Wild at Kielder 2018

Get the family together and discover your wild side at Kielder this May bank holiday for a weekend of exploration in nature.

We’re getting ‘Wild at Kielder’ once again on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May with a bank holiday weekend full of wildlife themed activities all over Kielder Water and Forest Park.

There will be a varied range of activities suitable for the whole family – some are free 'just turn up' and others are bookable in advance to avoid disappointment! This is a chance to see the wilder side of Kielder; opening up a world of exploration and excitement that will keep little and large kids enthralled and involved in nature for the rest of their lives. Don't miss the Gruffalo who was a huge hit last year!

Check out the programme below with full details and booking links if required. 

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for special updates. 


 - Family activity  - Walk Green Background - Free event
 - Child activity  - Talk  


Wild at Kielder The Gruffalo © www.neildenham.co.uk

The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo will be making an appearance at Kielder Castle this weekend! Make sure you go and find him!

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
All day

Cost: Free

Den building for children © Wild North Discovery

Den Building for Families
Build a forest den and find out how waterproof it is! Join in the fun; use the natural materials you find around you in the forest to build yourself a den but be prepared to have it tested for how rain proof it is while you are in it!

Sun 6th May: 11:00 - 12:30

Cost: £5 per person

Booking: Ring or email to check place availability: tel. 01388 529154 or email enquiries@natureholiday.co.uk then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and make your payment by cheque or click on the button below to pay online.

Red squirrel at Kielder Forest © Wild North Discovery

Forest Wildlife Safari
Discover the secretive wildlife of the forest. Join professional naturalist, Bruce Ferguson and uncover the tracks, trails and signs left behind by its secretive inhabitants from red squirrels and deer to its bird and insect life. Find out how these animals live and interact with their forest environment and the challenges they face in their everyday lives.

Sun 6th May: 13:30 - 15:00
Mon 7th May: 15:30 - 17:00

Cost: £5 per person, not suitable for young children.

Booking: Ring or email to check place availability: tel. 01388 529154 or email enquiries@natureholiday.co.uk then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and make your payment below online.

fire by friction using a bow drill © Wild North Discovery

Fire by Friction
and Other Fire Skills

Fire by friction is an ancient method of creating fire, the origins of which are probably tens of thousands of years old. You’ll have a go at both this technique and also explore other fire lighting skills.

Sun 6th May: 15:30 - 17:00
Mon 7th May: 13:30 - 15:00

Cost: £5 per person. For adults. If children attend they should be 13 or over and accompanied by an adult.

Booking: Ring or email to check place availability: tel. 01388 529154 or email enquiries@natureholiday.co.uk then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and make your payment below online.

Bushcrafts cooking fire © Wild North Discovery

Family Bushcraft
Taster Session

Build a shelter and light a fire - You’ll need to make a shelter to keep dry and out of the wind and then you’ll need to keep warm, so you’ll build and light your own camp fire (without matches).

Mon 7th May: 11:00 - 12:30

Cost: £5 per person. Maximum of two children per adult. Children should be 5 or over.

Booking: Ring or email to check place availability: tel. 01388 529154 or email enquiries@natureholiday.co.uk then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and make your payment online.

WaK Alpaca Walk © www.neildenham.co.uk

Alpaca Walks
Ever fancied taking an alpaca for a stroll? Well, now’s your chance! You can walk the alpaca yourself or with a friend. You will take a leisurely walk along the 2.5 mile Duchess Trail starting the walk from Kielder Castle car park. You will be walking for approximately one hour, there will be a briefing prior to the walk regarding safety and of course time getting to know your alpaca! It is essential that all participants wear sturdy footwear (please note, participants will not be able to participate if footwear is not suitable).

Location: KielderCastle, Duchess Trail

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
12:00 - 13:00
13:30 - 14:30
15:00 - 16:00

Cost: £25 per alpaca (max. 2 people per alpaca)

Booking: Please call or text 07427 662382 or email northstaralpacas@hotmail.com to check availability and make bookings. Suitable for all (children must be accompanied by an adult).

WaK NWT activity © www.neildenham.co.uk

Northumberland Wildlife Trust Activities
Wildlife themed arts and crafts activities.

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
10:00 - 16:00

Cost: £1 per child

Red squirrel © Amy Lewis

Red Squirrel Talk -
Keeping Track of Tufty

An introduction to this charismatic species and an update on work carried out around Kielder, and across Northern England, to protect it.

