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Kielder Water & Forest Park officially the best tourism experience in England

Overlooking Kielder Water & Forest Park
Overlooking Kielder Water & Forest Park

Kielder Water & Forest Park won gold to be officially recognised as the best tourism experience in the country. The park won the prestigious honour at the VisitEngland  2013 Awards for Excellence held on May 20th at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Elisabeth Rowark, Director, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised as the very best tourism experience in the whole of the country and it was a great honour to represent North East England at these top national awards”.

“Our members across the Park in the last year have enjoyed an increase in the number of visitors to their attractions to nearly 370,000 and the best has yet to come”.

“This year will see exciting developments including our bid for Dark Sky Park status, growth of the art and architecture programme, capital developments across several of our visitor centres and an ever growing, action packed event programme that is attracting visitors from across the UK.”

Stacy Burlett, Head of Customer and Cultural Services for Northumberland County Council, said: “Tourism is a vital economic generator for our county providing 11% of our employment and an area the Council is committed to growing. We are proud to be a core partner on Kielder Water & Forest Park and celebrate its success as a key destination for Northumberland.”

Kate Priestly, Chair of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Kielder Water & Forest Park has been recognised in the National Tourism Awards as one of the must visit destinations in Northumberland”.

“More than nine million people visit the county each year contributing a staggering £706 million to our local economy”.
“There is no doubt that Kielder Water & Forest Park is an outstanding tourism experience, offering unrivalled events and playing a significant part in the success of tourism in Northumberland.”

Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to www.visitkielder.com.

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Kielder 4×4 Safari May 2013 Event Report

May’s event started at our normal start and breakfast venue, the Dukes Pantry at Kielder Castle. The drive along the C200 towards the Castle gave a little clue to what sort of day we were going to have with some rather large puddles spanning the road.

After registration and driver briefing we headed off into Bewshaugh where the tracks were wet and muddy but didn’t pose any problems until we got to a track that crosses Sturdy Sike. Here the track had washed out quite badly but we managed to get all the 4×4’s, ranging from a brand new Land Rover Freelander, a VW Touareg, a Mercedes GL and the usual range of other Land Rovers, down the incline and washed out section with very little problems.

After Bewshaugh we headed into Kielder for a circular loop ending at the Dam for a lunch and toilet stop. After a rather damp lunchtime we headed back over the dam for another loop of the Southern part of the Forest. Once complete we headed back over the dam to Falstone Forest and did a couple of circular tracks around the fire tower before finishing the day off at the dam car park around 5pm.

Chatting to a few of the supporters after the event it transpired that this had been their first time off-road and they were surprised just how capable their own vehicles were and how they had really enjoyed the day. We would love to welcome you back to a future event and extend that invitation to anybody else who has a 4×4 but maybe haven’t really used it off-road, why not book a Kielder 4×4 Safari and come and join in the fun and raise some money for the Mountain Rescue Team.

If this sounds like something you would like to experience then why not head over to our bookings page and sign up for the next Safari on Sunday 30th June 2013

If you require any further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch, you can find our details on the Contact Page

The Kielder 4×4 Safari proceeds go to Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team. Registered Charity 511313.

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New Kielder Weather Forecasts

Amateur meteorologist Doug Paulley has started producing weather forecasts just for the Kielder area. Doug, who is studying with the Open University, noted that Kielder and it surrounding areas has its own ‘micro climate’ and some of the forecasts available were not very reliable so Doug decided to produce his own forecasts  which he has kindly allowed us to post on our website.

Doug’s forecasts are generated eight times a day and are valid for Kielder Water and the immediate surrounding forest. He provides up to 6 day forecasts with an hour-by-hour resolution, and he also provide a free email service, where subscribers receive the latest forecast once a day at 7:10am.

Doug takes data from thousands of Government METAR and SYNOP weather stations up to 3,000km away; also from weather buoys, weather balloon soundings, ozone measurements and the inter-Government created Global Forecast System model outputs. He then uses this data as the base for his interactive local atmospheric modeling system and parse the output as a detailed weather forecast.

The idea is hopefully to be able to provide a useful resource for organisations such as ourselves and Calvert Trust Kielder are also using his forecasting service. Having carefully tailored his forecasting model specifically for Kielder area, he has hopes that it may be of better accuracy than some of the others. Doug is also trying to implement a Kielder Midge forecast and a midge warning .

Doug’s website can be found at http://www.kielderweather.org.uk  and you can view his forecast below

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Kielder 4×4 Safari April 2013 Event Report

April’s event started with a welcome return to The Duke’s Pantry at Kielder Castle for breakfast and sorting paperwork, the Mountain Rescue team also brought their brand new vehicle with them to show off to the the capacity entry for the Safari. By taking part in the Kielder 4×4 Safari you have helped towards the huge cost of buying and equipping the new vehicle, and the Mountain Rescue Team would like to thank all those who support our event and those who support the Team directly as without your support they would not be able to operate.

Making a début on this event also was Kielder 4×4 Safari’s new (to us) support vehicle, the white Land Rover Defender 110 has been retired from an active serving Mountain Rescue vehicle and will now be used by the Safari as a support vehicle on events and also keep an eye out for it at some of the local shows in the summer where we will be doing more fund raising.

As we were fully booked for the event we had to split the cars into two groups, which meant two convoys, each doing a separate route, then meeting up at the Dam at lunchtime and then the convoys switched routes in the afternoon. We had a mixture of surfaces to deal with, from the snow on the higher ground, some muddy trails and we even had to contend with dust on convoy two’s run back to the castle.

