|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL
- A bit from me...
- Our next Vicar of Holy Island
- Holy Island CofE first school
- On behalf of HM Coastguard
- Reflections on remembrance
- Crossman Hall
- Lindisfarne Castle
- "Snow-Flake" birds brighten up a Winter's day
- Natural England - Monthly Update
- Northumberland Coast AONB - Risk Register launched
- Northumberland Coast AONB - Beach Litter
- From the Community of Aidan and Hilda
- From our United Reformed Church Minister
- St Mary's notices
|A BIT FROM ME
Welcome to the last issue of our 2018
newsletter! And we remind established readers that we give our
writers a break during both the Christmas and the Summer holiday
periods. All being well (!) your next copy of 'Sitezine' should be
coming to you at the beginning of February 2019...
The return of the Northumberland County
Council work party to maintain the causeway trenches has not
happened. The ebbing tide frequently litters both lanes of the road
with very hard sand ruts and as well as being filled with sea water,
make for a bumpy ride. The severity of this salt water puddling
worsens as the strength of the wind increases. And salt water is a
threat to the longevity of the underside of any vehicle.
Accommodation Pages: Our 2019 advertising
period begins on 1st January. We will try to keep any disruption
minimal if customer revisions are necessary.
2019 Event Calendar: We await notifications
on local events and will append as relevant information becomes
Tide Table (crossing times): thank you to
James and David at English Heritage for providing updates to the
Lindisfarne Priory 2018 opening times. We hope that these will
continue during 2019.
you to all our regular writers for your consistently hard work
throughout the year in helping our readers 'Stay in Touch' with our
historic island And, so far as this month's additional contents
We are grateful to Alex at Coventry
Cathedral for her resume of our new vicar. We are very much
looking forward welcoming our new Vicar at the Parish Church on
January 27th at 2.00 p.m..
We are delighted to welcome an
introductory article from Heather, our new teacher at
Holy Island CofE First School.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter, wish you
all a wonderful Christmas and New Year and look forward to getting
in touch again in February 2019.
PS: Our thoughts and wishes are
with our relatives and friends living away from their island
home this Christmas - particularly those serving throughout the
world in the protection of this great nation.
Note: I am grateful to whosoever supplied the above
cartoon which I am sure will be appreciated by many ladies -
including my wife!
|OUR NEXT VICAR OF HOLY ISLAND
|Rev. Canon Dr. Sarah
Rev. Canon Dr. Sarah Hills
Rev. Canon Dr. Sarah Hills recently announced
to her team at Coventry Cathedral that she has been called to the
post of Vicar of Holy Island; 'I am happy and excited to be
following what has been a very strong calling to Lindisfarne. I hope
I can bring many of the experiences and gifts that being in Coventry
has given me. Although I am really sad to be leaving my team, this
wonderful cathedral and this reconciliation ministry, I know that
I'm leaving it in good hands and am thrilled to be moving to
Holy island in the New Year".
Canon Sarah was born in South Africa,
brought up in Northern Ireland, and lived in Sheffield since the mid
1980's. She qualified in medicine and worked as a psychiatrist,
specialising in psychotherapy. She was ordained in 2007, and before
moving to Coventry in 2014, held the post of the Bishop of
Sheffield's Adviser in Pastoral Care and Reconciliation. As Canon
for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral, Sarah focused on building
local, national and international networks and relationships;
training new and existing reconcilers; developing a theology of
reconciliation; and engaging in direct intervention both within the
UK and internationally. Based at St Michael's House, Sarah used the
reconciliation story of Coventry and her own experiences of
reconciliation from across the globe to bring people together in
learning, prayer and dialogue.
She attained her PhD in the theology of
reconciliation at Durham University, and is a Visiting Fellow of St
John's College, Durham. Sarah is also an Honorary Canon of Inverness
Cathedral. She is married to Richard, a GP, and they have two
teenage sons, Matt and Jack, and a Labrador, Roxy. Her other
passions include music, hiking and sailing, on the sailing boat
ED: Thank you to Alex
at Coventry Cathedral for sending this very
|HOLY ISLAND C of E FIRST
Thank you for the warm welcome and good
wishes I have received since taking up the post as teacher here on
Holy Island. It's a joy to be here and to be part of the re-opening
of our school on the island. I would like to welcome Mrs Karen Ward
who has joined us as caretaker and teaching assistant. As you
may know, we work in partnership with Lowick C of E First School and
when the tide allows, our children join their friends in Lowick as
we 'journey together' with our learning.
We've certainly had a busy Autumn term.
