Are you seeking wilderness and great wild encounters? If so, look no further than Northumberland’s award-winning Kielder Water & Forest Park – home, during the Summer months, to magnificent ospreys, and year round to Goshawks, crossbills and other upland specialities. Not to mention England’s largest surviving Red Squirrel population.
Boasting England’s largest working forest and the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe, Kielder now hosts a fantastic, state of the art wildlife hide – built on the shores of the parks renowned Bakethin nature reserve. Over the past two years, students from the University of Newcastle have worked closely with Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Northumbrian Wildlife Trust and Northumbrian Water on the project, resulting in the creation of a cutting-edge facility designed to facilitate observation of myriad wild creatures. On the subject, Lynn Turner, Director of the Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust, writes that the facility “will be of a huge benefit to the local community and to visitors, and will provide a fantastic vantage point for nature lovers for years to come”.
The new hide comprises of two spacious hexagonal pods, built on different levels to face the forest (the forest pod) and the reservoir itself (the lake pod). With each room adorned with information boards showcasing the local fauna one can expect to spot during a trip to Bakethin. The forest pod is equipped with tall windows to provide a close-up view of the tall trees surrounding the pod, whilst the lake pod is slightly elevated so to allow unprecedented viewing of the nearby osprey nesting pole. This setup offers splendid observation of the birds throughout the nesting season and enables viewing of many other species found in the park. From otters to migratory waterfowl. Both pods are fully accessible and can be enjoyed by wheelchair users due to carefully designed spaces under the window ledges. Finally, to avoid disturbing the sensitive ecology of the site, two screening walls extend along the lakeside and into the forest, greatly reducing the human impact and increasing the viewing experience within the hide.
Ultimately, the new hide aims to educate locals and tourists alike with regards to the biodiversity of Kielder and to facilitate their enjoyment of this superb site long into the future. It is well worth a visit.
Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust is a registered charity working to develop the Park as an inspirational place.
For more information, please visit www.visitkielder.com