Welcome to the Ponteland Community Partnership

Radio Newcastle’s “Garden Mania” presenter Marian Foster visits youth wildflower planting on the bridleway.

The Ponteland Community Partnership’s project to reinstate the natural habitat on the old railway line went ahead on Saturday 12th May as planned with the youth planting 200 wild flowers for the benefit of generations to come.

Community Partnership’s Aim:

To allow the local youth ownership of part of the “Old Railway Line Project” giving benefit to the community now and for future generations.

The Air Cadets, Scouts and Explorers, 20 in total, who all helped previously to plant 100 trees along this section of the bridleway all volunteered to take on this part of the project once the pathway was carefully brought back to its original condition from the early 1900’s.

Marian Foster, Radio Newcastle presenter, attended the event recording interviews and gathering information for her Sunday broadcast. Heather Forshaw explained she had grown a selection of appropriate wild flowers from Northumbrian seed to be planted in 3 selected areas, 1 of which was a wet area.

Selection of quotes from the youth:

  • I think it is good to help the community
  • It’s nice to give back to the community
  • It’s rewarding and you appreciate it more
  • This is part of my community work needed for my “Chief Scouts Platinum Award”
  • We need to partake in 2 community events for our “Participation in Public Event” Award
  • It’s hard work but worthwhile

Quotes from the bridleway users:

  • Cyclist – This is a great facility
  • Runner – Much better now the path has been improved
  • Walker – It’s good to see the young so committed

The chairman Alma Dunigan said “Last December the old railway track was given Wildlife Corridor status through the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan a 32 planning policies document – the idea has come from this and the success of the previous environmental project. Callerton Lane to Rotary Way is already a well used stretch of the Bridleway and the Community Partnership wanted to encourage more recreational use including the health benefits for the last part of the Bridleway from Rotary Way towards the Airport”

“When planning – our first task had been to assess what work was needed to encourage the community and visitors to use this local amenity. It was decided that more trees needed to be planted in areas very exposed to the elements and to talk with the land owner about possible work on the pathway and involve one of our keenest supporters about planting appropriate wild flowers. We had already been advised by the local Wildlife Group that we needed to provide additional habitat to the existing environment such as wild flowers creating seeds and berries to support insects, birds and small mammals throughout the year giving them cover to feed and breed.”

Many thanks should be given to:

  • Ward Bros the owner of the land, who donated all the manpower, materials and equipment to make these improvements for dog walkers, horse riders, joggers and cyclists – to name a few.
  • All the wild flowers were grown from locally sourced seed by local resident Heather Forshaw, who is part of Friends of Ponteland Park and without her commitment and enthusiasm with the planting the event would not have been so successful.
  • The Community Partnership is delighted with the level of commitment and volunteer support today and we are pleased that some of these young people can use this experience to attain credit and qualifications – we are all winners.

The final stage of this project is for the installation of 4 perch benches positioned at the 3 educational pedestals, this will happen later this month and maybe in the autumn we can think about planting bulbs.


Neighbourhood Plan gets local recognition and moves forward

The Ponteland Community Partnership welcomes three former members of the neighbourhood plan steering group onto the committee to work as a discrete subgroup to identify suitable projects for the future. Guy Opperman MP takes time out to support the next steps and projects from the plan and Darras Hall Estates Committee recognise the contribution made by volunteers.

The neighbourhood plan document includes 32 planning policies all prepared from community consultations over a 5 year period, throughout this time residents recommended valuable contributions which in turn shaped the final document. Some items could not be included in the plan as they were not within its scope; however some of these were selected as “future community actions” and were attached in the plan as an appendix to be considered by other organisations. It is this section and other ideas from the supportive text in the plan which this new subgroup will be considering later as projects.

The Community Partnership chairman Alma Dunigan met with Guy Opperman recently to update him on how the “made neighbourhood plan” is to be used by their group in identifying future projects.

Alma Dunigan said “This is an exciting well timed opportunity, the plan gives our group flexibility to view new possibilities for projects; this means that the vision of the plan continues and we can consider what else could enhance the quality of life”

Vision Statement

  • Ponteland will maintain its identity as a sustainable, thriving community, accessible to people of all ages.
  • A gateway to Northumberland, which values its rural setting, rich heritage, natural environment and open spaces.
  • It will remain visually distinct and separate from the Newcastle/Tyneside conurbation, meeting the needs of the local population, without compromising this distinction.
  • The special identities of Darras Hall, the historic core of Ponteland village and the small settlements in the Parish will be maintained and enhanced for future generations, making the Parish of Ponteland a desirable place to live, work and visit.