September saw us welcoming the archaeologists from Dig Nation to our
school. We were invited to join the team at the dig - the children
were very excited to be up so close to 'the action' and I don't
think they'll ever forget seeing an Anglo-Saxon skeleton just a
metre away from them! The education team took lots of time to answer
the children's questions and to listen to their ideas about what
might have happened all those years ago. The dig brought our science
topic of rocks, soils and fossils to life and deepened the learning
for our children. The visit was a rich experience giving a great
focus for writing as Callum, Year 2, shows.
On Friday we went to Holy Island to see the
archaeologists digging. Lucy the archaeologist told us about the
Priory. The excavation was dusty. We went in groups to see a
skeleton. It was dirty but the teeth were still white. It was hard
for the archaeologists because it was so dusty. They were using
trowels and brushes. Lucy told us it was an infirmary. We played on
the field before the bus came.
Were you around the village on Thursday 11th
October? If you were you may have seen a fierce and raucous horde of
Vikings raiding Lindisfarne Priory! As a grand finale to our Viking
topic, the children dressed as Vikings and designed and made weapons
and brooches; they certainly looked the part. Thank you to the
Heritage Centre and to Lindisfarne Priory who made us very welcome.
The children had spent time researching the history and geography of
the Viking raid in AD792 and being on the island in costume and
re-enacting the raid greatly extended their understanding of events.
You might like to read about it in a report from 'The Dane Times' by
Amelie, Year 3.
Lowick and Holy Island School invaded Holy
Island and terrified the locals because they were dressed as
horrible Vikings. They shouted and screamed as they ran up the beach
to the Priory. They had shields, swords and axes and one even had a
double-sided spear. An eyewitness, Mrs. Brown, trembled as she
told us "They scared the children! I hate Vikings!"
November saw us busy making poppies for the
100 years remembrance display in St Mary's. We recycled plastic
bottles (thank you for your donations) and made beautiful poppies
which look magnificent. This artwork was a trigger to our learning
about remembrance and the children discovered why the poppy is
significant. The children wrote poems, messages and shared their
thoughts showing a deep respect for the brave service men, women and
animals. The Holy Island children visited the memorial on the Heugh
along with their families and Sam Quilty, and laid handmade poppies
As the festive season approaches, we are busy
preparing for our Christmas Performances which will take place in
Lowick on Friday 14th and Monday 17th December. I'm sure the
children will be ready for a well-earned break over Christmas and
New Year! May we send our warmest wishes to you
|ON BEHALF OF HM COASTGUARD
On the 11th of November 2018 HM Coastguard
honoured the brave and selfless men and women, many of whom were
Coastguards, who died in the service for their country.
During World War One, Coastguards could be
called upon by the Royal Navy as reservists and posted to ships due
to their expertise in signalling.
HM Coastguard itself suffered considerable
losses in the early months of the war, and following this, the
Admiralty decided to return the majority of Coastguard personnel
back to their stations.
For the remainder of the war, shore-based
Coastguards continued with their duties as well as manning War
Signal Stations, undertaking dangerous and highly specialised
disposal of mines and keeping a watch for spies or saboteurs who may
have tried to land. They also provided early warning of raids by
German warships and assisted the police and army in rounding up
suspects and escaped POWs.
Each year HM Coastguard sends a contingent of
twelve Coastguards from around the UK to the national service of
remembrance at the Cenotaph in London. These twelve men and women
represent full-time and volunteer coastguards, both maritime and
coastal, and join many other emergency services representatives at
the Cenotaph service.
We stood shoulder to shoulder with those
serving in uniform reflecting as 'The Last
Post' echoed across the country for those who gave their today
so that we could have our tomorrow.
When you go home
Tell them of us and
For your tomorrow
We gave our today
On behalf of HM Coastguard, we will remember
|REFLECTIONS ON REMEMBRANCE
Were you moved by the way our country
responded to the centenary of the Armistice over the recent
Remembrance Sunday weekend? I was. It wasn't just the solemn annual
rituals: it was something much more, much deeper.
