A unique venture bringing together three iconic National Nature Reserves and three major national organisations - Lindisfarne NNR (Natural England), Farne Islands NNR (National Trust), and St Abb’s Head NNR (National Trust for Scotland) - around the figure of Cuthbert, the ‘Fire of the North’, and evoking a time when the ancient kingdom of Northumbria straddled what is now England and Scotland.
On 4 September (St Cuthbert’s Day) last year a beacon/fire was lit by National Trust Rangers on the Inner Farne to commemorate the time in 687 when monks did the same to signal to Lindisfarne the death of Cuthbert on the Inner Farne.
The event celebrated the life of Cuthbert, and especially his strong links with nature and the animal kingdom. As the North’s patron saint he became known as the ‘Fire of the North’.
Mon 25 August (St Aebbe’s Day)
St Abb’s Head NNR - Liza Cole and John Woodhurst
Liza, the National Trust for Scotland’s Senior Ranger at St Abb’s Head NNR will talk about the Reserve, whilst local historian John will explore Cuthbert’s links to St Abbs, stressing the importance he gave to nature and the animal kingdom.
Meet at St Abb’s Head Nature Centre (Grid Ref NT 913674) at 1pm to walk to Kirk Hill, the site of St Aebbe’s Anglo-Saxon monastery.
Thurs 28 August
Inner Farne NNR - National Trust Rangers and John Woodhurst
John will meet the 11, 12, 1 and 2 o’clock sailings from Seahouses to the Inner Farne, and in a short walk/talk offer the opportunity to find out more about Cuthbert’s links to the Farnes, referencing the archaeology with sites extant today, and stressing Cuthbert’s self-sufficient lifestyle as a hermit. NT Rangers will also be on hand to talk about the wildlife of the Inner Farne.
Standard boat booking from Seahouses to Inner Farne (NT landing fees apply to non members – see NT website for details), and meet John and NT Ranger on landing.
Sun 31 August (St Aidan’s Day)
Lindisfarne NNR - Laura Scott and John Woodhurst
Reserve Warden Laura will talk about Lindisfarne NNR, and John will do his regular walk/talk, ‘Cuthbert – Lindisfarne’s First Nature Warden?’.
Meet at Window on Wild Lindisfarne building (Grid Ref NU129419) at 12.30 pm to walk around the Harbour, along the Heugh, across to St Cuthbert’s Island, and back via the ‘Sacred Corridor’ to St Mary’s Church.
Thurs 4 Sept at Dusk ca.8.30-9.00pm (St Cuthbert’s Day)
‘FIRE OF THE NORTH’
Beacons/Fires to be lit on Inner Farne and St Abb’s Head
NT Rangers will repeat the beacon/fire from last year near the lighthouse on Inner Farne.
St Abb’s Head beacon/fire will be on a hill close to St Abb’s Head lighthouse, with a linked walk from Kirk Hill to the site led by Daniel Rhodes, National Trust for Scotland Archaeologist (meet foot of Kirk Hill – Grid Ref NT914687 at 7.30).
John will lead a group from the Window on Wild Lindisfarne building (meet 7.30) to the Watchtower on the Heugh to view, weather permitting, both beacons/fires. Along the way he will give a shortened version of his ‘First Nature Warden’ talk.report abuse