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Your comments on Kielder Water and Forest Park

Just visited Kielder to find Lewisburn car park closed the sign seems to suggest this is going to be permanent seems a real shame as this is such a lovely spot by the river enjoyed by many I would go so far to say one of the most beautiful part of Kielder. This car park was also useful for the cross border trail. The sign saying all trails closed makes it unclear if you are still welcome to cycle or walk through here as it forms part of the cross border trail.

Sam G, 24/Sep/2017

Lewisburn car park has been closed due to on-going anti-social incidents. You are still able to visit this area on foot or bike. The nearest car park is Matthew's Linn or you can cycle from Kielder Castle via the Lakeside Way.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Electric car charger at garage has not worked in over 2 years, Kielder is not green when you can only reach it in a petrol or diesel car.

Anonymous, 18/Sep/2017

Just visited and interested to know what type of trees are the ones with slightly blue needles

Jamie, 10/Sep/2017

The conifers with spikey, blue needles are Sitka Spruce - the most commonly planted tree in Kielder Forest.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

My comment is also a question: Been visiting for years and love Kielder Forest and Water as one of the most remote and amazing places in England.

More recently, however, it seems like vast areas of Kielder Forest have been harvested, there are hardly any trees left in some places (e.g. Kielder Forest Drive), compared with just 24 months ago?

My question: is this still sustainable forest management or just plain commercial activity?

Looking forward to your response and I hope you can reassure me and many others that you are not destroying this beautiful place?

Anonymous, 19/Apr/2017

Clear felling areas of forest can indeed look brutal but it is part of sustainable forest management. These areas are re-planted after felling is complete. All Forestry Commission managed land is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council who independently audit our forests to ensure they are sustainably managed.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

We especially my two grandchildren 31whad an excellent day on the Gruffalo trail even though it was a bit boggy. We had a good meal in the cafe and as we were staying at leaplish the car park was free.

Anonymous, 9/Apr/2017

Do you have the gruffalo sculpture up at kielder

Lynsey, 2/Apr/2017

Yes, both the Gruffalo and Gruffalo Child are resident near Kielder Castle.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

I wish you'd do an in-between parking charge, say 3hr, 4.50 (rising to 5) when you may only be there for 2-3 hrs is really off putting. Or why not do a national 'Discovery Pass"?

Iain, 11/Mar/2017

Thank you for your comments. The reason for only offering a full day rate is we would like visitors to spend more time on site, visiting the attractions and using local facilities without watching the clock. We feel £5 per vehicle (from 1 April) is a very competitive rate and the savings for 2-3 hour stay would not be that great. As for a national Discovery Pass, this is something that is currently being explored.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

We came up for the afternoon for my daughters 1st birthday to take part in the gruffalo spotting event. Weather wasn't on our side so decided to first grab some lunch at the cafe, wish we hadn't bothered. It was so expensive and very poor quality, the lady serving was as miserable as sin and extremely rude. My eldest two children waited ages for their preps led children's lunch boxes which for 4 each were an absolute rip off.

The gruffalo spotters packs were ok but not worth the 3 each and got ruined in the rain anyway. However the app to take photos was brilliant and the kids all had a fab time despite the rain and rubbish lunch. The car park was expensive for how long we were there. Had the gruffalo event not been on I would have said it was a wasted trip to somewhere that could have been an amazing family day out.

Jen, 28/Feb/2017

Thank you for your feedback. Sorry to read your lunch did not live up to expectations - I will pass on your comments regarding your experience in the café. With regard the cost of visiting Kielder Castle, I believe £4.50 for parking for a family of four is actually extremely good value. Entry to the castle and use of trails is free and you also had use of a free app for your phone to enjoy the Gruffalo Spotter's Trail. You can't get much for just over a £1 per person these days!

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Enjoyed the visit (September 2016) spent the full day around Keilder Forest & Water.

Positive aspects:

Scenery good. Went on forest trail (drive) paid 3 toll, all fine, much tree felling but that was OK. Road a bit bumpy etc, but to be expected. Signs could do with being refreshed but that was OK.

Negative aspects: No single wildlife seen at all during drive (neither bird, land wildlife or whatever, very disappointing despite a considerable time slowly driving through forest trail/drive. Very disappointing in that respect

Entrances to forest or water, parking charges required, not impressed, was not prepared to stop and park - wanted to stop and go for something to eat, but not prepared to be ripped off twice, charge to park and then pay for meals (which were slightly expensive). That was a let down Went to a pub nearby for meal, no parking charges.

Keilder water - great to see however at Tourist Info points info is very basic. No mention of history, some info boards no info on them, a bit disappointing in that respect.

Otherwise was still worthwhile visiting and glad we did it... but could be improved.

Jim Martin, 13/Sep/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

I hadn't visited the area in more than fifteen years and had forgotten quite how lovely it is.

I now have two daughters who were utterly enchanted by the views and wide open spaces. I seemed to remember that 'Kielder' was both the biggest man made forest and reservoir in Europe, is that still the case?

Ian Paul, 10/May/2016

Kielder is certainly the largest man-made reservoir in the UK and one of the largest in Northern Europe, and the forest is the largest planted in England (Galloway Forest narrowly pips Kielder to the UK title).

Forestry Commission Response

Hi,

Can I just say that kielder is one of my favourite places in the UK. Could you please tell me when the car park at lewisburn will be open for the public to use.

Thanks

Paul Monaghan , 5/May/2016

Thank you for your kind comments about Kielder and I'm glad you find it such a special place. The Lewisburn car park will hopefully be reopened for the school summer holidays in July.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

We had a great two night stay in Kielder village - scenery / places to visit / people friendly etc

However, the toll Forest drive nearly wrecked my car - could not believe I had paid to use this road - pot holes the size of footballs - Please make the warning sign at least twice as big - thank you

Eric Formela

Eric Formela, 15/Oct/2015
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