It made a significant difference that the
actual moment of the centenary fell precisely at 11am on Sunday 11
November as we gathered round our war memorials. You could almost
hear the guns falling silent. On Holy Island, there was a large
gathering round the memorial on the Heugh as the wreaths of red
poppies were laid reverently around its base. The peace and beauty
of the scene, as sun reflected off the water, contrasted with our
internal thoughts about the horrors of war (and the trenches of the
First World War in particular) and the magnitude of the sacrifice
At short notice, I had been asked to
represent Holy Island at the Royal British Legion's Armistice
Centenary Service and Vigil in Berwick Parish Church the evening
before. (The organiser couldn't find somebody living on the island
to do so because of a very unhelpful tide.) It was a special
privilege to lay a wreath in the church together with all the
parishes of North Northumberland. Then, after the service, local
cadets mounted a vigil over the wreaths whilst, in very slow time,
the names of every WWI name on all the war memorials of the area
were read out (I read the Holy Island names). This was very
powerful. The list of the fallen from some small places was
heart-wrenchingly long: Kirknewton, for instance, now a small
collection of isolated farmsteads and cottages, had a list which
just went on and on.
At the Remembrance Sunday service in St
Mary's on Holy Island, Kate Tristram's address reminded us that over
60 from the island served in the armed forces during the First World
War, and helped us to reflect how these experiences must have
changed everybody's lives - the bereaved, the survivors,
At this time of national identity crisis and
uncertainty about our future, I find it really encouraging that the
whole country was able to come together in this great and solemn act
of remembrance, putting aside our differences as we reflected on the
sacrifice and loss of so many who gave their todays for our
tomorrows. We will remember them.
Let me leave you with a further sobering
story about another island. In the early hours of the morning on New
Year's Day 1919 (just a few short weeks after the Armistice), many
servicemen from the Western Front were eagerly returning home to
Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides for Hogmanay onboard HMY
Iolaire. The vessel had sailed, badly overloaded, from Kyle of
Lochalsh and foundered on the rocks outside Stornoway harbour. Due
to a succession of bad judgements and misfortune, the death toll was
over 200 (nearly all of them the returning servicemen). Just imagine
how the families of those men must have felt that black morning:
their loved ones had gone off to a terrible war, peace had returned,
and they were so very nearly home - yet totally lost. This coming
Hogmanay will be a painful time of remembrance for many families in
the Hebrides. We need to remember them too - and remember to be
thankful each day for the blessings we enjoy and for the sacrifices
of those who made these blessings possible.
That's another month flown by and soon we
will be looking to that area of the sky where we usually see the
Northern Lights, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus as he
begins his dash around the world depositing peace and goodwill. And
boy do we need it.
Yoga Sessions After a pause there are three
proposed sessions to be held in December:
Monday 3rd at 3p.m.
Monday 10th at
Monday 17th at 2:30p.m.
The cost for each class will be approximately
£8.00 per person depending on numbers attending. For more
information phone Lesley on 389047.
This month my news is brief and I have used
the Hall Newsletter space to consider WW1 and how we remember.
Armistice Sunday 11 November 2018
This year marks 100 years since the end of
the First World War, a conflict that reaped a deadly harvest of men
and boys, friend and foe, as well as civilians. Leaving wounded with
physical and mental damage struggling to survive; 'yes, we will
It's coming up to 10:30 on Sunday and I'm
sitting in the Fisherman's Aisle viewing the Fisherman's Alter
dressed overall so lovingly by the Ladies as a tribute to those
local and others who fell. This year the railings around the Old
Market Cross in the centre of the village have also been dressed
with poppies and red ribbon.
On a number of occasions I have visited many
of the WW1 battlefields, once sites of savage devastation and
despair implanted in our minds eye by old film clips and
photographs. Visiting war grave cemeteries, some large like Thiepval
and others with just a handful of Portland Stone markers, some
identifying the casualty, others noting that this is the last
resting place of an un-named soldier of the 1st WW.
When seeking comfort from the memories of
such savage destruction and desolation. I have to say that the
battlefield areas are now quite beautiful stretches of undulating
well looked after farmland scattered with pockets woodland,
suggesting that those who fell now have quiet and peaceful resting
But it is still possible to be shocked.
Earlier I mentioned Thiepval the Lutein's designed Memorial
commemorating the unknown fallen. This huge edifice is marked with
more than 72,000 names of those who have no known resting place.
Like all war graves, well-kept. At the entrance to most Cemeteries
large and small, is a locker holding a detailed record of where
those identified rest, helpful when looking for a relative or a
As I scan the congregation, I am becoming
increasingly aware that those of us who have served since
the last major conflict are now a bit thin on the ground, my
count of suggests that we are down into single figures. But never
the less there is a good turnout for this special occasion with the
congregation boosted by visitors.
Following the Service, most churchgoers will
follow the British Legion Standard as it is borne passed the Cross,
through the Sanctuary Close to the Island War Memorial sitting high
above the village on the Heugh, overlooking the mainland and North
Sea and remember those from WW1 & WW2 and pay our tribute.
