Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 08:56 UK

Cash for Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria vistas

Druridge bay
Druridge Bay is one of the areas to benefit from the cash

More than £5m has been earmarked to protect some of the most famous landscapes in Northumberland, County Durham and Cumbria.

The Heritage Lottery Fund said the cash would help preserve distinctive sand dunes, grasslands and wetland areas.

The Tees Vale near Barnard Castle and Cumbria's Solway wetlands are to get £1.9m each and Druridge Bay in Northumberland £1.8m.

Work will involve surveying wildlife and retaining traditional rural skills.

The Tees Vale and Barnard Castle project will include conservation work in the area's ancient woodlands and small villages.

Restoration work will also be carried out at the ruins of Barnard Castle itself, which is said to have inspired writers including Wordsworth.

Landscapes play a huge role in our lives but we mustn't take them for granted
Dame Jenny Abramsky
Heritage Lottery Fund chairwoman

At Druridge Bay the grant will be used conserve natural features of the coastline landscape, including dunes which are being affected by erosion.

The Solway Wetlands scheme aims to restore and conserve features including 12 wetland sites and traditional hedges.

It also hopes to improve access for visitors and look at long-term environmental initiatives including storing carbon, producing local food and promoting sustainable tourism.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, chairwoman of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "Landscapes play a huge role in our lives and are often the backdrop to daily routines - but we mustn't take them for granted.

"This significant investment is important, because it not only encourages people to work together effectively but gives them a greater sense of involvement and connection to their own local landscape."

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