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Wildlife Watching in Kielder Water and Forest Park

Adult female osprey in flight

Kielder Water and Forest Park is of the best places to go to see Britain’s wildlife, from large mammals such as roe deer and wild goats right down to some of the forest's smaller inhabitants such as butterflies.

There is no guarantee of seeing the wildlife that you are looking for, but you will frequently be able to see some evidence of the creatures that live in the forest. Keep your eyes and ears open and don’t forget your walking boots, waterproofs, map, wildlife guide and binoculars.

Wild about Kielder!

A huge variety of habitats can be found in Kielder Water and Forest Park, from ancient woodlands to marshy grasslands and internationally important blanket bogs.

Ospreys have nested in the forest annually since 2009 and the damp conifer woods are home to an astounding number of mosses, lichens and birds, including a thriving barn owl population. Kielder Forest is also home to 60% of the UK’s native red squirrel population and a herd of feral goats that roam the remote Border fells.

Best spots

RED SQUIRREL.Kielder Castle is the place to go if you want to have exclusive views of both red squirrels and ospreys on their nest. Other footage on show includes goshawk and hen harriers.

When the ospreys are in residence, Bakethin Reservoir (north end of Kielder Water) is one of the best places to see them 'fishing'.

The Forest Drive at East Kielder provides a great backdrop to view birds of prey, including goshawk and buzzard.

Red squirrels and garden birds are frequent visitors to the feeders around the castle and at the wildlife hide in the arboretum.

Equally important to location is timing. The best opportunities to view wildlife such as roe deer and red squirrel is early in the morning or early in the evening.

Last updated: 7th December 2017

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.