The Sill Christmas Fair

Yesterday’s Christmas Fair at The Sill was a great success, with beautiful weather in the morning (sunny and frosty), lots of visitors, choirs, snowy owl, lots of great products on sale and a very happy and enthusiastic atmosphere. Many thanks to the organisers!

The Sill is the UK’s National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed in the Northumberland National Park. The building is the result of an innovative partnership between Northumberland National Park and YHA England and Wales. Named after the nearby Great Whin Sill, the centre is the result of a partnership between Northumberland National Park, Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales) and the Heritage Lottery Fund, which supported the development with a £7.8m grant.

This image shows the River Coquet from the bridge at Hepple, and is available to buy as Christmas card from the website.

New Hexham Christmas cards

There are now two new Christmas cards of Hexham and Hexham Abbey, which have just been produced as single cards –  160x160mm square – and they look absolutely gorgeous. The printers (Continuous Design Ltd) have done a beautiful job, and the cards are now available to order from this website or you can buy at the Card Shop in the Market Place, Hexham, Northumberland.

Autumn light

After a long a slow build up, the autumn colours are at last looking pretty good, even though it is so late in the year and the leaf fall is well advanced. Autumn in Northumberland is a week or two late this year but the last few days have seen some cold nights and bright sunny days and this has enhanced the colours. So there are some new photos in the bag for future Seasons of Northumberland calendars. It’s always good to get out of my office and to spend some time in nature, here in the North Tyne valley in Northumberland National Park.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is the largest area of protected night sky in Europe, covering 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres). The area was awarded gold status designation in 2013 by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, the world authority on light pollution. This status means that controls are now  in place to prevent light pollution and to protect the night sky. This is a new Christmas card taken in the park (in fact it’s a view up the track from my house) and we have recently had some beautiful clear and starry nights and also aurora borealis or Northern Lights.

The Sill Christmas Fair

The Sill is the UK’s National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed in the Northumberland National Park. The building is the result of an innovative partnership between Northumberland National Park and YHA England and Wales. Named after the nearby Great Whin Sill, the centre is the result of a partnership between Northumberland National Park, Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales) and the Heritage Lottery Fund, which supported the development with a £7.8m grant.

The first Christmas Fair will take place on 19 November, and I will be part of the  showcase of local produce and handmade crafts, with my Northumberland Winter Christmas cards, Seasons of Northumberland calendar, greeting cards and prints. A great way to pick out some handcrafted Christmas presents made in the North East. We’ll have entertainment for all the family and fantastic festive food in the Sill cafe.

 

The bees

At last we have a politician (Michael Gove) showing some intelligent leadership and awareness about environmental issues, backing a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe. It has taken a long time but it is very encouraging that politicians are waking up to the scientific evidence and acting responsibly. Long may it continue! Honeybees play a vitally important role in the pollination of countless plants across the world, including one third of the food crops which we depend on.

This image is available as a greeting card in the Cherish the Earth series on this website, and 50% of the profits will be donated to environmental projects supported by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the 900 year old Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa is well known for his commitment to environmental activity, as well as being a world spiritual leader and guide to millions of Buddhists around the world.