Northumberlandia

Region: North East & Yorkshire

Northumberlandia is a unique piece of public art set in a 19-hectare community park providing free public access, with four miles of footpaths on and around the landform, along with a café and visitor centre. The park’s centerpiece is ‘The Lady of the North’, a stunning human landform sculpture of a reclining lady, scaling 100 feet in height and spanning a quarter of a mile.

What you can see

The centerpiece of this 19-hectare park is ‘The Lady of the North’, a stunning human landform sculpture of a reclining lady. Made of 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil, she is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long.

Far from being a rigid manicured art form, Northumberlandia is a living part of the countryside that will mature over time and change with the seasons. What you see when you visit is only the start of something that will evolve through generations.

An additional point of interest is that you can see into the Shotton Surface mine from the top of Northumberlandia a particular attraction for fans of big machinery.

Restoration first

Northumberlandia has been built by the Banks Group as part of the restoration of the adjacent Shotton surface coal mine that has provided a unique opportunity to create a spectacular art form, which otherwise would not be constructed, whilst recovering much needed coal for UK energy generation.

This project is known as restoration first – taking an extra piece of land donated by the landowner, the Blagdon Estate, adjacent to the mine and providing a new landscape for the community to enjoy while the mine is still operational. The £3 million cost of the project has been privately funded by the Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate.

Location

Blagdon Lane, Cramlington, Northumberland, NE23 8AU

Site size: 19 hectares

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

The park is open every day from dawn until dusk.
The Visitor Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
For enquiries, please contact 01670 738701 or northumberlandia@northwt.org.uk.

Car Parking

Yes

Toilets

Toilets are available during Visitor Centre opening hours.
(click here to find the nearest public toilets)

Café

Light refreshments available in Visitor Centre.

Entrance cost

Free (although donations are requested for car parking).

Accessibility

The approach from the car park into the public park to view the sculpture at ground level is fully accessible. A flat gravel footpath provides a 1mile route around the landform so that the sculpture can be enjoyed from a wide variety of angles. However when the site is not staffed you may require a Radar key to gain access by wheelchair through the kissing gate at the entrance The landform itself has a range of slopes with different gradients; please use the map of the park to plan the most appropriate route for your ability. Please note that a Radar key can be used to open the kissing gate like a conventional gate enabling most wheelchairs to get into the site. We regret that we cannot leave the site open due to the risk of motorbike access when the site is not staffed.

Footpaths

Yes

Dogs

Yes, but must be on a lead.

Things to do

Walking, wildlife watching, events.

Other nearby attractions

Blagdon Farm shop, Northumberland Cheese Company, Kirkley Hall and Seaton Delaval Hall.

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Northumberlandia Contact


The site contact for our Northumberlandia space is Matthew Fitch

This space is managed in partnership with Northumberland Wildlife Trust

History

The idea for Northumberlandia originated in 2004 when the Blagdon Estate and the Banks Group were applying for permission to dig for coal and fire clay (for bricks) on farmland near the new town of Cramlington.

The Banks Group and Blagdon Estates recognised that whilst recovering much needed coal for UK energy generation and providing local employment, there was also a unique opportunity to create a spectacular art form that would provide a legacy for future generations. So the consortium contacted the internationally renowned artist Charles Jencks to see what could be done – and Northumberlandia was born.

This project is known as restoration first – taking an extra piece of land donated by the landowner, the Blagdon Estate, adjacent to the mine and providing a new landscape for the community to enjoy while the mine is still operational. The £3 million cost of the project has been privately funded by the Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate.

In 2010 work began and 1.5 million tonnes of surplus soil and clay was transported from the mine to a neighbouring part of the estate to form Northumberlandia.

Once the major landscape works were complete the sculpture was blasted with ‘hydro seed’ which started to transform the sculpture into a living landscape. Her face, paths and viewing platforms were constructed with a hard stone surface with every feature surveyed and checked against carefully designed plans.

Rather than become a highly manicured landscape the park and sculpture will be allowed to develop naturally with minimal interference working within the grain of nature. The park will change with the seasons and mature over many generations.

Northumberlandia is managed by the Land Trust in partnership with Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

Development

Northumberlandia has been built by the Banks Group as part of the restoration of the adjacent Shotton surface coal mine that has provided a unique opportunity to create a spectacular art form, which otherwise would not be constructed, whilst recovering much needed coal for UK energy generation.

This project is known as restoration first – taking an extra piece of land donated by the landowner, the Blagdon Estate, adjacent to the mine and providing a new landscape for the community to enjoy while the mine is still operational. The £3 million cost of the project has been privately funded by the Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate.

The Land Trust are taking on the long term management of Northumberlandia to ensure the legacy created by The Banks Group and Blagdon Estates provides lasting benefit to the North East.

In 2015 Northumberland Wildlife Trust agreed a partnership with the Land Trust to take over the visitor centre and cafe, using its expertise to promote the links between wildlife, art and the community.

The visitor centre and cafe, home to an increasing number of locally-sourced tasty treats, has flourished as a popular community venue for people to rest, refresh and enjoy an assorted calendar of events.

Land Trust Contact

To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Ian Kendall or call 07786 748985

Download Northumberlandia Case Study

Awards

This site has received the following awards:

  • Northumberland What’s On Where (WOW) Awards – March 2015

  • Northumberlandia was named the Best Park/Community Area at Northumberland’s What’s on Where Awards 2015.

    The awards scheme, organised by Johnston Press North East newspaper group, is a celebration of Northumberland’s leisure and tourism.

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