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The North Pennines, exploited for centuries by humans for its rock and mineral resources, is now officially an "Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty" and in 2003 became the first European Geopark in Britain. Its boundaries as defined by the Countryside Commission are close to those delimited by Sir Kingsley Dunham in his major work: “Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield, vol. 1, Tyne to Stainmore”, and by W H Auden in the following lines abstracted from the New Year Letter 1940. Those limestone moors that stretch from Brough To Hexham and the Roman wall There is my symbol of us all.

In Search of a Hidden Landscape

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