LOCAL schoolchildren were among the lucky guests who met the Prince of Wales as he began his visit to Tynedale at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.

During his tour of the centre, which opened in July 2017 and has already attracted over 170,000 visitors, he had the chance to look around the Sill’s fixed exhibition which focuses on the landscapes and historcial significance of the area.

He met with children from Henshaw Primary School in Bardon Mill and St Agnes School in Ryton, who excitedly chatted about their day, before going on to meet other groups who had been selected to meet HRH.

The national park’s youngest volunteer, 13-year-old Daniel Mayhew, was one of those who was chosen to meet Prince Charles during the visit.

He started volunteering before the centre opened after becoming involved through his dad, who works for the national park.

Prince Charles shook his hand and spoke to him about his work. Afterwards, Daniel said: “I felt really lucky and it was a really good thing to be involved in.”

HRH went on to meet other local guests, Sill project partners, staff and volunteers at the park.

Representatives from The Princes Trust were among those he chatted to.

“I came to here (Princes Trust) to get some self confidence because I was struggling with social anxiety and I was just trying to get over that,” said Josh Hope (21) who met the prince.

“The Princes Trust helped a lot to build my confidence and I never imagined being this confident to do this.”

Since starting with The Princes Trust Josh said his confidence has grown massively, and he has now completed two residentials and was given a team leadership role on the second one.

“I felt a bit scared at first but as he got closer I felt more relaxed. He just seemed really down to earth,” explained Josh.

To wrap up his visit to The Sill, HRH headed up to the Whin Sill grassland roof, which has a panoramic view across Northumberland National Park, where he met with more visitors before unveiling a special commemorative stone.

Glen Sanderson, Northumberland National Park Authority chairman, said: “Today’s celebration is testament to years of hard work and the firm belief that our nation’s exceptional landscapes should be enjoyed by as many people as possible.”