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Northumberlandia fashions grass

Grassclippings - Northumberlandia SculptureA MASSIVE earth sculpture which has slowly risen into view from the Northumberland countryside has been described as “absolutely stupendous” by a leading tourism official.

Giles Ingram – the man responsible for leading the tourism drive in England’s most northerly county – says he believes many visitors will be attracted to the unique Northumberlandia landform once work on it has been completed.

Mr Ingram, chief executive of the Northumberland Tourism agency, said he was “blown away” after visiting the £2.5m sculpture and climbing to its highest point, which is 34 metres from the ground.

The 400 metre-long Northumberlandia, which will be the world’s biggest human landform, is being created using 1.5m tonnes of stone, clay and soil taken from Banks Mining’s opencast site at Shotton near Cramlington.

The naked, reclining female figure – which has been dubbed the Goddess of the North – is now clearly visible from the roads, rail links and countryside that surround the site, and landscaping work is scheduled to finish later this year.

Designed by landscape artist Charles Jencks, the sculpture has been funded by Banks Mining and the Blagdon Estate, and will be the centrepiece of a 47-acre public park aimed as a major new visitor attraction for the region.

Mr Ingram, who sits on an advisory panel overseeing the project, said: “I’m blown away by the realisation of the Northumberlandia project. Seeing plans, models and photographs just doesn’t do it justice. Once you go up there you realise what an enormous creation it is; it is absolutely stupendous.

“From a tourism point of view, I’m certain people will be interested in it and intrigued by it from a distance. But until they come up and see it, they’re not going to fully comprehend what it is, because what else have we got to compare it with?

“It’s quite unlike anything else that anyone will have been on, and I think it’s going to be one of those things that people are going to have to come and experience if they really want to understand it.

“What’s going to be fascinating is seeing it through different seasons – in every different time of the year, it’s going to appeal to people in different ways, from climbing up to the forehead when the wind’s blowing in winter to just strolling around it when the sun is shining.”

Neil Bradbury, the county council’s executive member for tourism, said: “We have the Angel of the North, and know how popular it has become, and soon we will have the Goddess of the North. Northumberlandia is a unique landmark and will give local people and visitors an ideal place to exercise, picnic and enjoy themselves.

It's a great example of how turf grasses are being used to create a sculpture and for the grasses to knit together, cover the soil to avoid erosion.  A gardener will have a lot of pleasure keeping her trim.

Read More on the Northumberlandia Lady in The Journal



 

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