Caring for Our Environment

Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) we are more than aware of our impact on the natural environment. We have a duty to protect the very source of our learning and enjoyment and all participants are encouraged to follow the country code and show respect for those that live and work here. Committed to our educational aims, we believe strongly that our groups and visitors should take away with them an enhanced awareness of their environment, their impact upon it, and how they can strive to protect it. Aware that our very presence can cause erosion to the sites we visit, we ask our participants to take care where they tread, this helps us to protect footpaths, river banks and areas where rare fauna and flora exist.

Fauna and Flora

Photo of Northern Marsh Orchid We are proud to have discovered rare orchids in the centre grounds and in the spring the roadside verges are alive with Early Purple Orchids and Wild Pansies.

The lucky birdwatcher may spot Peregrine Falcons or even a Hen Harrier. These birds are protected at the nearby RSPB reserve of Geltsdale. Red Squirrels are not an uncommon sight locally, often to be seen scurrying amongst the woodland on the banks of the River South Tyne, they are under threat of domination by their American cousins, the Grey Squirrel. Recently, evidence has been found of the presence of Otters, whose footprints have been seen on the muddy banks of the river. Close to the sources of the rivers, South Tyne, Wear and Tees is the remote research centre of Moor House It is England's highest and largest terrestrial National Nature Reserve (NNR) and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and a European Special Protection Area. These uplands are well known for their sub-arctic climate, and here fragile Spring Gentians can be found.