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Kielder Reservoir to celebrate 30th anniversary

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  May 14, 2012 | 0 Comments
Kielder Reservoir, Northumberland

Kielder Reservoir, Northumberland

Northumberland’s Kielder Reservoir in Northumberland will mark its 30th birthday in a couple of weeks and to celebrate everyone is invited to hear its story – told by people who live at Kielder and also work there.

Kielder Reservoir 30th anniversary exhibition

What the Reservoir Means to Me is the name of the exhibition at Tower Knowe Visitor Centre carrying the narration. It is one of a number of activities taking place in Kielder Water & Forest Park to mark the anniversary.

Elisabeth Rowark, from Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “Kielder is such a special place and a place that many people hold dear to their hearts. It’s sheer scale, the breathtaking scenery and the pure, idyllic tranquillity makes it such a majestic and memorable place.

“We’re inviting everyone to join us in celebrating Kielder Reservoir’s first 30 years and what better way than seeing this special place through the eyes of those in the know.”

The exhibition showcases personal stories that both shape capture the reservoir’s history. One such tale is that of Jonty Hall, the little boy who dammed the River North Tyne to form the reservoir in 1979 and now manages the reservoirs maintenance. Another is the story of Richard Bond, who used to catch tiddlers in his socks and now manages Kielder Salmon Centre, looking after salmon, pearl mussels and other endangered species.

An invitation is issues to children to take part in art and craft workshops where they can contribute to the celebration of Kielder’s special history by taking part in one of three activities. Children can help to colour in a giant commemorative sail that in the future will be displayed at the visitor centre.

The special weekend of activities will take place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May and includes:

Tower Knowe Visitor Centre

The exhibition stories:
• Jonty Hall – pressed a button to create the reservoir and now manages the maintenance
• Richard Bond – as a boy caught tiddlers in his socks. He now manages the Kielder Salmon Centre
• Peter Pattinson – won his first fishing competition at Kielder when he was just 14. Peter is now assistant operations manager
• Jayne Dolbear – senior watersports instructor at Calvert Trust Kielder
• Kelly Hollings – returned to the U.K. from in North America to be an estates officer for Northumberland Wildlife Trust
• Ellen Earsman – Kelly’s daughter, who was selected to give a posy to the Queen at the opening of Kielder Reservoir 30 years ago. She now works at Leaplish Waterside Park
• Dave Raggett – passionate about renewable energy, Dave oversees Kielder’s hydro-electric plant
• Maria Smith – an architect who fell in love with Kielder and designed Freya’s Cabin and Robin’s Hut artworks.

Kielder fishing

To mark Kielder’s 30th birthday, Northumbrian Water has released 30 rainbow trout into the reservoir. Lucky anglers who catch a fish with an anniversary tag can win a variety of prizes including day fishing permits and 2013 season permits.

Calvert Trust Kielder activity taster days 

Drop in anytime from 10am to 4pm to try your hand at the top outdoor activities Calvert Trust Kielder has to offer. For £10 per person, visitors can experience the High Ropes course on Friday 25 May, the indoor climbing wall on Saturday 26 May or the giant King Swing on Sunday 27 May. No booking required.

Kielder Observatory

On Saturday May 26 there will be an Aurora Night at the Kielder Observatory. Participants will learn about the powerful energy released by the sun each second, and how this energy interacts with the earth’s atmosphere and gives a light show like no other. Booking required through

Kielder mountain biking and cycling

Join in the anniversary weekend by cycling 26 miles around the shoreline of Kielder Water. A special family offer is being arranged by Purple Mountain bike hire centre for the weekend of May 26 and 27. People will be able to hire two adult bikes for the full day and get one children’s hire for half price. Or you can hire three adult bikes for the full day and pay £5 for one children’s hire. To take up this offer you must pre-book by calling 01434 250532.

Kielder Reservoir was officially by Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday May 26 in 1982. The reservoir is the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. The Northumbrian Water project had a big impact on the remote Northumberland valley and is now one of the county’s top tourism destinations.

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

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