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Rothbury and Northumberland National Park open for business as Police hunt for Raoul Moat continues

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Northumberland National Park Authority today clarified that the area around the market town of Rothbury, which is on the edge of Northumberland National Park, continues to be open for business to visitors according to police advice.

Rothbury is located in the Coquet Valley and is surrounded by places popular with visitors such as the Simonside Hills, Lordenshaws and the Cragside Estate (NT). The valley leads into the southern Cheviot Hills which are crossed by footpaths and are popular with walkers.  The Coquet Valley and the Cheviots are open hill country, dotted with farms, with a mixture of heather moorland and grazing land.

Northumberland National Park covers over 400 square miles from Hadrians Wall World Heritage Site to the border with Scotland. It is typical, tranquil rolling English countryside just a few miles inland of  the unspoilt sandy beaches of countys coastline.  The Coquet is one of six main river valleys in the National Park, four of which are sources of the countrys purest water.

The police currently advise that tourist accommodation, shops and visitor services in and around the town are open for business as usual.  The National Park Authority says that people with concerns about visiting this part of the countryside to walk and holiday should keep abreast of Northumbria Polices announcements in the latest media news, or contact the police direct.

Northumberland National Park cares for the landscape and cultural heritage of 405 square miles (105,000 hectares) – over a fifth of Northumberland from Hadrians Wall to the Scottish border. A regional treasure for the North East, some six million people are within an hours drive of our wide open and sparsely populated upland spaces.

With the help of our dedicated volunteers we look after more than 1100 kilometres of Rights of Way – including two national trails and a number of long distance walking, cycling and horse riding trails, and the central, most visited section of Hadrians Wall World Heritage Site.  32 Sites of Special Scientific Interest covering over 10,000 hectares, one Ramsar Site; three National Nature Reserves and 6 Special Areas of Conservation fall within the boundary of the National Park.

According to the Environment Agency, only five of England and Waless 6,114 rivers and their tributaries have reached the highest ranking for overall quality and purity, and four of these are in Northumberland National Park – The Ridlees Burn, Barrow Burn Catchment, River Till Catchment and Linhope Burn.

Our work includes protecting the landscape from inappropriate development and maintaining the infrastructure that helps people to have access to the countryside. We conserve natural and historical features that are tourist assets to the local and regional economy; support the local community and businesses with advice, expertise and grant funding, and help to promote the area to visitors.  In all these endeavours we put the interests of the community first.

Northumberland National Park is committed to sustainable living and working and has taken a strong position on climate change. As part of our positive action we have invested with partners in a large programme to restore the Border Mires habitats that are important for carbon storage and flood alleviation. We are working with farmers and landowners to maintain healthy soils, landscapes and habitats; supporting sustainable enterprises and transport, promoting the Green Tourism Business Scheme in our region and encouraging domestic and community-scale renewable energy. We are also firmly committed to reducing our own carbon footprint by 2012. To this end we have developed an ethical procurement policy and are adapting our buildings and practices to be increasingly sustainable.

Northumberland National Park Visitor Centres are situated at Once Brewed on Hadrians Wall (Gold Award Green Tourism Business 2008; Enjoy England Gold Tourism National Award 2007), at The Coquetdale Centre in Rothbury (Gold Award for Green Tourism Business 2009; Best TiC in North East England for Excellence Awards 2007) and at Ingram in the Breamish Valley, Cheviots (Gold Award Green Tourism Business Scheme 2009 / Best Visitor Experience 2006).

Northumberland National Park celebrated its 50th year of designation in 2006. It was officially designated as the most tranquil place in the country in the CPREs Tranquillity Mapping Report.

Northumberland National Park Authority is committed to ensuring equality and diversity for all who live, work in and visit the National Park. In everything we do, we aim to remove unfairness and promote equality of opportunity, equal access for all and good relations between people from all backgrounds.

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