Sun 6th May: 12:00 - 13:00

Cost: £3 per person

Booking: Coming soon

Bird of Prey © Kielder Bird of Prey Centre

Bird of Prey
A appearance from a bird of prey, from Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre.

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May: 
11:30 - 12:30

Cost: Free

The Highway Rat © Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Highway Rat Trail
The Highway Rat is the latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book to be brought to life on our forest trails. Follow the panels, complete activities and interact with the forest as you head on a journey with The Highway Rat and all the characters from the story!

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
All day

Cost: Free

Water vole © Tom Marshall

Ratty Ramble
Come and join us for a couple of hours, we’ll talk to you about our project and take you out into the forest to look for signs of our recently released water voles and with lots of crossed fingers, maybe even see a real live one! We’ll have an informal chat for half an hour or so inside the castle before heading out into the forest. We’ll head up the forest drive where we shall stop off at a couple of locations; we’ll show you some water vole feeding signs, droppings and burrows and will sit for a while (if the midges and weather allow us to do so) looking for the illusive creatures themselves.

Sun 6th May: 14:30 - 16:30

Cost: £3 per person

Booking: Click the button below or call 01434 250898

Wildwood project area from the air

Wildwood and Water Voles - Talk and Tour
Join us for an adventurous excursion into the wilds of Kielderhead to visit one of the remotest parts of England where we have reintroduced water voles, thought to be the UK’s fastest declining mammal, which once had a thriving population in Kielder. We’ll also visit a site where we are about to embark on an ambitious project to restore 100 ha of upland wildwood, where you may also see a 6,000 year-old tree trunk, the evidence of the prehistoric forest that existed here. People will need to dress appropriately for this environment and changeable weather, plus wear sturdy boots.

Mon 7th May: 11:00 - 14:00

Cost: £5 per person

Booking: Click the button below


Food foraging © Northern Wilds

Food Foraging
and Guided Walk

We will guide you through different habitats teaching you how to explore the landscape, identify and harvest the seasonal wild foods it offers. The Northumberland landscape presents a splendid array of edible flora, fauna and fungi – you are sure to be amazed.

Sun 6th May:
10:30 - 11:30
13:30 - 14:30

Cost: £15 for adults and £10 for children

Booking: info@northernwilds.co.uk


Wildlife and Osprey Motorboat Cruises
An Osprey and Wildlife motor boat cruise around Kielder Water. Enjoy a guided trip around the lake with the Calvert Trust to take in as much wildlife as we can. You will be transported in a covered motor boat operated by experienced Calvert Trust staff and Northumberland Wildlife Trust volunteers who will help to spot local wildlife and hopefully the iconic Kielder ospreys! All safety equipment will be provided.

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
11:00 - 12:00
13:00 - 14:00
15:00 - 16:00

Cost: Single ticket, £15. Family ticket £45 (2 adults, 2 children)

Booking: Call 01434 250232


Girl in fairy outfit in forest

Fairy School
Come along to our Enchanted Wood to learn about our Fairy friends and how they live.
Dress up in real fairy clothes and create your very own Fairy Wand. Why not see if you can spot where all our Fairies live?
A wish and a spell and you can help us create our Fairy Wishing Tree.

Sun 6th May: 10:30 - 11:30

Cost: £7 per person

Booking: Click the button below or call 01434 251 000. 2+ years old (Adult supervision for under 16’s).

Pond dipping

Pond Dipping
Discover the wildlife which choose to make our ponds at Kielder their home. Get close to the aquatic wildlife and learn how to identify all of the beasts, bugs and amphibians. Use underwater cameras to take photos of the pond life for you to remember the session by.
Meeting Point: Please meet at the start of the Lakeside Way next to Reception. Signposted ‘Enchanted Woodland’.
Please note: This session is weather dependent and won’t run in near to and freezing conditions.

Mon 7th May: 15:00 - 15:30

Cost: £7 per person

Booking: Call us on 01434 251 000. 2+ years old (Adult supervision for under 16’s).

Bird box © Ross Hoddinott/2020VISIO

Wildlife Tracking and Habitat Home Building
Learn how to recognise wildlife trails and which species that have made them. Create wildlife friendly footprint tracks. Setup a camera trap and review what has been seen on previous trails. Learn which areas wildlife choose to make their home. At the end of your session you can choose to make a Bug Hotel, Bird Box, Squirrel Feeder or Bat Box! Please meet at the start of the Lakeside Way next to Reception. Signposted ‘Enchanted Woodland’.

