About us

The Friends of the North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark (Registered Charity No. 1137467; Company Limited by Guarantee No. 7240526) was set up in 2010, launched in 2011, to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical, natural and built environment in and around the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Aims & Objectives

The aims of the Friends:

  • Looking after the North Pennines – promoting the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in and around the AONB
  • Increasing awareness of the North Pennines and its special qualities

The charity will achieve its aims principally by carrying out projects, promoting and undertaking research, providing advice and training, publishing information and working in partnership with other organisations.

Board Members

The Charity is governed by a very experienced Board of Trustees, all of whom live in or around the North Pennines area:

Jon Charlton – Director of Hylton Castle, Sunderland. Hexham, Northumberland

Jennie Garrod – Weardale

Sarah Elton – Middleton in Teesdale

Other Board Attendees

Andy Lees – North Pennines AONB Partnership Advisor / Liaison

Christine Sherwood – Administrator

Our Work

To date the charity has successfully delivered a number of projects including the Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project (a project which links the North Pennines lead mines with early industrial Tyneside and is a partnership with two Parish Councils) and the North Pennines Walking Festival (a programme of walks and events across the North Pennines during 2015, 2016 and 2018). In partnership with the area’s local authorities the Friends also run a ‘Donate-a-Gate’ scheme under which individuals or organisations can pay for a difficult stile on a well-used footpath to be replaced by a gate, thereby improving access for all to the countryside.

The Friends of the North Pennines (FOTNP) are experienced at raising and managing grant funding, having raised half a million pounds from Biffa for peat restoration work carried out by the AONB staff unit and fundingIMG_20150614_162016302_HDR for the North Pennines Walking Festivals from a range of funding bodies. For our Dukesfield project we have raised a quarter of a million pounds from HLF and match funding from other local funders.

Board meetings are held bi-monthly, usually in Stanhope, Weardale and are serviced by a self-employed administrator who also does much more for us including managing the day to day business of the Friends, communicating with our members and dealing with the disbursement of project funds.

We are always looking to recruit enthusiastic, committed and hard-working volunteers to act as both trustees of the charity and directors of the company, who will gain satisfaction from driving the Friends forward and helping us achieve our aims.

Interested in joining the team?

Please contact us by letter or email (fotnp@hotmail.co.uk) outlining why you would like to become a Board member and your interests and experience.

Our work with local groups