Kielder Salmon Centre is hosting a day of activities for all the family in April, in order to mark the Centre’s re-opening after the winter months and to celebrate International Year of the Salmon 2019.
Watery Wildlife Day is suitable for families of all ages and the itinerary for the day will include a closer look at some intriguing aspects of the River Tyne and its inhabitants, with walks, talks and rambles.
The event takes place on Thursday 11 April at Kielder Salmon Centre and the surrounding area.
Activities will take place between 10am and 2pm, with staff meeting and greeting visitors, as well as giving demonstrations and talks about the amazing salmon, sea trout, and freshwater pearl mussel, as well as other aspects of the Centre’s work.
Richard Bond, Kielder Hatchery Manager, said: ‘’April is a time when everything springs to life at the Centre, so our special re-opening event is a fantastic way to say goodbye to the winter months and celebrate the work that is done at the Centre all year round.
‘’During this event, we aim to give our visitors an extra-special glimpse of the work that we and our partners do which benefits the fish, wildlife and habitat in and around the River Tyne’’.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust will be on hand with the Restoring Ratty stand, telling visitors about the fantastic initiative to reintroduce water voles to Kielder. There will be a ‘Ratty Ramble’ at 1pm.
Tyne Rivers Trust will also give a fascinating insight to river fly, mayflies and salmon in the Centre’s classroom setting, explaining how the Trust works across the River Tyne area.
Depending on water levels of the burn behind the Centre, there may be an opportunity for families to try out some ‘kick sampling’ in the burn to look at invertebrates using nets and trays. Stonefly, Freshwater Shrimp, Caseless caddis and other invertebrates may be found in the nets and tipped into the trays for inspection!
At 2pm there will be a ‘Smolt Trap Saunter’. A smolt is a young salmon or trout on its first journey to the sea and depending on water levels, staff will walk with people up to the smolt trap, where it is hoped that visitors will be able to see these beautiful fish at the start of their incredible journey to the north Atlantic. All smolts are returned to the river.
Places are limited for the Ratty Ramble and the Smolt Trap Saunter, and can be booked on a first come first serve basis with staff on the morning.
Simone Price, ‘My Tyne’ Project Officer at Tyne Rivers Trust, said:
‘’We can’t wait to show everyone what we do at Tyne Rivers Trust and to look at some river bugs and tell everyone about all of the wonderful creatures that live in our rivers and why we need to protect them. The Kielder Salmon Centre supports us each year with our Salmon in the Classroom project and we are really looking forward to The Watery Wildlife day!’’
Kelly Hollings, Restoring Ratty project officer, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, added: ‘Water voles don’t hibernate but they remain very dormant during winter months and feed on their supplies of dried vegetation in their burrows. Spring is a special time when we start to see evidence of them again and we’d love to take visitors along to a water vole release site and have a look for some field signs’’.
This will be an exciting day with lots going on for all ages. It is recommended that visitors bring a packed lunch and refreshments, as well as range of clothing in case of inclement weather. Visitors are urged to check times of public transport, facilities and disabled access in advance. Visitors can use the car park at Kielder Castle, NE48 1ER. Disabled parking is available at the Salmon Centre.
There is a wide range of alternative activities available to visitors to Kielder, including the nearby Minotaur Maze, Kielder Water and Forest Park, various visitor and information centres, Kielder Castle, Bakethin Reservoir and nature reserve, Kielder Observatory and Kielder Birds of Prey Centre.