It is National Parks week and today we are holding a rural economy conference in Hexham with Rory Stewart MP
Over 60 experts, interested parties, businesses and key stakeholders in the rural economy, are coming together today in Hexham to make their case to my good friend and neighbour Rory Stewart, who is the Rural Affairs Minister, the Forestry and National Parks Minister, the Water and Floods Minister, and also responsible for trying to help Defra create and stimulate a rural economy that is both vibrant and respectful of our land. As you can imagine his is a fascinating but difficult job. He is uniquely qualified, as he is a proper countryman, with a practical and realistic understanding of the realities of creating a working and respectful environment in his Cumbria seat and here in Northumberland. Between us Rory and I represent most of what I call the true North of England that runs roughly along Hadrian's Wall from the Newcastle border in the East to the Solway in the West. Rory is speaking and doing a short Q and A. The event is at the Beaumont Hotel in Hexham from 10.45-12.30. After the morning session Rory and I will be heading out west to visit specific sites in the Northumberland National Park near Walltown, and I will be finishing my day speaking to locals in Greenhead and the west.