Cragside country park

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Cragside (National Trust)

Cragside (National Trust)

Created by the 1st Lord Armstrong over a period of twenty years,Cragside's scenery and house are outstanding.A large stone mansion designed by lOndon architect Richard norman Shaw (the first in the World to be lit by hydro-electricity) stands on a steep rocky hill which is terraced with many walks and accessed by a tarmac drive.
There are endless varieties of trees at cragside and in June the whole estate is ablaze with colour from the many Rhododendrons and Azaleas.Huge boulders, remnants of the glacial period, lie amongst the woodland, showing visible marks of the ice age which may also be seen in the striated rocks above the house.
There are three freshwater lakes on the estate.Tumbleton, formed when the Debdon burn was dammed, is the first to be visible as one enters the grounds.Next, in an anti-clockwise direction is the Blackburn lake.It has two hides and a car park.Nelly Moss lakes are the largest stretches of water and have picnic sites and parking fascilities.Perhaps the most spectacular view is that from the dam at Tumbleton lake in the valley running towards the coquet.Here the Debdon burn is shaded by huge fir trees and with the iron bridge centrally positioned high above the winding path, combined with the distant elevated mansion house, a splendidly picturesque scene is created.There are some 40 miles of drives and footpaths, a National Trust shop, visitor centre and cafe.Even if your passion for birds outweighs any other, the mansion house is not to be missed.

The Birds

All Year; Little Grebe, Heron, Mallard, Sparrowhawk, kestrel, Pheasant, Moorhen, Coot, Woodcock, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Dipper, Tits including Marsh and Long-tailed, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Siskin, Linnet, Redpoll, Crossbill, Bullfinch, Occassional Hawfinch, Goldcrest, Reed Bunting.
Spring -summer; Greylag goose, Common Sandpiper, Cuckoo, Swift, Swallow, House martin, Sand Martin, Tree pipit, Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher.
Autumn - Winter; Fieldfare, Redwing, Brambling occassional Waxwing.
Records for White Stork, Bittern, Osprey, Hobby

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