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 landscape, its characterisation and future strategy.
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, Coffee Morning, Tarset Ceilidh Band, and Song Reivers. More culturally orientated activities include Bellingham and District Dramatic Society, Border Natural History Society, First Thursday Films, poetry classes from Highgreen Arts at Highgreen Manor, the Tarset Archive Group, Wednesday Art Club, Wool Gathering, 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 yoga sessions at the Village Hall, and events at Wild Northumbrian. Sporting activities are run by Kielder Sports and Tarset Torture Trails, there is local sports massage and personal training, and cycling and special events. Important annual events include:
Farming employs many in the local population, but there are many trades, artists and other businesses including Highgreen Arts, the Holly Bush Inn, Northern Wilds, Tarset Tor, Torture Trails, 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.