31 July 2013

Local outdoor business set to benefit from The Sill

A specialist outdoor learning company has announced a partnership with The Sill project team as plans for an outreach programme at the planned flagship Landscape Discovery Centre and Youth Hostel at Once Brewed, get underway.

Located in the heart of Northumberland National Park, Otterburn based Albion Outdoors, which provides biological fieldwork and outdoor learning opportunities for students of all ages, covering syllabus specific topics including ecology and habitat management for biodiversity, is thrilled by the opportunities presented by The Sill project.

Northumberland National Park has a wealth of diverse landscapes and with its extensive fieldwork programme, Albion Outdoors is able to cover a wide range of habitats across the county including mire and moor, woodlands and freshwater habitats. They can provide both single day and residential options and every course they run is honed to suit their client's specific needs.

With The Sill's aim of offering outreach activities throughout the Park, inspiring young people to engage with, experience and learn about landscapes and conservation, Albion Outdoors is ideally placed to help facilitate a number of these activities. Its founder, John Hartshorne, is now working closely with the project team to develop a programme further. 

Outdoor activities

John said: "As a company that operates across Northumberland National Park and beyond, we are in a strong position to be able to help facilitate fieldwork studies working in partnership with The Sill project as the initiative moves forward.

"We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Northumberland National Park Authority for many years and now that The Sill project is developing at such a rapid pace, we're in conversations on a daily basis with the project team to scope out our plans further.

"Outdoor learning is such an important and critical part of every child's development and we cannot underestimate the value of getting pupils out of the classroom and into the countryside to find out more about the world around them and the diversity of nature. We are particularly excited about the opportunities The Sill presents to make this more accessible to students of all ages and backgrounds."

Albion Outdoors has also been involved in the consultation process to help shape the designs of The Sill building, inputting ideas about how the building can be developed to facilitate outdoor opportunities for young people.

Stuart Evans, Project Director at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: "We've been involved in a number of exciting discussions with Albion Outdoors which we hope will help us take things forward. We are delighted they are so enthusiastic about all that The Sill has to offer local businesses in the region.

"The Sill will become a fantastic educational resource for the whole community for generations to come. As the project develops, the team is especially keen to work with local businesses to ensure that what we are able to offer at and beyond the new Landscape Discovery Centre, is a transformational experience for current and future generations.

"It's especially important that opportunities are available for people throughout the whole of the National Park, not just the Hadrian's Wall area, and we are keen to hear from any businesses who think they might have something to offer the project. The Sill aims to provide a step change benefit for the regional economy and we would like people to get in touch and discover how we can work together to make The Sill's vision a reality."

For any local businesses that are interested in finding out more about what The Sill project can offer them, the team is encouraging people to get in touch on thesill@nnpa.org.uk or 01434 605555.

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