In 1901 Edward Hudson, owner of The Country
Life magazine and other journals bought Holy Island Castle and later
appointed Sir Edwin Lutyens, Architect, to transform the property in
to a comfortable County House. So, began Lutyens association with
Following WW1, Lutyens was commissioned to
design a number of memorial focal points, the most prominent being
the Cenotaph in Whitehall where the great and the good are gathering
this morning. Here on the Island our Lutyens designed memorial is
more modest but no less emotional or meaningful. On the East side of
the stone are the names of the fallen from WW1 and on the West face
are those remembered from WW2.
A short dedication is made at both sides of
the memorial and on occasions when a Bugler is present the Last Post
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
The north easterlies have started which means
winter is upon us. Work at the Castle is largely indoor at the
moment - which is just as well - but we do have a good few outdoor
jobs deferred from the major project to crack on with. It is perhaps
typical that the most significant of these is on the east
facing-Lower Battery, so as I type the builders have left the island
to go off to another job. Can't say I blame them.
The job on the Lower Battery is to shore up
the structure of the underground tanks, which during the closure
were found to be slightly unstable. Steelwork has been installed -
almost like a pair of railway lines - which take the weight of the
drain stones above the tanks and the lines in turn take a bearing
from more solid ground nearby. The openings in the drains have been
measured to allow the Fire Service to access the water in the tanks
should the worst ever happen here, and the 2000 or so gallons
contained inside should give us a good chance of containing a big
Away from the building works we are in the
process of planning next year's opening and have a number of plates
spinning in that regard. One of them relates to the open evening up
at the Castle in August 2018, and we're now able to get things
moving on this Living Memories project. We would like to work in
partnership with the community of Holy Island to document and record
oral histories and stories relating to a set of unique themes.
Freelance Engagement Consultant Claire Newton
is working with Jane Anderson and John Bevan from the village to
create a set of invites and opportunities for the recording of
stories. We hope some of the stories will impact in a set of new
creations at Lindisfarne Castle in 2019 and will serve as an
official archive for cherished and poignant memories of Holy
Should you wish to find out more about being
involved please email Claire; firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Lindisfarne Castle; 01289 389902 or 389244 (press 6).
We have arranged a Christmas Celebration on
Wed 19 December from 1 - 3pm at Crossman Hall and would be delighted
if you are able to attend. There will be mince pies and merriment
and a chance to contribute to the living memories project too.
Please RSVP to me (Nick Lewis); email@example.com
(number above or 389903) by Wed 5 December if you would like to come
along and get involved.
Best wishes for Christmas and the New
|"SNOW-FLAKE" BIRDS BRIGHTEN UP A WINTER'S
The North Shore and Sandham Bay can be very
inhospitable places at this time of year when freezing winds
swirl along clouds of stinging sand at eye level.
On such days, I'm usually glad to get up into
the dunes away from the constant battle against that fine battering
of tiny but troublesome particles. But one small bird from the
Arctic doesn't seem to be particularly bothered by these
In their breeding areas, the Inuit,
Greenlanders, Sami and and the various northerly tribes of both
North America and Siberia know them as "snow flake birds."
With their hesitant fluttering flight they often look entirely
We know them rather less romantically as Snow
Buntings. They have the distinction of being the world's most
northerly breeding songbird, raising their young in hidden rock
crevices in locations ranging from high and bleak Arctic mountains
down to coastal tundra. Where human habitations exist they can
behave like our own house sparrows and nest in walls and roof
Much closer to home, there's a very small
breeding population in the highest areas of the Cairngorms where the
climate and terrain is one of the few places in Britain that
replicates their preferred Arctic homeland.
Across the top of Europe, North America and
Asia as the dark winter approaches, the entire population migrates
southwards, a survival strategy for a species dependent on insects
and various seeds which will soon be unavailable and covered by ice
Flocks of these attractive little birds spend
the winter in the more temperate climes of Europe and America. In
our case most seem to prefer coastal habitats, including those windy
open beaches, with others gleaning the dunes and coastal fields in
an endless quest for weed seeds. However, some also venture into our
uplands where they generally seem to go un-noticed.
Snowflake birds: This superb male was
found on a local beach.
Photo: Mike S
They are extremely attractive little birds in
buff and white. When disturbed by walkers or other birds which could
present a threat, they rise in a cloud of flashing white-patched
wings and tails with wonderful high trilling calls. They usually
circle and quickly settle back once any threat has passed.
On the ground they feed in leap-frog style,
birds from the back of flocks constantly flitting forward over the
heads of leaders. This causes the whole flocks to constantly roll
forward along the high water line with its tangles of weed and other
Most flocks are recorded on the coast, simply
I think because that's where most birdwatchers are during winter.
