If you’re sat there asking where is Brightwater and why haven’t I heard of it? Well it’s probably been beneath your wellies without you realising it! Brightwater stretches north from Darlington and includes the town and villages of Newton Aycliffe, Sedgefield, Bishop Middleham, Fishburn and the Trimdons via Hurworth Burn Reservoir.

Unfortunately we weren’t given a catchy name like ‘The Dales” or “The Lakes” so we’ve had to make one up. The Skerne was originally named by our Viking ancestors; the word ‘skirr’ means bright and shining – Discover Brightwater our new catchy name.

Discover Brightwater is a landscape project which has been funded by all of the nice people that play the lottery. The National Lottery Heritage funds together with local councils, Environmental Agencies and others have funded a programme of events, projects and activities over the next few years which will allow us to restore, reveal and celebrate life around the River Skerne.

On the 5th September local MP Phil Wilson attended an end of day adjournment debate in the House of Commons where he told the nation about some of the fantastic things in our patch. To mark the occasion the Discover Brightwater team and MP Phil Wilson took a not-so-mystery tour around Brightwater which was a trip down memory lane whilst stepping into the future of Brightwater. We visited key sites and attractions in the area including Hurworth Burn Reservoir, The Mary Magdalene Church, Fishburn Colliery Pit Wheel, NETPark, Hardwick Country Park, Heighington Station, Hitachi Rail, ROF 59 and Discover Brightwater Head Office (Flexspace).

The morning ended with a free business lunch for VIP guests including local businesses, politicians and our partners. Guests learned more about the £3.3 million project funded by the National Lottery players via the Heritage Fund and walked away with a goodie bag and Discover Brightwater beer.

MP Phil Wilson said, “I was delighted to travel through my constituency with Discover Brightwater. This project is about the past by preserving the heritage of our area, the present by revealing the natural environment and the future by developing beautiful walks and hubs for visitors and local people to enjoy.”

If you would like to find out how the debate went, please visit the website and search Discover Brightwater