Volunteer for a wonderful osprey experience this summer

Northumberland Wildlife Trust is seeking volunteers to help with the Kielder Osprey Watch project, at Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Waterside this summer.

The Kielder Osprey Project is a partnership between Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Forestry Commission, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water and Calvert Trust Kielder.To find out more go to www.visitkielder.com and keep up to date on the osprey’s return to Kielder by visiting the blog: kielderospreys.wordpress.com

Breeding pairs of ospreys have arrived in Kielder between March and September for the last 9 years, and activity on the nest tends to be mainly throughout July and August as the chicks hatch, are fed, learn to fly and hunt.  If successful, this will be the 10th year ospreys will have bred at Kielder.

The wildlife charity is hoping to recruit a large team of volunteers to spend weekends, including Bank Holidays from April through to August, with additional Wednesdays in July and August between 10.30am and 5.00pm to staff an information area complete with information boards, live web camera footage and telescopes at Kielder Waterside.  It is a very busy day, but very rewarding, and a great opportunity to meet new people.  

Do not be put off getting involved if you are not an expert, as full training will be given at the 2018 season induction session on Thursday 22 March, between 10:30am and 5:15pm,at the Calvert Trust inKielder.

Last year, a number of  visitors had not used a telescope before and knew very  little about the birds, whilst others arrived with their own kit and had been touring all the reserves in the region - but whatever the level of knowledge, everybody appreciated the volunteers’ help and the opportunity they were given to view the osprey nest.

The Trust will be teaming up with the Calvert Trust once again and heading out onto Kielder Water for a series of two hour motor boat trips between theend of May and the end of August.  As with previous years, volunteers are needed to assist knowledgeable staff from Calvert Trust and help share the story of the Kielder ospreys over the past 9 years and guide the boat to recent osprey sightings.

The boat trips ran for the first time in 2015 and have proved to be popular with both volunteers and members of the public as it is a tailored event during which passengers can enjoy wonderful views of ospreys fishing and hunting.

Anybody interested should visit: www.nwt.org.uk/volunteer for more information and complete the online volunteer enquiry form - the first step to a wonderful osprey experience this summer.

Although volunteers mostly run Kielder Osprey Watch, the project still relies on donations in order to complete its work, which includes purchasing equipment to help with the osprey monitoring and protection, producing educational materials and outreach work, and installing and maintaining nest platforms.

 With this in mind, the project’s partners are inviting members of the public to join its Friends of Kielder Ospreys scheme, where for a minimum annual donation of £20, they can help protect these amazing birds for many years to come.  In return, ‘Friends’ will receive a certificate, specially designed pin badge, e-newsletter, postcards and re-usable osprey motif cotton shopping bag.  For more details www.nwt.org.uk/ospreys

Volunteer for a wonderful osprey experience this summer