During October, for at least ten days, a single young male Snow
Bunting became a huge attraction for birders and non-birders alike,
on the track near the white cottage in the Crooked Lonnen. This
incredibly tame individual would feed literally at the feet of
passers-by. E ven when finally disturbed, it would simply flit on to
the local walls or fence lines.
I think it's true to say that it became the
world's most photographed Snow Bunting, featuring widely on social
media, during its stay. It was often so close that a mobile phone
proved as good as the most sophisticated camera to snap its
Away from the coast, inland areas,
particularly the higher ground which these hardy little birds seem
to favour, are generally unrewarding for birders and consequently
are neglected during winter. But Snow Buntings can be present.
A decade ago a colleague and I spend long and
very cold days surveying winter birds on the Otterburn Training Area
and there aren't many places as bleak as that in mid-winter. We were
surprised to find little groups of Snow Buntings surviving on
heather and weed seeds. In fact, in most areas they were the
only small birds we recorded. Field guides and atlases which
indicate that most are on the coast may be a little misleading.
One thing that is certain is that the numbers
visiting Britain are in steep decline. This could involve either a
fall in the Arctic population or simply less severe winters in
northern Europe making it unnecessary for them to move so far
The much-photographed juvenile male Snow
in the Crooked Lonnen in
Because they are such attractive birds they
are generally noticed and carefully recorded by naturalists so we
have very good information about the situation in the past. For
example, George Bolam writing in 1912, considered them abundant and
said that during severe weather flocks involving thousands could be
found around Berwick.
Numbers seemed to remain high until the late
1940s, particularly during the severe winter of late 1948, when
during November and December, the largest gathering ever recorded in
the county involved up to 5,000 here on the island.
These birds were recorded by the island's
resident naturalist, Richard Perry, who a couple of years earlier
had published his renowned work A Naturalist on Lindisfarne.
In these days of instant messaging such a
flock would bring birders rushing from throughout the country, not
because of their rarity but simply to experience the spectacle. But
those were very different days and Perry's sighting was reported in
a much more humble fashion on a postcard to the county bird recorder
at the Hancock Museum in Newcastle.
Large numbers continued to be found, although
not quite on that scale. These included 1,000 on the island in 1962,
300 on Hedgehope in the Cheviots in 1972 and 200 at Bamburgh in
Since then numbers have been much lower and
these days a flock of even 100 would be considered exceptional.
During work for the Northumbria breeding atlas from 2007-11 the
largest flock recorded involved 70 inland at Fulhope while coastal
flocks, even in former prime areas s such as the island, seldom
exceeded 30 individuals.
Even since the atlas was published I suspect
that numbers have fallen further. In January 2016 I was impressed to
find a group of 35 on the North Shore, the largest group I'd seen
for a decade or so. I wonder what Richard Perry would have made of
that? Nevertheless, it turned out to be the largest group recorded
in Northumberland that year.
Perversely, the present comparative scarcity
of Snow Buntings makes them all the more challenging and exciting to
find. It's certainly a good day when even a small flock suddenly
rises ahead on a local beach and that lovely trilling call fills the
air once more.
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE
The end of the year fast approaches, hastened
by the strong winds which have been buffeting birds and wardens
alike. On our daily trek up the Straight Lonnen to check the cattle,
we are many-layered and braced against the wind. A grey heron tries
and fails and tries again to take off in a strong southwesterly,
watched placidly by a chestnut and white cow, who chews her cud and
seems unfazed by the weather. The cattle continue their good work
grazing the dunes, while on the Snook twenty-two sheep graze the
slacks a half hectare to a hectare at a time. We carry water and a
small amount of top-up feed for the sheep in a yellow bucket which,
when rattled, brings them trotting quickly into view. The sheep are
grazing the vegetation intensively to create a nutrient-poor habitat
in which amazing flora will flourish next year.
We must work around the light and the tides,
meaning some early starts - crossing the causeway to the cries of a
handful of whooper swans and the rolling call of the hundreds of
light-bellied Brent geese who feed on zostera eelgrass. We spot
fewer grey seals hauled out than we did earlier in the year, with
many off to pup at the Farne Islands, and we miss their eerie
crooning on misty mornings. Young seals hauled out on beaches are
often a cause for concern for kindly walkers - yet unless obviously
injured or entangled in plastic pollution or ghost fishing, they are
likely to simply be resting and should be left alone to enjoy their
Strong winds and winter storms leave in their
wake a slew of plastic debris. Reserve staff and volunteers, and
volunteers from the local CoastCare initiative, have been hard at
work on beach cleans, preserving the beauty of our shoreline and
protecting wildlife from suffocating or entangling litter.
