After two days of being shown around the north of the park my head is spinning and we haven't even started looking at the south!
Day two of our introductory sessions was spent with Mark one of the park rangers based at Rothbury. He showed us round the Otterburn Ranges. This is an area of land in the middle of the park which is owned by the MOD and used for training soldiers in the use of live artillery. It is marked on the map as a danger area, so naturally we were immediately curious. Mark showed Paul and myself several areas of interest within the ranges area, the WW1 trenches were particularly interesting to me in the fact that they are now come under the protective umbrella of archaeology. To go from these earthworks through the park to Chew Green (a Roman encampment) and all the while be reminded of the enormous amount of iron age forts in the area gave the whole landscape a feeling of some where worth protecting and fighting over. At the same time there was the bizarre irony of being in a place that prizes tranquility as one of its special features whilst at the same time being constantly reminded of the noise, destruction and danger of warfare.