Northumbrian centre to educate children about the countryside

Date Posted: 21/02/2015

Located in the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site in Northumberland National Park, the Sill will become the country’s first national landscape discovery centre, helping children learn about and explore the countryside.

The Sill’s activity programme will start in the autumn, and the national landscape discovery building will open its doors to the public in June 2017.

The Sill will direct school groups to the places that may seem out of reach or difficult to find. It aims to revolutionise everyone’s ability to find and experience nature and the great outdoors, inspiring, involving and engaging people in the natural and cultural heritage of the sweeping Northumberland landscape.

It will deliver a comprehensive programme of interpretation, education, research and events that will inspire people to celebrate, value and conserve the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Northumberland landscape.

“The children were fascinated by the beautiful views and wildlife”

Through the Sill, young people will have the opportunity to learn about and explore the countryside, as pupils from Bridgewater School, Scotswood Road in Newcastle’s West End, discovered on a recent visit to Northumberland National Park.

Deputy head at Bridgewater School, Jennifer Stoker, commented: “The staff from Northumberland National Park facilitated a wonderful experience for our children from inner-city Newcastle.

“The children were fascinated by the beautiful views and wildlife and they were in awe of the thousands of years of history. This was a fantastic opportunity for our children and I am sure the sense of awe and wonder will stay with them.

“It has also inspired their creativity and they can't wait to be involved in designing and creating their willow sculptures! The Sill is a fantastic project which will open doors to the beautiful Northumberland National Park and create lasting memories as well as opportunities for children.”

Northumberland National Park is home to some of England’s darkest skies, having recently been awarded International Dark Sky Park status, cleanest rivers, ancient landscapes, rich culture and heritage and breath-taking scenery.

Dedicated National Curriculum linked programmes for school groups.

The education team at the Sill is developing a range of engaging workshops that allow your pupils to discover and explore the heritage and habitats of Northumberland National Park.

Tony Gates, chief executive of the National Park Authority, claims the project will transform how people will learn about and explore our landscapes. He said: “The great outdoors is important to people, it enriches our lives, it makes us feel alive. The Sill will help people from all walks of life explore and learn about Britain’s finest landscapes.

“We are particularly keen to ensure young people benefit, with the Sill as our answer to the iPad in helping grab young peoples’ attention.

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School Travel Organiser's Guide