South Northumberland is a botanically rich county. It is the eighth largest vice county and has a wide variety of habitats including large areas of blanket bog; whin grasslands; large natural lakes; area of metallophyte flora; vast moors, upland hay meadows and ancient woodlands.
The local natural history scene is vibrant and includes the Northumbrian Wildlife Trust, the Natural History Society of Northumberland and a local record centre. There are also specialist groups for all kinds of organisms.
South Northumberland was the birth place of William Turner (c.1508 – 1568), sometimes refered to as the Father of English Botany. Paris quadrifolia still grows in Cottingwood where he wrote it grew in 1551.