfarne Castle
Lindisfarne Castle

 

In a couple of years time, it will once again become a place where you can sit inside and have your sandwiches. The whole organic process will start again.

At just after 3pm on Wednesday, Humber Coastguard was notified of black smoke on the dunes by tourists and dispatched its island team.

Local coastguards searched the area and discovered the hut on fire.

They returned to the village where they met a Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service crew which had been dispatched from Berwick.

The coastguards transported the crew in their 4×4 vehicle to the hut, where the fire was put out after around 20 minutes having damaged the structure and destroyed its roof.

Discovered inside the hut were tyres, suggesting the fire had been started deliberately.

Seal Hut is is on the sand dune close to Caves Haven and Sandham Bay, roughly three miles from Holy Island village.

It is believed it first appeared around ten years ago although the reasons for its creation and who instigated it are a mystery.

The structure is said to be popular with tourists and walking groups, who take shelter from the elements inside, or use it as a palce to eat lunch and watch seals and other wildlife through its small window.

A book was left inside in which visitors would record their thoughts while it also contained visitor information and items people had left on the beach.

The hut is said to have grown over the years as people have added to it using driftwood washed up on the beach.

At one point, Natural England – which is responsible for the dunes on which the structure sits – dismantled the Seal Hut amid apparent health and safety concerns.

But it was soon built back up again.


Source – Newcastle Journal,  23 Aug 2014

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North East parks are our ‘Natural Health Service’

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It’s called the Natural Health Service – and sums up the therapeutic benefits flowing from green spaces and contact with wildlife.

Nature is good for us. This is something that we intuitively know, and for which there is mounting evidence,” says Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive Mike Pratt.

Stroll through a nature reserve, or just watch wildlife from your window – all contribute to our physical, mental and emotional well being.”

For many urban dwellers, it is parks which offer a link to the natural world.

Many people talk about “the other NHS” – the alternative and preventative health benefits that nature provided for free,” says Mike.

After all, we are animals and are intrinsically linked to the ecosystem and life support provided through the surrounding environment.

“So it’s no surprise that we feel better when we interact with wildlife, and enjoy…

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Caribbean bird turns up on Farne Islands

 
The Bridled Tern on the Farne Islands

A Caribbean visitor has seen birders flock to islands off the Northumberland coast.

The Bridled Tern, which has arrived on the Farne Islands, is thought to be the same bird which paid a visit last July, when it stayed for two weeks and attracted around 800 bird watchers.

Farne Islands head warden David Steel said: “It caused birders from as far away as Kent and the South West to jump into cars, drive overnight and admire this beauty from the Caribbean. It was the first bridled tern which was accessible to bird watchers in the UK since 1991, and only the 24th recorded for Britain.”

But last week, the bird was spotted on Fair Isle off the Shetlands by ex-Farne Island wardens before it headed south to Northumberland.

I suspect it may now be with us for some time yet,” said Mr Steel, who believes that the bird may have followed other migrating terns to the UK.

“It is a long way from home, but it seems to be very happy on the Farne Islands, where it has lots of food, and feels safe with all the other terns.

“It is also displaying to the sandwich terns and we may have some hybrid chicks. I think we will have a lot of people coming to see this bird.”

Inner Farne is open daily from 1.30pm to 5pm.

The Bridled Tern on the Farne Islands

 

 Meanwhile, another rare visitor has turned up at Hauxley nature reserve near Amble, in Northumberland.The Black-Winged Pratincole was spotted by birdwatchers at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust site behind Druridge Bay.

The bird, the size of thrush, comes from Turkey and parts of Asia.

There have been only 39 previous records of the bird in Britain, and it is the first sighting of the species in the North East.

Alan Tilmouth, of the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club, said: “It may just have decided to go in a different direction and been caught in a weather system.

“It is a very unusual sighting for Northumberland.”

Source –  Newcastle Journal, 25 June 2014

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Oi, Milliband – Where’s My Free Owl ?

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Seems a Surrealist managed to hack into Labour’s  press team’s Twitter account yesterday, giving the impression that  Ed Miliband had come up with his most revolutionary policy so far.

Everybody should have his own owl,’ said the tweet that quickly took flight on social media.

One tweeter said: ‘We had  hoped our compulsory owl  guarantee would be a head  turning policy, but sadly it’s no longer going to take flight. #tweettwoo’.

Another, Lucy Vine, said: ‘You know… I think a free owl would actually genuinely make me vote Labour.’

More serious-minded observers pointed out that it would be a  policy unlikely to find support at the Treasury, as baby barn owls cost around £80 each.

To provide one for all 63million people in the country would  cost £5billion a year, or around 5 per cent of the entire budget for the NHS.

But if you think…

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FRANKENSTEIN SOUND LAB – Starlight Castle

Starlight Castle, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland

From the album Spirit Of Place  (2014).  Music generated from photographs of sites in North East England (ancient and modern), using the free i2sm programme (google it !) and mixed with ambient sound recorded  at the sites, to create a representation of the spirit of the place.

See more at the Spirit Of Place website – http://spiritofplace.weebly.com

Frankenstein Sound Lab http://maliceinsunderland.weebly.com/

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Source Of North Tyne River Marked

 

A  six-metre high sandstone monolith and base stone, lowered into place by RAF helicoptor,  now  mark the source of the North Tyne , at Deadwater Farm, north of Kielder village, Northumberland.

The stone  was provided by Robert Charlton of Border Stone Quarries in Haltwhistle, and the structural design work was carried out by Cundalls in Gosforth, Newcastle.

The stone was carved with inscriptions about the river source  by Gilbert Ward, of Fourstones village in Northumberland.

The stone column also pinpoints the start – or finish – of a planned national trail dedicated to those who are affected either directly or indirectly by cancer.

More details at – http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=886#p886

 

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Starlight Castle, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland

 

Starlight Castle is a folly – or rather, the ruins of a folly, situated on the slopes of the north side of Holywell Dene, near Seaton Sluice in Northumberland and built in 1750.

Only and arch and a couple of bits of wall remain, but once it looked like this…

Legend has it that it was built overnight in order to win a wager

More photos & information here – http://spiritofplace.weebly.com/starlight-castle.html

 

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