16/04/2014
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Top events in May 2014 at Kielder

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It’s one of our favourite parts of the world, a vast expanse of man-made forest and reservoir stretching across north-western Northumberland

It may be a remote area, but there always seems to be a lot going on at Kielder! Whether you are interested in wildlife, astronomy, outdoor crafts, watersports, climbing, or even old cars and bikes, there's bound to be something happening at Kielder that will interest you.

Here’s our selection of the top things happening around Kielder in May 2014.
 

Wildlife

Even early birds will have to set their alarms to take part in the Dawn Chorus walk on Sunday 4 May. Starting at 5am (yes, five o’clock in the morning), this promises a chance to hear nature's symphony in all its glory in England's largest forest. The £12/£10 cost includes a cooked breakfast at Kielder Castle, and booking is essential: call 01434 220 242
 
A Badger Watch on Saturday 17 May involves a minibus trip into the forest to view these enigmatic creatures at their sett. A torch and binoculars would be handy for this evening expedition, starting at 8pm, but the need for quiet means that it isn’t suitable for young children. It costs £10 and can be booked on 01434 220 242.


 
Tawny owl researcher Martin Davison hosts an Owl Night on Friday 23 May, giving visitors a chance to get close to these impressive birds and their chicks while they are ringed. It starts at 7pm and costs £10, and booking is essential on 01434 220 242
 

Crafts

A den building afternoon on Sunday 4 May is aimed at letting children develop their skills in making a waterproof shelter. It costs £5 per child but each child can bring up to two adults for free, and it starts at 2pm. Booking and appropriate clothes and footwear are needed. Call 01388 529 154 or email bruce@natureholiday.co.uk
 
The following week, on Sunday 11 May, volunteers are invited to join the Kielder Trail Reavers – a group dedicated to making brilliant mountain bike trails in the park. Enthusiasm and energy are more important than skills, and there are t-shirts and parking passes in exchange for your efforts. See www.kieldertrailreavers.co.uk
 


A Bushcrafts Survival Day on Sunday 25 May gives the chance to learn about the basics for keeping alive in a forest environment – shelter, fire, food and water. It’s a full day event from 9am to 5pm, costs £20, and must be booked in advance on 01388 529 154 or email bruce@natureholiday.co.uk – bring your own lunch, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear.
 

Astronomy

Kielder’s reputation as a centre for star gazing just grows and grows. With the (officially!) darkest skies in Europe and a well-equipped modern observatory, this is a great place to turn your attention heavenwards.
 
2104 has already seen some spectacular sun spots and solar fares, causing rare appearances of the aurora borealis over parts of the UK (including here). On five nights in May (Friday 16, Saturday 17, Thursday 29, Friday 30, and Saturday 31) the Kielder Observatory is holding special Aurora Nights to explain the science behind the phenomenon. Aurorae are fickle, and their appearance is not assured. Evenings kick off at 8pm and cost £15/£13. Book via www.kielderobservatory.org


 
For the school half term, the observatory is holding special family astronomy events including an interactive multimedia presentation, talks with astronomers and a tour of the observatories. Suitable for anyone over five years, these early evening gatherings are on Saturday 24, Sunday 25, Thursday 29, Friday 30, and Saturday 31 May, start at 5pm, and cost £10/£7. Booking as above.
 

Activities

We’re big fans of the Calvert Trust, which organises all kinds of brilliant outdoor activities and also has an enlightened policy of ‘challenging disability though adventure’. In Kielder this month it has a typically packed programme including a Sharp Shooters Day on Sunday 25 May using either laser clay pigeon shooting or archery, a Water Day (what a day!) on Monday 26 with canoeing or kayaking on Kielder Water, a High Ropes Day on Wednesday 28 for those who are not frightened of heights, and a Swing and Climb Day on Friday 30.
 
All of these are suitable for people over five years, cost £10, and do not need to be booked in advance. Find out more at www.calvert-trust.org.uk/kielder/activities


 
If nothing there tickles your fancy, Kielder will also host its annual Vintage and Classic Vehicle Show on Sunday 11 May, with vintage tractors, classic cars and motorbikes on display. It starts at 10.30am and is free to attend, but parking is £4 per car.
 
Further information on these and other events from visitkielder.com


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