Kielder forest

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Kielder forest


The sheer variety of habitats in Kielder Water & Forest Park, from woodland to marshy grasslands and bogs, create homes for a whole host of wildlife. Explorers can expect to encounter badgers, roe deer, otters, shrews, seven species of bat, many woodland birds and (especially in spring) birds of prey.

The Park is also home to around 50% of England’s native red squirrel population, the last remaining stronghold in the country. The best place to catch a glimpse of one is at the red squirrel hide at Leaplish Waterside Park.

A refurbished hatchery and visitor centre at Kielder Salmon Centre features state of the art facilities for rearing both salmon, and other rare species such as freshwater pearl mussel, and is a brand new attraction for summer 2008.

By keeping the water at a constant level at Bakethin Nature Reserve we have created a nature reserve, including three islands, which provide an important sanctuary for local plants, birds and other wildlife including otters.

There are also wildlife events throughout the park all year round including pond dipping, deer safaris, mini-beast hunts, family nature walks and bat nights.

Best places to spot wildlife in the Park:

1) Kielder Castle - the walking and cycling routes in the surrounding forest, including Deadwater Fell, offer breathtaking views and you are certain to encounter wildlife. Bats can spotted entering the castle at dusk and barn owls live close by. There are several bird and squirrel feeding stations here too.

2) Forest Drive - a spectacular 12 mile drive from Kielder Castle to Blakehopeburnhaugh on the A68. One of England's highest roads, cresting over 1,500 feet, the views over Northumberland are breathtaking. Expect occasional encounters with roe deer at dusk and dawn, feral goats and birds of prey. Two miles along the drive from Kielder Castle is a wildlife hide overlooking a scenic pond where waterfowl are commonly sighted. (The Forest Drive is a toll road and is open from Easter to Christmas).

3) Kielder Dam Wall - near the village of Falstone the dam wall holds back over 44 thousand million gallons of water and is home to brown and rainbow trout. Oystercatchers are frequently sighted from the dam wall and badgers have been seen here at dusk.

4) Falstone Moss - one of our lesser know gems! This blanket bog is an excellent place to see important invertebrate species such as the common blue damsel fly, emerald damselfly, common hawker and black darter. You may also see meadow pipits and adders – contrary to popular belief, adders only bite when threatened.

5) Leaplish Waterside Park - The Beeches Trail offers stunning views of the reservoir with common sightings of native red squirrels, especially at the squirrel hide where you can also see a variety of woodland birds. The Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre is open all year round except Christmas Day. A newly developed wildlife garden is open all year round and comprises both a raised pond and butterfly shaped bed, bog and drought garden and nest box demonstration area. Adders, butterflies, stoats and amphibians inhabit the garden.

6) Bakethin Raptor Viewpoint - a great bird watching spot. A couple of hours here and you might see impressive birds of prey such as goshawks, buzzards or ospreys.

7) Bakethin Conservation Area - the wildlife pond located on the track to the bird hide holds a multitude of species including newts, damselflies, dragonflies, toads and frogs. The hide is a great place to see wading birds, herons, cormorants and ducks as well as otters at dawn and dusk.

Further Information and full events listings here

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis.Picture Sergey Yeliseev

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis.Picture Sergey Yeliseev

Ospreys breeding in Kielder Water & Forest Park

We are delighted to confirm a pair of adult ospreys are nesting in Kielder Water & Forest Park and have successfully hatched chicks.

These migratory birds of prey were hunted to extinction in England by 1840 and in Scotland by 1916. They have been gradually returning since the 1950s and were awarded the highest level of legal protection against shooting and egg collecting in 1981. Although there are now 150 breeding pairs in Scotland, the population in England was restricted to Rutland Water and the Lake District….until now!

On Fridays from 1pm to 5pm and weekends from 10am to 5pm (until Monday 27 July), visitors to Kielder Water & Forest Park will be able to view these magnificent birds on their nest. High-powered telescopes have been provided by Northumbrian Water at the Mounces car park near Leaplish Waterside Park. There will also be a range of volunteer guides from the RSPB, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Tyneside Bird Club on hand to give more information.

Alternatively Mounces car park will be open daily for bird enthusiasts to view these birds with their own equipment, but please note the vantage point is 2 miles from the nest and close up views will not be possible. A park and ride bus will be in operation from Leaplish Waterside Park to transport visitors to Mounces car park and back again. Visitors can go to the viewing platform at any time however the expert staff, viewing equipment and shuttle buses are only available at the specified viewing times above.

Click here for more information....

Kielder Water and Forest (OS Explorer Map)

Recent bird photographs from Kielder
Birding Video from Kielder forest
Kielder forest Twitter
Kielder Links
Local services and Accommodation Kielder
Birdwatching Walks at Kielder

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