Kielder Water & Forest Park won gold to be officially recognised as the best tourism experience in the country.
The park won the prestigious honour at the VisitEngland 2013 Awards for Excellence held last night (May 20) at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Elisabeth Rowark, Director, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised as the very best tourism experience in the whole of the country and it was a great honour to represent North East England at these top national awards.
“Our members across the Park in the last year have enjoyed an increase in the number of visitors to their attractions to nearly 370,000 and the best has yet to come.
“This year will see exciting developments including our bid for Dark Sky Park status, growth of the art and architecture programme, capital developments across several of our visitor centres and an ever growing, action packed event programme that is attracting visitors from across the UK.”
Stacy Burlett, Head of Customer and Cultural Services for Northumberland County Council, said: Tourism is a vital economic generator for our county providing 11% of our employment and an area the Council is committed to growing. We are proud to be a core partner on Kielder Water & Forest Park and celebrate its success as a key destination for Northumberland.”
Kate Priestly, Chair of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Kielder Water & Forest Park has been recognised in the National Tourism Awards as one of the must visit destinations in Northumberland.
“More than nine million people visit the county each year contributing a staggering £706 million to our local economy.
“There is no doubt that Kielder Water & Forest Park is an outstanding tourism experience, offering unrivalled events and playing a significant part in the success of tourism in Northumberland.”
Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to www.visitkielder.com.
‘Like’ Kielder Water & Forest Park on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/kielder
Follow Kielder Water & Forest Park on Twitter - @visitkielder
For more information contact Alistair Baker, Communications & PR Manager Northumbrian Water on 0191 301 6851, 07711 793493 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information contact Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park), on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or email@example.com
Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust is a registered charity working to develop the Park as an inspirational place. It aims to improve economic, social and environmental sustainability, provide public recreation and leisure facilities, facilitate education in all aspects of the natural environment and advance art and architecture in the Park. The Trust works with the range of communities to benefit from these activities.
Members, who have appointed directors/trustees to serve on the board, are Northumbrian Water, Forestry Commission, Calvert Trust Kielder and Northumberland County Council. Affiliate organisations that are not members but have a close working relationship with KWFPDT include Arts Council England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, The Scout Association and local decision making bodies such as the parish councils