Don’t forget, Reserve staff and volunteers are holding a spectacular new event tonight! The 'Fire of the North' is a unique joint venture between Natural England and the National Trust to celebrate the North East’s patron Saint, St Cuthbert.
St Cuthbert's Island, off Holy Island
Two National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are coming together on Wednesday September 4 to celebrate St Cuthbert, known as the “Fire of the North”, with a memorial beacon on the Inner Farne. With the Lindisfarne Gospels - dedicated to Cuthbert - currently on display in Durham, Natural England and the National Trust are celebrating their links with Northumberland’s very own Saint. Cuthbert spent much of his life on what is now Lindisfarne NNR and, as a hermit, retreated to the Farne Islands NNR.
Said Andrew Craggs, Senior Reserve Manager on Lindisfarne:
“Our volunteer warden John Woodhurst leads walks and talks for us on Cuthbert and his local links, and we like to stress Cuthbert the man and his strong attachment to the animal world and the natural environment. Chatting with John one day we came up with the idea of re-enacting the moment when monks on the Inner Farne announced the death of Cuthbert by signalling to monks on Lindisfarne.”
Sunset looking towards Holy Island - hopefully dusk tonight will be equally as stunning!
John, who is also a local historian, takes up the story:
“It seems strange “celebrating” a death but Cuthbert was probably bigger and more famous in death than life – we have only to think of the Lindisfarne Gospels and Durham Cathedral, both dedicated to Cuthbert. We missed the March date so we’re now going ahead with our event on September 4 which is another date in the calendar when Cuthbert is celebrated. It also ties in nicely with the Lindisfarne Gospels being in Durham”.
The event will see David Steel - Head Ranger on the Farne Islands - and his wardens lighting a fire on the Inner Farne on the evening of September 4. It is hoped the fire will be seen all along the North Northumbrian coast.
The Lindisfarne NNR team can announce that this event is now fully booked, however you can still look out for the beacon on the Inner Farne from all along the coast! Watch out for it between 8.30 - 9pm tonight.