We had quite a few new faces on this event and from talking to people at the end everybody seems to have enjoyed themselves and we would love to welcome you back at a future event, this welcome of course is also extended to our regular visitors, some of who have supported us for a long time.

If this sounds like something you would like to experience then why not head over to our bookings page and sign up for the next Safari on Saturday 18th May 2013

If you require any further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch, you can find our details on the Contact Page

The Kielder 4×4 Safari proceeds go to Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team. Registered Charity 511313.

 

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Kielder Osprey’s Return

As we reported on our Facebook page, the Kielder Osprey’s had been spotted in and around the area. Well, today they have been spotted on the two nesting sites which are visible via a live camera link up to the Dukes Pantry. Only single Osprey’s have been sighted, a male and a female but they have visited both nesting sites so hopefully their breeding partners will be arriving soon.  Osprey’s returned to Kielder in 2009 after a 200 year absence, at first there was only one breeding pair but in 2011 another pair has since joined them.

As the Osprey’s get ready to breed and hopefully raise their young the Kielder 4×4 Safari likes to give them a bit of peace and quiet to give them the best possible chance, so the Wainhope Quarry and a few of the other tracks that we use in the area will be out of bounds until the Osprey’s leave usually around mid September. But, don’t worry Kielder Forest  is the largest man-made woodland in England so there are plenty of other tracks available to us.

The Dukes Pantry, which is our normal meeting place to check documentation and of course have breakfast normally has a live video link to the two nesting sights so hopefully you will be able to catch a glimpse of these magnificent birds.

Further information on the Kielder Osprey’s can be found on their website http://kielderospreys.wordpress.com/

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Even The International Space Station are interested in Kielder 4×4 Safari!

Whilst doing a bit of work behind the scenes on the Kielder 4×4 Safari website I happened to have a Google Analytics window open on the 2nd monitor on my computer. Google Analytics is the system we use to monitor how many people are visiting our website and what people are searching for when they visit us, this helps us make sure that the website is getting out to our target audience.

Well imagine my surprise when I noticed a new visitor on the site but their location was moving across the Indian Ocean and across Australia, so I clicked on it and this is what I saw

Click on Image for a better view
Click on Image for a better view

Were the International Space Station really interested in coming out with us to drive the trails around Kielder Forest as their next mission?

Was NASA wanting to test their new Mars Rover on the Kielder 4×4 Safari?

Excitedly, I clicked on the link to see what The International Space Station was looking at, what could be of interest to our orbiting friends?

As I was clicking on the link to see which page they were looking at it all dropped into place.

Click on Image for a better view
Click on Image for a better view

Thanks Google you had me going there, as you can see in the image the page they were looking at is ‘April Fool’s’ and there are 41 visitors on the page which I assume is the way that the USA write their dates 4/1

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New Land Rover for Mountain Rescue Team

NNPMRT's New Land Rover Defender joins the fleet.
NNPMRT’s New Land Rover Defender joins the fleet.

The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team took delivery of a brand new vehicle this week which will be known as ‘Curlew Delta’. The new vehicle will replace ‘Curlew X-Ray’, which will be retired from active service as a rescue vehicle and will hopefully become a fund raising/support vehicle for the team, so you may well see it on future Kielder 4×4 Safari events.

The new vehicle is a Land Rover Defender 110, which was supplied and fitted out by Lakeland Land Rover. The fully equipped rescue ambulance is now ready and awaiting its first call to action along with ‘Curlew Charlie’.  The funds raised by the Kielder 4×4 Safari have helped towards the huge cost of buying and equipping a new vehicle, and the Mountain Rescue Team would like to thank all those who support our event and those who support the Team directly as without your support they would not be able to operate.

 

Please visit http://www.nnpmrt.org/ for more information on The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team

 

 

Old meets new
Old meets new

 

 

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Evening/Night Event

We are looking at running an evening/night event which would maybe include stopping at the excellent Kielder Observatory or finding a high point and trying to see the Northern Lights. With  its remote location the Kielder Forest and Water Park is the ideal place for star gazing as the area has very little light pollution.

In fact Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and Northumberland National Park Authority are working together with the aim of securing dark sky status for nearly 400 square miles of spectacular Northumberland countryside in what would become the world’s third largest area of protected starry dark sky.

If this sounds like something you would like to take part in why not pop over to our Facebook Page and let us know if you are interested and we would welcome any comments or thoughts you may have.

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Kielder 4×4 Safari Now on Twitter



Kielder 4×4 Safari are now on Twitter. so if you are a Tweeter why not head over to Twitter and be sure to follow @Kielder_safari.

We will follow you back also.

We have Tweet buttons on most pages now along with Facebook like buttons so why not click on them and let all your friends and followers know about The Kielder 4×4 Safari.

The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team are also Twitter users and they can be found at @NNPMRT

 

 

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Kielder 4×4 Safari February 2013 Event Report

When we arrived at Kielder Forest and Water park early on the morning of our February event we were greeted with a blanket of mist covering the reservoir and filling the valley, most of the snow had disappeared from the lower parts of the forest but was still visible on the hilltops. We also had a new meeting venue for breakfast as the Duke’s Pantry is still undergoing its renovations at the Castle. The new meeting place was The Boat Inn at Leaplish Waterside Park and the staff provided a great welcome and a very filling breakfast which was eaten overlooking the perfectly still reservoir.

Continue reading Kielder 4×4 Safari February 2013 Event Report