Kielder Waterside

5 things things to do exploring Kielder's wildlife

Northumberland’s beautiful, award-winning Kielder Water & Forest Park is a fantastic, natural habitat for many rare species of native British wildlife - and is a unique and wonderful place for all to visit and enjoy.

Five Things to Do for the Best of Kielder’s Wildlife

Kielder contains England’s largest working forest and the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe. At 250 square miles, it is home to England’s largest red squirrel population and in 2009, rare ospreys returned to the area following an absence of more than 200 years in Northumberland.

As there is so much to see and do here, we thought we would give you a helping hand in narrowing down your options. Here are five top things to do at Kielder Water & Forest Park...

1) Kielder Osprey Watch

As a very special experience to share as a family, how about spotting one of the magnificent Kielder ospreys? Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Kielder “Osprey Watch” has knowledgeable guides and powerful telescopes to allow visitors to observe these magnificent birds unobtrusively. Osprey Watch runs from Kielder Waterside (behind the Boat Inn) on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter Saturday April 20th until mid-August (and Wednesdays in July and August). More information at

2) 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. It won’t cost you a thing and you’ll gain tons of fresh air and a new zest for exploration! So, grab a smart phone or GPS system, sign up free to, 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.

3) Virtual tour guide!

There are now 8 Kielder walks on the popular walkers 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 suggests what to look out for, but also 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.

4) Family wildlife adventures on water

Join an Osprey and Wildlife motorboat cruise around Kielder Water with The Calvert Trust and enjoy a guided wildlife trip around the lake. You’re transported in a covered motorboat operated by experienced staff and accompanied by knowledgeable Northumberland Wildlife Trust volunteers. This runs at various times over the summer. Price £23 per person. For more information please email [email protected] or call 01434 250 232.

5) Family Bushcrafts

For a totally unique experience for the whole family, why not enrol on a Family Bushcrafts activity? On 18th April (and then all Thursday’s in August) you can learn a range of bushcraft and wilderness survival skills with a qualified trainer who’s been doing this for over 30 years. Deep in the woods, learn how to build a shelter, light a fire, cook an outdoor meal and make something to take away – maybe an elder-wood pea-shooter or a string bracelet from nettles! Children must be five years and over and there is a maximum of two children per adult. The cost is £40 for a family of 4, and £10 for additional person. Booking is essential.

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