The unknown noise started quite early in the morning…
It was faint at first. You could hear something, prick up your ears; only to hear silence again.
We live in the most tranquil place in England. That's the claim...and I tend to agree. Kielder in the evenings and mornings is silent! There can be a debate the next day about the car that drove through the village in the early hours, it's that peaceful.
So to be woken by a 'noise' on a Sunday morning at six o'clock is worth a neb.
I checked the bathroom tap...not a drip to be heard. I give the lads bedrooms a quick once over, expecting the TV to be left on, or a CD playing to sleeping kids...not this morning. As I pad around I find that the sound that is now gaining in both rhythm and volume.
The noise it seems is coming from the street, I open the front door to be confronted by a wall of...silence. I listened, harder this time…nothing.
The next morning, same time... (a veteran to this sleuthing game now) I creep down the stairs, via the back garden and tiptoe silently in to the street. The noise is there, louder now and more incessant.
For a moment I'm confused, I'm looking down an empty street with a noise, but I can see nothing that could be making it.
I shut my eyes and find that I can hone in on the sound...success! And there he is...Mr Woodpecker! His ideal 'tree' was causing him some dismay. It was not yielding to his hammer-like blows, but it was making a fantastic 'loud' noise.
His tree was in fact a telegraph pole, but his attention was on the metal box at the top, which, when hit well gave the same effect to that of a four year old let loose with a drum and a stick!
Fortunately he has seen the error of his ways and has found a more traditional tree in the area. It's not that we are short of them is it?
As you can see from this picture, our telegraph poles are ideal for habitation. However say that to residents when our power is off for eight hours allowing the Electricity Board to replace aforementioned pole with too many holes in!
On Friday 14 June Kielder's Millennium Garden was descended upon by 20 industrious people. This included Forestry Commission workers with volunteers from Kielder village, Kielder First School and Kielder Parish Council. Nature had ensured the garden was thriving well, so the team descended on the garden with much gusto and vigour. A morning’s hard graft had the garden looking grand. Well done all!
Yet another anniversary at Kielder - the dependable Forest Drive was 40 this year. To commemorate this fact, a convoy of classic vehicles drove the 12 mile toll road. The Forestry Commission provided refreshments at the highest point, with an extremely knowledgeable presentation by Graham Gill, Forest Manager. All participants received the plaque that you can see here.
There is also an excellent video of the drive filmed from the air of the celebration by a model plane. Watch, listen and enjoy!
The classic car event held at the castle was well attended. The rain did not dampen spirits and the 'Big Boys Toys' left nonchalantly in the forest were great to see.
There is a fact here that if you see a style of car that you used to drive and it's now a classic...you're getting older! The Morris Marina was my first car and it is now a classic. That's it, I'm officially old!
I felt I had to put this next piccie in. Too many times I get approached at the end of the day, by a weary walker. The now exhausted traveller, realising that walking ten miles back to their car (usually near the dam) as the sun sets, is asking a bit much. So they approach 'civilisation' and request the assistance of the local taxi firm.
Well the long and short of it is we don't have a taxi firm. So find attached the one and only time I had a taxi at my shop!
The ospreys are keeping us busy with plenty of fish being brought into the nest, with chicks now feeding themselves and Mum able to fly off for a well earned break. Follow their progress online on the Visit Kielder Website.
Or when visiting the area come and see the 'live video link' at the newly refurbished Kielder Castle Café or at The Boat Inn at Leaplish. Either way, relax, take in the views and enjoy the live link with a snack or a beverage.
Any nature lovers living in or visiting the Kielder area are particularly fortuitous in that we have the opportunity to experience so much wildlife. For some it is a dream come true...and we have it all in our back garden. Here is one example:
Many of the gardens within the village have a bird table or two dotted about. During the harsher months we consistently feed our garden birds and a pile of seed or bread will be devoured in no time at all. One evening I sat outside on my garden step enjoying the spring weather and listening to the twitter of happy birds tucking into my neighbours recently filled feeders. Something caught my eye down the bottom of my garden moving along the hedge. I could not believe my eyes as a Sparrowhawk flew directly at me. Amazed, I watched its beauty approach and then a few feet from me it swung hard left and powerhoused into the feasting flock. This happened a few times, with the drudgery of washing up being transformed the other lunchtime as I watched further hunting occur. An unfortunate victim was dispatched in front of my kitchen window.
It's clear that the Sparrowhawks are delighted with our Smorgasbord of feathered treats. As this photo clearly depicts: Mrs. Sparrowhawk is resting on the very perch her prey sits on. (She's glaring at the bird table, which is about 12 inches away! Cheeky lady!) Photo by kind permission of Mrs. M. Bird.
Environmental Agency sources have informed me that an otter has been seen in the area. This was with a number of other persons who had to keep their excitement in check as the first whiff of aftershave or shriek of excitement would have had the Lutra lutra scurrying for cover.
Any otter or wildlife lovers must take advantage of the Bakethin Wildlife Sanctuary hide on the banks of Bakethin Reservoir, with its relaxing atmosphere and pleasing views. Whilst nature never appears on spec., just the possibility of seeing something wild and free can be exhilarating.
So with the trees now in full blossom, birds feeding their chicks and the weather really giving us a treat why don't you pop along and view the Lakeside Way with its many bike trails? There will be one to suit all levels. Kielder Cycle Hire (AKA The Bike Place) has now moved to the tailor-made premises near Kielder Castle next to the car park. These new premises allow Ian and his team (in his own words) to take you to the next level. To book phone 01434 250457. With change always available for car parking. Failing that, Kielder Village Store will always be able to give change and directions to any wayward soles.
Ok, that's it for now. Be sure to drop any news or stories worth a mention to firstname.lastname@example.org and here is a question for you before I go:
We have a Skein of Geese, a Flock of Seagulls. What is the group name for Crows?
All the best
Visit one of the largest and most fascinating collections of birds of prey in the North of England, located within the magnificent forest lakeside surrounding Kielder Water.
Open daily except for Christmas Day. April to mid October 10.30am-4.30pm. Mid October to March 10.30am-4.00pm. For more information please go to http://www.kielderbopc.com/