MORE than 5,000 people took advantage of a residents’ festival which offered free and cut-price entry to scores of visitor attractions.
The fourth annual Northumberland Residents’ Festival attracted more than 5,400 people, with more than 200 of them entering pictures in a photography competition based around the weekend.
Alison Ellerbrook, of Prudhoe, won the competition with a picture of two friendly donkeys taken at the Kirkley Hall Zoo, near Ponteland.
She said: “The donkeys were very accommodating and look like they are posing for me, but it was actually a lucky a snap shot while my daughter was busy being entertained by the rabbits. We visited Kirkley Hall as my daughter is five and at the zoo she had the opportunity to interact with the animals and get out in the fresh air.
“I run my own business from home so I like to get out and about at the weekend and it’s fantastic to have places like Kirkley Hall on our doorstep.”
Many of the 26 participating venues experienced unprecedented visitor numbers despite the lack of sunshine.
Nigel Walsh, design and cultural services manager at Northumberland County Council said: “The festival weekend’s weather was a typical of the year so far with the sunshine appearing in short supply. Despite this there was a clear increase in visitor numbers in comparison to the past three years.
“This year on year growth is very encouraging and we are delighted that the festival is proving so popular with residents and certainly reflects the quality of the county’s visitor attractions.”
Photographer Helen Smith, who helped judge the photography competition, said “The weather had a huge influence on the type of photographs that the weekend produced, with a lot of indoor shots being submitted from the visitors.
“Landscapes were a challenge in most of Northumberland due to the lack influential light, but as you can see in the Residents Festival picture gallery, animals turned out to be an attractive subject for many photographers.
“It’s not just about getting the furry little subjects in the frame, it’s about capturing that moment that makes the picture look just a little bit different.
“Our winning shot summed up the whole weekend, the caption should read ‘welcome to our zoo, we hope you enjoy your visit’ it looks like they are posing for the picture.”
See pinterest.com/northumberlandc/ northumberland-residents-festival for other pictures