Monday 1 August 2022

The Big Northumberland Gear Change


Have you heard about The Big Northumberland Gear Change? It is a campaign from Northumberland council that aims to encourage us all to slow down, take stock and adopt more sustainable ways of moving around the county by walking and cycling. 

If you are local you will know just what a beautiful part of the country Northumberland is, with lots of countryside and coast to explore. So slowing down and taking the time to appreciate where we live and what we have right on our doorsteps really appeals to me, that is why I have signed up for The Big Northumberland Gear Change six week challenge. 

walltown northumberland

What Is The Big Northumberland Gear Change Six Week Challenge?

The Big Northumberland Gear Change six week challenge is perfect for the summer six week holidays and for families to get involved in. It isn't about doing anything massively out of your comfort zone or making huge changes it is all about making small changes that can benefit you health and wellbeing, get you out exploring your local area more and hopefully saving you some money too. Something I think we all need to be a bit more mindful of now with the looming cost of living crisis. 

Small changes can be things such as walking to the local shop rather than taking the car, a third of all journeys made in Northumberland are under 5km (just over 3 miles). Making a small switch from walking instead of taking the car can help physical and mental health as well as saving you some money on fuel and in turn help the environment by reducing carbon emissions, helping to achieve Northumberland net zero target by 2030. 

It is about getting out and exploring and appreciating our local area more. Remember during lockdown when everyone went on daily walks in the local area and discovered things they did not know what was in the local area and how good it felt? 

giant spoon cramlington

Northumberland is a big and beautiful county with so much to discover from castles and rugged countryside to the coast and attractions, from tiny villages to big towns and everything in between. I am from Northumberland and have lived in the area my whole life but I feel like I have not even scratched the surface of what Northumberland has to offer. 

How I Am Getting Involved

I am planning on getting involved in The Big Northumberland Gear Change six week challenge by making small changes. As a busy working mam time is limited juggling work, cooking, cleaning, looking after children and dogs and lots of children's activities. Throw the six week summer holidays into the mix where routines go out the window and you have to juggle work and childcare things can get a bit crazy! 

I don't have the time or energy to make big changes so the The Big Northumberland Gear Change six week challenge appealed to me as I really want to slow down and take stock in a simple and easy way. Things that I am planning on doing this summer are 

  • Taking the children on simple days out to the park on scooters or bikes. Sometimes I am guilty of letting the children on electronics for an easier life, especially on my work days.  I am going to make the effort to get them out a couple of days a week just to a local park or a scooter or bike ride on the local cycle tracks. 

  • Take the dogs on more local walks. We have two dogs and I am guilty of just taking them on the same walks a lot or they will sometimes go further afield in the car. in lockdown we used to take our older dog on big local walks discovering the local area and he loved it, I really want to start making time to do that again. We discovered so many lovely places that I never knew existed and it was nice as a family to get out and explore so I am going to make the effort to do that at least once a week. 

  • Explore Northumberland by bus, this summer kids under 11 go free on Arriva buses in Northumberland (t&c's apply - please check with arriva for full details). So I am planning on taking the children on a few days out via bus as you can get the bus all the way up to Berwick. I think we will be heading to Carlisle Park in Morpeth as we love it there. We might even venture back to Amble, Seahouses or Alnwick Castle
amble coast northumberland

  • More local days out, I am often guilty of planning summer days out far from home. Theme parks or days out a couple of hours drive away or I head into Newcastle. This summer I am planning on a lot more local and low-cost days out with the kids as there are so many free days to be enjoyed in Northumberland. I am planning on visiting Northumberlandia, Plessey Woods, Bolam Lake, Durridge Bay, the Northumberland Coast, Ridley Park in Blyth and Carlise Park in Morpeth to name just a few local places to visit. 

  • Go on a family bike ride, this is something we have never actually done as one of the children is not great on a bike. However we are going to go on smaller bike rides on the cycle tracks to get confidence up and hopefully we will be able to go on a proper family bike ride this summer. I used to always go on bike rides from my childhood home in Cramlington to Blyth beach or Holywell dene as a child with my dad and brother and I loved it, hopefully my own children will too. 

Alnwick Castle

The first couple of weeks of the holidays are a bit manic for us and I probably won't be on social media much. I am busy with work, my husband is having surgery on his shoulder and has a six week recovery ahead of him, my teen is on holiday and then is starting a new job and my 7 year old is at football camps. However I will be sharing how we got on with the challenge on my Facebook and Instagram pages during the holidays. I will share a day out via bus and local days out, it will be the middle and end of the holidays so keep an eye out as it might give you some ideas for things to do with your own family. 

Find Out More

You can find out more about The Big Northumberland Gear Change via the website where you can sign up for the challenge and download printables for the different challenges. The six different challenges are the Big C02 swap, swapping the car for short journeys and walking or cycling instead. The 10 minute challenge, a daily walk, one journey less, seeing if you can switch the car for 7 days and switch and save to see if you can save £100 in fuel costs. 

It is also full of tips for starting out, discovering Northumberland and podcasts. It is a really useful website even if your not signing up to the full six week challenge. You can also follow the Big Northumberland Gear Change on social media or by using the hashtags #TheBigNorthumberlandGearChange or #BNGC

If your signing up for the challenge let me know how you get on in the comments below or on my social media channels. 


1 comment

  1. This sounds like a great challenge for over the summer holidays. You have some great plans. x


Thank you for commenting I read and reply to every single one.

Blog Design Created by pipdig