At the northern border of Northumberland; as England ends and Scotland begins there is a large reservoir surrounded by woodland known as ‘Kielder Water and Forest Park’. Kielder is the largest artificial lake and man-made woodland in Europe. Thousands of visitors travel to this beautiful upland landscape every year to enjoy the amazing views, fresh upland air and leisure activities.
The forest park, remains a haven for Red Squirrel with about half of the UK’s population choosing Kielder as their home. There are also Badgers, Otters and Roe Deer. Kielder can also be a great location to see wild Reptiles in the UK and if your lucky you may catch up with a Common Lizard or a Grass Snake.
The forest park is well loved by Chaffinches, Crossbills, Redpolls and Siskin and in the spring/summer months, Tree Pipits and a large selection of Warblers are also present.
As you explore, you may also find Curlew, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Raven, Red Grouse and Ring Ouzel; especially, as you reach the higher levels. Other birds to watch out include Goldcrest, Goosander, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Pied Flycatchers and if your very lucky a Wood Warbler. There is also a small non-native colony of Mandarin which particularly love the North Tyne River/Ridley Stokoe stretch.
Kielder can be a great place to view birds of prey such as Buzzard, Goshawk, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. Ospreys also visit Kielder in the summer. Every year, from late May, The Northumberland Wildlife Trust coordinate a team of dedicated volunteers to host a public viewing point for a watch situated behind the Boat Inn at Leaplish Waterside Park to view Ospreys.
The Kielder Osprey Project
The Kielder Osprey project is a partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust and the Forestry Commission. Osprey watch typically runs every weekend from late May (and additional Wednesdays during the school summer holidays) until mid-August after the birds leave the nest area.
Bakethin Nature Reserve
At the western fringes of the Kielder Reservoir, you can find the Bakethin Reservoir, which is managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and partner organisations as a nature reserve. The water levels here are managed to create a wildlife sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. A bird hide is provided and there are a number of paths, which enable visitors to explore the surrounding woodland.
Below is a selection of photos from the Kielder Water and Forest Park.
To view a larger image, please click once, on a photo.