Visit Kielder

Wildlife and nature

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 and is impressive and unique in the UK. Explorers can expect to encounter badgers, roe deer, otters, red squirrels,  shrews, seven species of bat, many woodland birds and, especially in spring, birds of prey including ospreys.

What you might see while you’re here - green boxes below indicate the month you are most likely to see

Kielder Wildlife Calendar

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 hatchery and visitor centre at Kielder Salmon Centre feature state of the art facilities for rearing both salmon and other rare species such as freshwater pearl mussel.

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. In addition, there is a bird hide.

There are also wildlife events throughout the park all year round including wildlife cruises, red squirrel safaris, osprey watch and bush craft activities, details of which can be found to the right of this page.

The spring is an excellent time to view birds of prey. Also, dragonflies and damselflies can be seen in the summer. Migrating birds are frequent sights in the autumn including fieldfare and redwing.

In the winter, wildfowl, siskins, crossbills and hungry red squirrels are common sights.

The wildlife garden at Leaplish Waterside Park is open all year round and comprises a raised pond and butterfly shaped bed, a bog and drought garden and a nest box demonstration area. Adders, butterflies, stoats and amphibiants inhabit the garden. Nearby, the Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre is open all year round except Christmas Day.

Kielder Castle Visitor Centre has the red squirrel room and the red squirrel hide is nearby.

Ospreys at Kielder Water & Forest Park

After over 200 years of absence from Northumberland it is a delight to see ospreys thriving at Kielder. In 2016 a fourth pair of ospreys are breeding for the first time.  There is every chance that this year we will see a record number of chicks fledge. The best year to date was 2014 when Nest 3 first bred - eight chicks fledged from the three nests. Since 2009 when ospreys began to re-colonise at Kielder 31 chicks have fledged in total.

Between late March and early September visitors using the Lakeside Way may see ospreys hunting over the water and can enjoy unique views of the birds at Kielder Castle Cafe and Leaplish Waterside Park thanks to special cameras we have on two of the nests.

Osprey Watch will run at Leaplish Waterside Park every weekend from 4 June, 10.30-16.30 and on Wednesdays also from 6 July. NWT volunteers will be on hand with scopes so visitors can view Nest 1A and learn more about these iconic birds.

 

You can support the Osprey Watch online.

If you are coming up specifically for the Osprey Watch, don’t forget to check the blog for the most up to date news and what days the volunteers are here.

Search for things to do

Outside Tower Knowe Visitor Centre
External
The Kielder Wave Chamber
5502 at Kielder Water
Loading

Wildlife and nature

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 and is impressive and unique in the UK. Explorers can expect to encounter badgers, roe deer, otters, red squirrels,  shrews, seven species of bat, many woodland birds and, especially in spring, birds of prey including ospreys.

What you might see while you’re here - green boxes below indicate the month you are most likely to see

Kielder Wildlife Calendar

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 hatchery and visitor centre at Kielder Salmon Centre feature state of the art facilities for rearing both salmon and other rare species such as freshwater pearl mussel.

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. In addition, there is a bird hide.

There are also wildlife events throughout the park all year round including wildlife cruises, red squirrel safaris, osprey watch and bush craft activities, details of which can be found to the right of this page.

The spring is an excellent time to view birds of prey. Also, dragonflies and damselflies can be seen in the summer. Migrating birds are frequent sights in the autumn including fieldfare and redwing.

In the winter, wildfowl, siskins, crossbills and hungry red squirrels are common sights.

The wildlife garden at Leaplish Waterside Park is open all year round and comprises a raised pond and butterfly shaped bed, a bog and drought garden and a nest box demonstration area. Adders, butterflies, stoats and amphibiants inhabit the garden. Nearby, the Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre is open all year round except Christmas Day.

Kielder Castle Visitor Centre has the red squirrel room and the red squirrel hide is nearby.

Ospreys at Kielder Water & Forest Park

After over 200 years of absence from Northumberland it is a delight to see ospreys thriving at Kielder. In 2016 a fourth pair of ospreys are breeding for the first time.  There is every chance that this year we will see a record number of chicks fledge. The best year to date was 2014 when Nest 3 first bred - eight chicks fledged from the three nests. Since 2009 when ospreys began to re-colonise at Kielder 31 chicks have fledged in total.

Between late March and early September visitors using the Lakeside Way may see ospreys hunting over the water and can enjoy unique views of the birds at Kielder Castle Cafe and Leaplish Waterside Park thanks to special cameras we have on two of the nests.

Osprey Watch will run at Leaplish Waterside Park every weekend from 4 June, 10.30-16.30 and on Wednesdays also from 6 July. NWT volunteers will be on hand with scopes so visitors can view Nest 1A and learn more about these iconic birds.

 

You can support the Osprey Watch online.

If you are coming up specifically for the Osprey Watch, don’t forget to check the blog for the most up to date news and what days the volunteers are here.

Search for accommodation

Search for things to do

Search for events