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A 10-year-old wildlife fan from Wooler enjoyed a very special audience with three ospreys in the wilds of Kielder Water & Forest Park!
Olivia Graham, who attends Glendale Middle School, Wooler, won a first ever competition to suggest names for each of the chicks and came up with Aqua, Spray and Splash.
Scores of children took part in the competition, coming up with names such as Thunder, Bolt and Lightning and even footie inspired ones like Ozil, Kaka and Villa!
Olivia was inspired by internet video footage of the Kielder Ospreys and opted for a watery theme for the fish hunting creatures.
As a reward she was invited by the Kielder Partnership to accompany rangers on a mission to ring the young birds before they fledge later this month.
Elisabeth Rowark, Director of the Kielder Partnership, said:
“The names fit perfectly and capture what these birds are all about. They are pioneers and only the second clutch of ospreys laid in the north east for many centuries. We are all incredibly excited about how well the ospreys have done since they came to Kielder Water & Forest Park.”
The chicks’ progress has been monitored on live CCTV coverage being beamed to Kielder Castle Visitor Centre from a nest camera. They have put on weight incredibly quickly thanks to the wonderful parenting skills of the parents, who had their first Kielder family last year on the same nest built high in a tree in the 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Northumbrian wilderness. Richard, Chicks have been fed with trout from Northumbrian Water's Kielder reservoir.
Martin Davison, Forestry Commission ornithologist said:
“Ringing the birds is vitally important. It has to be done at this stage because the chicks’ will soon fly from the nest. Attached to the rings are white tags showing the birds’ origins and also denoting that they were born in England. Because the ospreys will never again be handled by humans, the tags are big enough to be read over a distance using a telescope.”
Kielder Osprey Watch 2010 is organised by the Kielder Partnership, the RSPB and Northumberland Wildlife Trust and volunteers from the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club .The partners are working hard to ensure that the ospreys are here to stay by maintaining a high quality habitat in Kielder Water & Forest Park and safeguarding and monitoring the nest site. To find out more go to www.visitkielder.com
Kielder Water & Forest Park was recently voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
NOTES TO EDITOR
Live CCTV footage of the ospreys can be viewed at Kielder Castle and the adjoining Dukes Pantry Tearoom daily. The popular osprey viewing area at the Mounces Car Park, just west of Leaplish Waterside Park off the C200, is also open and will be staffed on weekends until 25 July from 10am to 5pm.
The Kielder Partnership is a public, voluntary and private sector collaboration working to develop Kielder Water & Forest Park as an inspirational place for leisure, exploration and fun. Partners are the Calvert Trust Kielder, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Northumberland County Council and Northumbrian Water, plus representation from community groups. The Northumberland Wildlife Trust is an associate member.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust is the largest environmental charity in the region working to safeguard native wildlife. One of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK, Northumberland Wildlife Trust has campaigned for nature conservation for over 40 years. It aims to inform, educate and involve people of all ages and backgrounds in protecting their environment in favour of wildlife and conservation. Supported by over 13,000 individual and 56 corporate members in the Region, Northumberland Wildlife Trust manages and protects critical species and habitats at over 60 nature reserves throughout Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. We believe that nature is amazing and we want people to help us keep it that way. In 2008, we launched a campaign to highlight the fact that birds of prey continue to be killed, despite the fact that it is illegal and has been for decades. We are calling for an end to this unacceptable cruelty, but the campaign can only be effective with widespread support. To date, over 105,000 people have signed our pledge to stop the illegal killing of birds of prey. Support the pledge and add your voice to ours at
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is a registered charity: England and Wales no 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
Richard Darn, Forestry Commission, on 01226 246351. Mobile 0775 367 0038.