Unfortunately it becomes increasingly clear that without changes in
consumer habits plastic pollution will continue to drown our seas
and our wildlife.
Peak counts to date include 3600
light-bellied Brent geese in mid-October, with 2500 still on the
Reserve. Wigeon, who came late to our shores this year, are
lingering longer, with a peak count of 16138 in October, and 12000
still remaining. Pink-footed geese peaked at 6500 in the first week
of October, Barnacle geese at 4500 in October, and Greylag at 425 in
mid-November. Low tide counts at the end of November showed strong
numbers of lapwing (2200) and golden plover (1750).
Warmest wishes to all for the season. Wrap up
in your best bobble hats and enjoy a December stroll - and spare a
moment's thought, if you can, for wildlife: from putting out bird
feeders to providing drinking water, to cutting back on plastic
consumption, to volunteering some of your time to care for our
amazing nature and habitats.
Merry Christmas from the Lindisfarne NNR
|NORTHUMBERLAND COAST AONB
'Heritage at Risk' Register
Historic England, the government adviser on
the Historic Environment, launched their annual 'Heritage at Risk'
register. The register gives an annual snapshot of England's
The Heritage at Risk register is now in its
20th year and to mark this, Historic England have published their
top 20 picks of sites rescued over the last two decades. The
medieval chapel on St Cuthbert's Island, one of the most iconic and
historically significant archaeological sites on the Northumberland
Coast, has been highlighted as one of those conservation
Conservation work to St, Cuthbert's Island
was undertaken in 2017 as part of the National Lottery funded
Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership scheme. Supported by
£1.4m of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund
(HLF), the scheme enabled the conservation of eight significant
built heritage assets on Holy Island and was supported by additional
funds from Northumberland County Council, the Northumberland Coast
AONB Partnership and the War Memorial Trust.
The significance of St Cuthbert's Island, the
small tombolo off to the west of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, can
not be underestimated. The wealth of national designations
illustrates the immense value of the delicate environment and
heritage. Sited by Bede as the location for St Cuthbert's first
island refuge in 676 means the island also has huge spiritual
significance and draws many visitors.
Whilst very high tides have always had the
potential to impact on the west end of the Scheduled chapel, more
extreme weather events in recent years have taken an evident toll on
the historic fabric. This has resulted in the loss of historic
fabric and an increasing risk to the integrity of the buried
The National Lottery funded Peregrini
Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership project was a remarkable and
timely opportunity to address the increasing erosion in an
innovative way. The project's conservation architect, Tristan Spicer
of Doonan Architects and the conservation builder Heritage
Consolidation, developed a suite of conservation options for the
variety of sites across the Peregrini area of which St Cuthbert's
Island was the most important. The small bespoke gabions, filled
with stones from the foreshore, were moulded to the site and have
established a subtle, sustainable and clearly definable intervention
which has proved incredibly successful in arresting the erosion of
The other sites that benefited from
conservation work were the Bark Pots, Popple Well, Osborne's Fort,
the Palace, the War Memorial and Market Cross. Sara Rushton,
Northumberland County Council Conservation Manager said "Thanks to
players of the National Lottery, we've been able to secure the
future of a range of remarkable heritage sites across Holy Island
and ensure that generations to come are able to experience the
tranquility and isolation of the chapel remains on St. Cuthbert's
Northumberland Coast Area
of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership
01670 622644, firstname.lastname@example.org
|NORTHUMBERLAND COAST AONB
Turning the tide on beach
A report on a year-long beach litter survey
on the Northumberland coast reveals that our beaches are some of the
cleanest in the country but plastic waste is still a big issue.
More than 800 volunteers have spent over
5,000 hours out on the beaches of the Northumberland Coast Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) over the last year counting and
collecting the litter they find. The coordinated litter-counts were
organised by the volunteering initiative Coast Care and took place
in winter, spring, summer and autumn on nearly every beach in the
AONB. The data has been analysed and a report on the amount and type
of litter on our beaches has been issued today.
Volunteers recording beach litter at Berwick
© Coast Care
The Marine Conservation Society have also
released the data from their national survey today which shows that,
in comparison to the national picture, the beaches in the AONB are
some of the cleanest in the country with an average of 59 litter
items per 100 metres compared to a national figure of 600 items.
