Amazing animals and plants live all over the Park. Lots of common species can be seen every day, and rare and spectacular species can often be spotted too. Visits are more rewarding and memorable when this wildlife is experienced first-hand. There are several nature hubs at Kielder Water & Forest Park: Tower Knowe, Bakethin Nature Reserve and Kielder Castle , each with up to date information, activities and tips, it’s safer and easier to find memorable places to play and discover first-hand what else is Living Wild at Kielder as the wildlife changes throughout the year.
Tower Knowe and Kielder Castle have parking, cafés, information and toilets. Tower Knowe Visitor Centre near Kielder dam introduces the whole Park. From there you can also explore the secrets of the lake shore and headlands, seeing rare plants and spectacular views. It’s simple to spot animals from family nature trails and architectural viewing points around Kielder Castle and nearby (parking near viaduct and limited spaces at the dipping pond) Bakethin Nature Reserve and you can learn about the salmon’s incredible journey at Kielder Salmon Centre.
You can discover wildlife anywhere in Kielder Water and Forest Park, but here are some free activities which will help you to enjoy yourself.
Virtual tour guide!
There are eight Kielder walks on the ViewRanger app. Simply install the free app and search for Kielder Water & Forest Park Wild Walks. You can then easily download the route and information on a smartphone before you visit, so you have it to hand whilst walking. The app not only gives directions, route map and photographs, it also suggests what to look out for and offers fascinating wildlife information at each waypoint. Visitors can also listen to audio clips of Kielder wildlife experts talking about all the varied species who live here and how they are cared for.
Go wild treasure hunting!
The six “Wild at Kielder” geocaches hidden around the park allow families to enjoy fabulous scenery, learn more about wildlife and discover hidden treasure. Sign up at www.geocaching.com and download on to a smart phone or GPS system for free. Then head to Kielder and start searching. It’s a great family activity for all ages and gets everyone out into the open air with a shared mission and sense of excitement. Four geocaches are hidden around Kielder Castle, the Duchess Trail and the Salmon Centre; one is on Tower Knowe peninsula and one at the Belling.
These caches are waterproof boxes in a camouflage waterproof bag containing activities, interpretation, a log book and ‘treasures’ for geocachers to swap.
The wildlife garden at Kielder Waterside 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 amphibians inhabit the garden. Nearby, the Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre is open all year round except Christmas Day.
Or, why not get involved in conservation or osprey watch? Try Volunteering with Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Wildlife thrives, and we do too, when we take good care of Kielder Water & Forest Park
The way we look after Kielder affects our water, climate, air and quality of life for everyone across the north east. Kielder is an evolving, experimental landscape with animals, plants and people living off the developing habitats. It captures carbon, regulates river flows, and helps our resilience in a changing climate.