Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Kielder Water & Forest (reservoir centre at NY686876)

Kielder Water:
  • Sits astride the River North Tyne in NW Northumberland;
  • Planned in the 1960s and constructed 1975-81 at a cost of £167million;
  • Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982, and took a further two years to fill;
  • Largest man-made lake in the UK (by capacity of water – some 200 billion litres, or 44 billion gallons), being about seven miles long and 170ft at its deepest point;
  • Shoreline of more than 27 miles;
  • Site of England’s largest hydro-electric plant;
  • Water supply feeds the River Tyne and Tyneside, with connections to the Wear, Derwent and Tees, too, ensuring plentiful supply to the whole of North-East whatever the climate;
  • 250,000+ visitors per annum for leisure purposes;
  • The Kielder Marathon, organised by Steve Cram, runs around the reservoir’s circumference.

Kielder Forest:
  • The largest man-made woodland in England (250 square miles);
  • Planting begun by the Forestry Commission in the 1920s;
  • Approximately half a million cubic metres of timber are felled each year for a variety of uses – to be replaced by three and a half million new trees;
  • The conifer, Sitka Spruce, covers 75% of the planted area;
  • The forest’s boundary also contains England’s largest area of blanket bog;
  • Red squirrel and many birds of prey thrive in the forest, including osprey – and lynx may be released there soon.

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