The 2019/20 survey attempted to replicate a
similar survey carried out in 2007 using the same methodology. In
2007 there was an average of 8.17 items per metre compared to 5.9
items today. Although there were differences in effort, the actual
beaches surveyed and the categorisation of litter items, this is
still a significant decrease. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that
more volunteers are collecting litter, there is greater public
awareness of the issues, the plastic bag tax and investment in
sewage treatment facilities have all helped.
Cllr Jeff Watson, Chair of the Northumberland
Coast AONB said "Firstly, I must thank the hundreds of volunteers
who have contributed to the survey and the many more who collect
litter from our beaches every day.
"Although there has been a reduction in the
amount of litter on the beach since 2007, we mustn't think we've
solved the problem. Collecting litter on the beach has become an
increasingly popular activity that makes our beaches appear cleaner
than would otherwise be. We must all work together to stop litter,
especially plastics, from getting into the sea and onto our beaches
in the first place.
"We need to continue to raise awareness of
the problems caused by litter to our environment and not just at the
coast. During 2019, the AONB Partnership we will work with our
tourism businesses, the statutory organisations and our volunteers
on campaigns and activities to reduce the amount of litter ending up
in the sea."
Andrew Davison OBE, Partner at Muckle LLP,
said: "It's fantastic to hear the beaches of Northumberland are some
of the cleanest in the country, but any amount of litter on the
beach is too much. Muckle is incredibly passionate about the North
East environment in particular, so we are delighted to have
supported this project, which is not only tackling the causes of
coastal litter in our region, but also challenges all of us to
question our approach to recycling, single-use plastics and waste in
Katie Wellstead, Principal Advisor at
Community Foundation said "We are delighted to have been able to
support this project through the Local Environmental Action Fund.
The Community Foundation matches generous people to important
causes. The data that has been collected by volunteers on marine
litter on the Northumberland Coast is fascinating, but also provides
vital information which will assist in tackling the important issue
of marine litter in our area in the longer term."
The report includes an action plan for 2019
to try to tackle litter at source, before it gets into the sea.
A social-media campaign in the summer of
Information about how to reduce use of
single-use plastics in the AONB Visitor Guide
Provide information about beach litter
for bedroom browsers/welcome packs in hotels, B&Bs, caravan
parks and self-catering premises
Encourage the operators of self-catering
accommodation premises to provide reusable mugs for use whilst
people are staying, to reduce the use of single-use cups
Work with Northumbrian Water, on a
coast-themed campaign, to encourage the '3P's' message
Work with Northumberland Inshore
Fisheries Conservation Authority (NIFCA) to scope out a 'fishing
for litter' type project to include awareness raising with fishers
and an audit of port/harbour waste reception facilities
Encourage volunteer beach-cleaners to
report pot-tags to NIFCA
Provide funding and support for community
Maintain beach-litter hubs at five
locations in the AONB
Promote opportunities to volunteer with
Coast Care to local people and visitors
The report breaks down
the litter by type and by source as well as providing the figures
for each of the individual beaches surveys. Seasonal variations
and a comparison with the 2007 survey are discussed. The report
can be downloaded from www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org/beach-litter (Ed: sorry AONB has removed webpage)
Tel. 01670 622660
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
In November the Northumberland members of The
Community of Aidan and Hilda met overnight on Holy Island with
our three Open Gate staff to share their life stories, break
bread together and renew their vows ahead of Saint Hilda's Day. One
member, Maureen, was busy making many poppies for an event to
Remember the end of World War 1 in her town one hundred years
In addition to each of our Sunday Remembrance
services at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh
month, parishes throughout north Northumberland gathered for a vigil
the evening before, at Berwick Parish Church, in the presence of the
Lord Lieutenant and our M.P. with a rotating fifteen minutes
guard by young people in uniform until midnight. The war dead of a
different parish were read aloud every 15 minutes.
At 8.15 pm a Holy Island representative read
out these names from Holy Island: Morley Crossman, George Cromarty,
James Patterson, William Wilson, Joseph Touch, Adam Shell, James
Markwell, Thomas Markwell - 'to the glory of God and in grateful
memory of our glorious dead'.
A German city also displays a multitude of
poppies to remember those on all sides who died in the world wars.
Throughout UK and other countries special
ceremonies are held to commemorate the end of the First World War
one hundred years ago. In my town, as in countless others, the
names of every local combatant who died will be read out during a
Founding Guardian, The
international Community of Aidan and Hilda
|FROM OUR UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
This issue of the Holy Island Times covers
not only the period of Advent and Christmas, but also the shortest
day of the year, the ending of 2018, and the beginning of
2019. These dates are coupled with the change in season; there
are fewer visitors on the Island, and the days are shorter. It
still remains to be seen what surprises the weather will have for us
as one year ends and another begins.
