Kielder Water and Forest Park

Birdwatching Sites Kielder Water and Forest Park

At the northern border of Northumberland; as England ends and Scotland begins there is a large reservoir surrounded by woodland known as ‘Kielder Water and Forest Park’. Kielder is the largest artificial lake and man-made woodland in Europe. Thousands of visitors travel to this beautiful upland landscape every year to enjoy the amazing views, fresh upland air and leisure activities.

The forest park, remains a haven for Red Squirrel with about half of the UK’s population choosing Kielder as their home. There are also Badgers, Otters and Roe Deer. Kielder can also be a great location to see Ospreys during the summer months.

The forest park is well loved by Chaffinches, Crossbills, Redpolls and Siskin and in the spring/summer months, Tree Pipits and a large selection of Warblers are also present.

A Common Lizard

As you explore, you may also find Curlew, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Raven, Red Grouse and Ring Ouzel; especially, as you reach the higher levels. Other birds to watch out include Goldcrest, Goosander, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Pied Flycatchers and if your very lucky a Wood Warbler. There is also a small non-native colony of Mandarin which particularly love the North Tyne River/Ridley Stokoe stretch.

Kielder can be a great place to view birds of prey such as Buzzard, Goshawk, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. Ospreys also visit Kielder in the summer. Every year, from late May, The Northumberland Wildlife Trust coordinate a team of dedicated volunteers to host a public viewing point for a watch situated behind the Boat Inn at Leaplish Waterside Park to view Ospreys.


The Kielder Osprey Project

The Kielder Osprey project is a partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust and the Forestry Commission. Osprey watch typically runs every weekend from late May (and additional Wednesdays during the school summer holidays) until mid-August after the birds leave the nest area.

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A Chaffinch

Bakethin Reservoir

Bakethin Nature Reserve

At the western fringes of the Kielder Reservoir, you can find the Bakethin Reservoir, which is managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and partner organisations as a nature reserve. The water levels here are managed to create a wildlife sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. A bird hide is provided and there are a number of paths, which enable visitors to explore the surrounding woodland.

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Map Reference

NY 670 880


  • Wetland
  • Woodland
  • Grassland


There is free public access.


There are toilets and cafes available.


There is paid parking available.

Additional Information

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