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Gorge of the River Allen with ornamental and ancient woodland

Take a walk on the wild side at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in Northumberland.

This extensive area of gorge and river scenery, including the 41-hectare (101-acre) Stawardpeel Site of Special Scientific Interest, has miles of waymarked walks through ornamental and ancient woods.

Largely created by Susan Davidson, Allen Banks has become a fantastic home for flora, fauna and fungi. It is also well known for its carpet of bluebells and ramsons, commonly known as wild garlic, which covers the woodland floor in spring and early summer.

There are plenty of things to see and do - look out for the remains of a medieval pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summer-house - and with over 70 species of birds spotted at Allen Banks and a number of mammals such as roe deer, dormice, otters and bats, you are never alone.

The team are dedicated to maintaining and improving the site to preserve its natural history for the public to enjoy.

NB: All of the woodland area sits within the North Pennines AONB.

Thank you!

The generosity from the public, our local fundraising and volunteer groups towards saving the 'wobbly' bridge has been amazing and although we've conquered the first hurdle through Crowdfunder we still need your help.

To donate please send a cheque made out to 'National Trust' to: Eric Wilton, Unit A, Council Yard, Haltwhistle, Hexham, Northumberland, NE49 0ND. Alternatively drop in to see us or follow the link...

 

The dismantling of the 'wobbly' bridge

On Wednesday 22 January Haydon Construction dismantled Allen Banks bridge © National Trust / Victoria Gibson

On Wednesday 22 January Haydon Construction dismantled Allen Banks bridge

On Wednesday 22 Jan, Haydon Construction dismantled Allen Banks Victorian suspension bridge.

Maintaining vital parts

Haydon Construction carefully dismantled Allen Banks’ ’wobbly’ bridge © National Trust / Victoria Gibson

Haydon Construction carefully dismantled Allen Banks’ ’wobbly’ bridge

Haydon Construction worked hard to maintain vital parts of the bridge that will hopefully be re-used.

Damaged footpaths

The surrounding footpaths are badly damaged too © National Trust / Victoria Gibson

The surrounding footpaths are badly damaged too

The floods also damaged the surrounding pathways causing cracks in the ground and making the surface uneven, these also need to be restored.

Help to re-build the bridge

Parts of the original bridge will hopefully be reused during the re-build © National Trust / Eric Wilton

Parts of the original bridge will hopefully be reused during the re-build

It took one day to dismantle the bridge and hopefully we will be able to start re-building it very soon.

Allen Banks bridge

Another view of the bridge that has been ruined by the floods in May 2013 © National Trust / Eric Wilton

Another view of the bridge that has been ruined by the floods in May 2013

We hope this appeal will help us to restore the bridge to its former glory.

Save the 'wobbly' bridge

The Victorian suspension bridge has been badly damaged and needs repairing © National Trust

The Victorian suspension bridge has been badly damaged and needs repairing

The bridge has been ruined, with trees caught in the cables.

The Victorian suspension bridge

The cables in the suspension bridge trapped a lot of trees © National Trust / Eric Wilton

The cables in the suspension bridge trapped a lot of trees

It's not just the bridge, the surrounding pathways have also been damaged.

Surrounding devastation

Allen Banks’ suspension bridge has been damaged and needs rebuilding © National Trust / Eric Wilton

Allen Banks’ suspension bridge has been damaged and needs rebuilding

Trees and other debris have been found in the River Allen.

Are you an Eggsplorer?

2014 Cadbury Easter Egg Trail Logo

Then join us for an adventure. Take part in the Cadbury Easter Egg Trail and claim the yummy treasure - a Cadbury chocolate Egghead!

  • When: Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 April, 10.30am - 2.30pm
  • Price: £1 each

Get to grips with nature

If you love an outdoor adventure then why not join us for our Ranger Bushcraft Day on 28 May? You'll learn everything you need to survive in the wild and complete some 50 things to do before you're 11¾ tasks.

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