We cannot help but be attentive to the change
in physical season, and this may also be a time when we are aware of
the personal seasons of life. On one level, the demands of
winter may make us aware of our age, on another level, the
celebrations at this time of year are a time for reminiscence about
years gone by, a reminder of how children have grown, and of how
treasured loved ones are no longer around our table.
It is important to acknowledge and to share
the times of light and shade in our lives just as we accept that we
have to live through autumn and winter as well as spring and
summer. Christmas festivities and their anticipation bring
great joy, and are a bright light at a dark time of year, but they
can be hard if you feel under pressure to be continuously jolly,
even though there are difficulties and worries in life.
A precious part of the Christmas story is the
image of the baby Jesus lying safe and warm in a manger, whilst Mary
and Joseph look on with joy, and shepherds and wise men worship him
with awe and wonder. Heaven and earth are united as an angel
choir sings, and a star shines brightly over the stable. Here
is good news, that God is with us in Jesus. Through the
centuries, and throughout the world Christians have celebrated God
entering the story of humanity in a newborn child.
Right from the beginning though, the story of
the infant Jesus is infiltrated by darkness and difficulty - Mary
would probably say that there was nothing glamourous about having to
give birth in a barn ! The new family have to flee persecution, and
the gospel of Matthew records the horrific slaughter of new born
infants as Herod seeks to hunt Jesus down. The adult Jesus is
recorded as experiencing family difficulties and bereavement, and
relates, with love, to people suffering all sorts of heartache and
worry. This does not take away from God's life-changing
presence, but rather deepens its meaning, Jesus is fully human and
he comes to us in times of darkness and of light, and in all the
shades of life in between.
In the opening verses of John's gospel we
read of Jesus:
"What has come into being in him was
life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it."
May you and your household know light and
love in this season.
St Cuthbert's Centre news
The United Reformed Church is committed to
taking care of our building built in 1891 by Islanders, for
Islanders. The building has always been cherished one way or
another but none of the previous generations probably anticipated
the challenges of woodworm !
Part of the beauty of the building
lies in its wood beams and panelling - it will be a major task to
eradicate our hungry visitors. The infestation is
straightforward enough to treat in bare wood, but multiple layers of
varnish in St Cuthbert's will have to be sanded down before that can
The United Reformed Church is meeting the cost, but, at
the time of writing, it seems that the building will be closed
during December, January and February. No doubt there will be
skips and contractors going to and fro - please let me know if there
is any inconvenience caused to our neighbours.
99.9% of visitors are
welcome in our building, but I won't be sorry to say goodbye to the
Thank you to all those who have left
donations at St Cuthbert's Centre, they are much appreciated.
During the time our building is closed donations can be left at St
Aidan's Church - thank you Sr Tessa !
time January comes around most of us are conscious of rising fuel
bills. There are many living in our communities, of all ages,
who will be trying to choose between keeping warm and keeping fed,
this is where the food bank comes in. They say "Donations are
always welcome. We are always on the look out for non
perishable food items, adult and children's toiletries and we also
try to keep a stock of cat and dog food as well." Thanks for
your support !
Rev Rachel Poolman
facebook: st cuthbert's centre holy
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
DAY: A huge thank-you to all who contributed to making our
Centenary Remembrance so moving.
Thank you to those who prepared the
Church; the decorations were thoughtful and evocative.
Thank you to all who contributed to the
worship in Church and on the Heugh at the War Memorial.
ROUND THE VILLAGE: This will take place on Monday,
December 17th, beginning at St. Cuthbert's Centre at 5.00 p.m.
More details from Andy Raine, who is organising this
St. Mary's Church has a committed team of volunteers who work
hard to care for its building, churchyard and its
parishioners. Unfortunately that team is dwindling and we need
more volunteers to be part of it, carrying out such tasks as
church cleaning, delivering the Holy Island Times on a monthly
basis, and also helping at times such as Christmas and other
VICAR: The Revd. Dr. Sarah Hills will be licensed in St.
Mary's Church on Sunday Jan.27th 2019 at 2.00 p.m. All are
welcome to be present at this service.
From the Ministry
||Pattern of worship for Sundays|
||Parish Eucharist |
Pattern of worship
(Monday - Saturday)
8 am Morning Prayer Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday|
8 am Eucharist Wednesday and Friday
5.30 pm Evening Prayer every day
please check notice
board in church porch in the event of
"Light up a Life"
In Belford and
meet our hospice
"From all of us on Holy Island"