Guy Opperman MP said, “The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan is a valuable document. I want to thank the Steering Group and all the local community who have worked so hard on it. I hope the Ponteland Community Partnership will now be working with the local community together to formulate next steps. It was a pleasure to sit down with Alma and go through the neighbourhood plan, and I hope that the next chapter will show that this is a great step forward for Ponteland.”

Last month the Chairman of Darras Hall Estate Committee, Andrew Mate, presented a commemorative plaque at the Annual General Meeting on the 26th March 2018; in gratitude to the former Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group represented by:-

Chris Winks, representing the Village.
Councillor Peter Jackson, representing the rural district.
Alma Dunigan, representing Darras Hall.

The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan contains a planning policy, PNP 4, covering some of the unique features of the Darras Hall Trust Deed which now will be used by Northumberland County Council when considering any planning application within the Estate.

Darras Hall properties need to comply with the Bylaws and all applications need covenant consent by the Darras Hall Estate Committee as well as planning approval from Northumberland County Council.


The community partnership was set up in 2003 to identify the things that really matter to people of all ages who live and work in Ponteland Civil Parish which could and would improve their quality of life.

To achieve these aims we intend to involve the community, businesses, local organisations and the Town Council in creating meaningful realistic projects which would be funded by a variety of sources. The community partnership shares the vision of the Neighbourhood Plan and supports the community aspirations for Ponteland in the future.

To keep up to date with our progress please view the Pont News & Views, which is delivered to you free of charge.

We would welcome your ideas for new projects that would benefit the ‘quality of life in the Civil parish of Ponteland’ if you have any ideas please use our contact page to get in touch or come to our monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of every month, except December, at the Town Council Offices at Meadowfield Court (opposite the Medical Centre), Meadowfield Estate.


What is a Community Partnership?

Partnerships are – in the broadest sense – connections between and among people and groups to share interests, concerns and create visions for the future.
Historically, partnerships have been formed to educate, open discussion and address and solve problems among all parties involved and affected as well as stakeholders in all parts of the problems/issues and solutions.

What is the Ponteland Community Partnership?

A group of like minded volunteers who also represent local groups or organisations who share a common idea to identify and improve the quality of life in Ponteland.

When did it start?

The Ponteland Community Partnership started in the early 2004 and was set up under the Local Government Act of 2000 at a time when Ponteland was part of Castle Morpeth Borough Council.

Which organisations work with the Ponteland Community Partnership?

Ponteland Town Council
Ponteland Civic Society
Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Ponteland U3A
Ponteland Ageing Well
Ponteland Community Trust
Ponteland Local History Society

What are we trying to do?

  • To identify activities and projects for those who live or work in Ponteland that will improve their quality of life no matter what their age.
  • To access funding to provide for these activities or projects.

Background to Community Partnerships

Partnerships in the community abound in the professional literature of social work, adultP1210046 education, and basic literacy education, religious or church work and among governing entities to name just a few environments. Partnerships are – in the broadest sense – connections between and among people and groups to share interests, concerns and create visions for the future.
Historically, partnerships have been formed to educate, open discussion and address and solve problems among all parties involved and affected as well as stakeholders in all parts of the problems/issues and solutions.

Partnerships are created when:

  • there appears to be no one person or group responsible for the issue;
  • it doesn’t seem possible to solve the problem or address the situation by just one group – due to magnitude, lack of knowledge or amorphic nature of the issue;
  • the cost of solving the problem or addressing the issue is too costly for one group to address; and/or,
  • it is important to have a large number of people involved to inform, and buy-in to the process.

The best partnerships are those (either formal or informal) that:

  • Have an organisation or a Pont-87-webstructure to them.
  • Have a vision, mission, and goals
  • Are designed to change as issues evolve and problems are solved
  • Find ways to involve people face-to-face but make maximum use of emerging and existing technologies
  • Build in a sustained maximum activity and involvement by stakeholders and other participants
  • Provide necessary plans such as business, marketing and communication plans
  • Promise and produce a product or results which benefits all group/process members
  • Design an active and interactive initial learning period and maintain ongoing learning for stakeholders and participants
  • Establish and maintain effective communication and ongoing dialog