With a widely-dispersed population of less than 300, the parish of Tarset with Greystead is more active and has a greater number of community groups than many towns. It is a cultural, social and sporting hotspot.
Most of the community activities centre around Tarset Village Hall at Lanehead, and the Holly Bush Inn and First School at Greenhaugh. However, Tarset residents are also active participants, organisers and helpers with groups and activities in the adjacent communities of Bellingham, Falstone, Kielder and Redesdale. This leads to a rich and varied programme of community events.
The Northumberland National Park Authority's Historic Village Atlas contains descriptions for Greenhaugh and Tarset and an archaeological and historical study as a single document. The area has a number of listed buildings, most of which are privately owned. A survey undertaken in 2007 for the former Tynedale District Council, A Landscape Character Assessment of Tynedale District and Northumberland National Park, describes the evolution of the landcsape, its characterisation and future strategy.
Groups, activities and events
The community groups are diverse: social activities include the darts team, the Green Fingers Gardening Group, the North Tyne WI, the North Tyne and Redewater Choral Society, Scottish Country Dancing Club, Tarset Grumpies, Tarset Over 50s Social Club, Tarset Silver Singers and the Toddlers Group. More culturally orientated activities include Bellingham and District Amateur Dramatic Society, Border Natural History Society, First Thursday Films, poetry classes from Highgreen Arts at Highgreen Manor, the Tarset Archive Group, upholstery classes and events organised by Visual Arts in Rural Communities who also run the annual artist in residence scheme.
For exercise of the mind, body and spirit, the local church is St Aidans Thorneyburn and there are health walks, yoga classes from Highgreen Arts, pilates at the Village Hall, events at Wild Northumbrian, and walking meditation. Sporting activities are run by the Tarset Clay Shooting Club, and cycling and special events at the Comb. Important annual events include:
- Bellingham Agricultural Show
- Falstone Border Shepherds Show
- Kielder Inter Company Challenge
- Tarset and District Leek Show.
Farming employs many in the local population, but there are many trades, artists and other businesses including Bloodaxe Books, the Comb, Highgreen Arts, the Holly Bush Inn, Reivers Development, the Tarset Clay Shooting Club, Tarset Epic Design, Tarset Tor, Tarset Toys, Wild Northumbrian, Unison Colour, and visitor accommodation Other organisational groups include the Farmers Group, Tarset and Greystead Parish Council, Tarset 2050 CIC and the Village Hall Committee. The local community newspaper is Tarset News. The Tarset community participate in the oil and diesel purchasing group.
Although much of Tarset does not have any mobile phone signal, our local telephone exchange provides excellent high-speed broadband internet access, which our blogging and tweeting community makes good use of.
Many community organisations, activities, events and projects are supported with help from Tarset and Greystead Parish Council, Northumberland National Park Authority, the former Tynedale Council, the Forestry Commission North East England and Northumberland County Council.