Sun 6th May: 09:00 - 10:00
Mon 7th May: 13:00 - 14:00

Cost: £7 per person

Booking: Call us on 01434 251 000. 4+ years old (Adult supervision for under 16’s).

Guide in the hide © Simon Greener

Guide in a Hide
Kielder Water & Forest Park is 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 Kielder Waterside with common sightings of native red squirrels and a variety of woodland birds. Come along for FREE, take a moment and hopefully you’ll sneak a peek at one of our resident red squirrels getting up to mischief! The short walk to the hide offers stunning views of the reservoir too.

Location: Kielder Waterside Bird and Red Squirrel Hide

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
11:00 - 16:00

Cost: Free

Osprey © Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Osprey Watch
Join Northumberland Wildlife Trust to observe the beautiful Kielder ospreys. You can see all the action close up through a live camera feed and even spot the birds on their nest using high powered telescopes. Trained volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Sun 6th & Mon 7th May:
10:30 - 16:00

Cost: Free

Albion Outdoors © Albion Outdoors

Albion Outdoors Tent
A hands-on display of equipment and specimens for you to pick up and ask about.

Mon 7th May: All day

Cost: Free

Red squirrel © David Baird

Red Squirrel Science
Learn the science behind the red and grey squirrel issue. On this activity families will learn the science behind the red and grey squirrel issue. Find out how ecologists track and monitor red and grey squirrels. Look for squirrel signs in the forest, have a go at radio tracking and other monitoring equipment including feeders and cameras. If we are lucky we may even see a squirrel!

Location: Albion Outdoors tent, Kielder Waterside

Mon 7th May: 13:00 - 14:00

Cost: Adult Ticket: £4,
Child Ticket: £2.

Booking: Call 01830 520962 or email info@albionoutdoors.co.uk

Trees and other plants

Know Your Trees
and Other Plants

A tree and plant identification walk across the Kielder valley, through the arboretum and finishing in the Kielder Waterside squirrel hide. This activity is perfect for families and younger children. The walk will start outside Kielder Castle at the Albion Outdoors event shelter. As we walk we will observe the plants around us and learn how to use a hand lens to see the flower structures which will help us to identify them. We will look at the wonderful world of mosses and lichens too. The trees in Kielder forest are grown for their timber – but what sort of trees are they? We will see how to identify the main conifers. As we reach the arboretum we will see a variety of more unusual trees and potentially squirrels too. We finish off in the wildlife hide. Bring binoculars if you have some.

Location: Albion Outdoors tent, Kielder Waterside

Mon 7th May: 14:30 - 15:30

Cost: Adult ticket: £4,
Child ticket: £2.

Booking: Call 01830 520962 or email info@albionoutdoors.co.uk


Atlantic salmon © Linda Pitkin/2020VISION

Hatchery Tour
A tour of the hatchery will explain the work of The Salmon Centre to conserve the environment and life cycles of salmon, sea trout and freshwater pearl mussels. Get an up close viewing of some of the many tiny salmon, trout and pearl mussels.

Mon 7th May: 11:00 - 12:00

Cost: Free

Booking: Coming soon


Night sky safari © Kielder Observatory

Night Sky Safari
Come and experience an unforgettable night of observational astronomy under the starry skies of Kielder and the largest expanse of protected dark skies in Europe - the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Our "Night Sky Safari" sessions are specifically geared towards maximising observing time through our telescopes. If you own your own telescope you are welcome to bring it with you, this is a great opportunity to get some expert advice!

Sun 6th May: 20:30

Cost: £20.15 to £46.75

Booking: Click the button below

A universe full of stars © Kielder Observatory

A Universe Full of Stars
The Universe... Why is it here? How did it start? How old is it? How big is it? How will it end? A thought provoking journey through understanding and reason as to our existence in this fantastic and awe inspiring physical universe, delivered by expert tutors in a way accessible to all. After the talk we will guide you through the observatory, introduce you to the large aperture telescopes we have here and give guidance on how best to use them. If the skies are clear we will observe objects including distant galaxies, nebulae and star clusters whilst gazing at the glittering stars of the Milky Way from our observation deck.

Mon 7th May: 20:30

Cost: £20.15 to £46.75

To book: Click the button below

Map (Click to enlarge)