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Northumberland half term activities at Woodhorn and Hadrian’s Wall

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  October 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
Hadrian's Wildlife inspires Wildlife Week on Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wildlife inspires Wildlife Week on Hadrian’s Wall

There’s a packed programme of activities at Woodhorn to keep the whole family entertained over the forthcoming October half term holidays.

Every day from Saturday 27th October until Sunday 4th November, younger visitors will be encouraged to explore the spooky corners of Woodhorn’s historic buildings in search of hidden pumpkin lanterns. A small treat awaits those who successfully complete the trail. Between 12 noon and 3pm, there will also be a chance to get crafty. A little bit of cutting and sticking and youngsters will have their very own Halloween mask.

On Sunday 28th October between noon and 3pm, North East artist and illustrator Daniel Weatheritt will be at Woodhorn for a Big Draw drop-in art session for kids of all ages. Daniel worked with young people from Northumberland to create the fascinating Time Vault exhibition which is on show at the museum until 4th November. Now everyone has a chance to be inspired by the exhibition and to help to create a giant artwork celebrating vintage sports and the modern Olympic Games.

Woodhorn’s own artist-in-residence Clare Money will be throwing the doors to her workshop open on the 28th too between 11am and 1pm and again from 2pm until 4pm. This is the final opportunity to see Clare’s work in progress and chat to her about her industrial inspiration before her exhibition Shadows: Reflections opens at Woodhorn later in November.

Birds of prey at Woodhorn

Birds of prey at Woodhorn

The middle of the half term week sees Woodhorn’s entertainment taking to the skies with the ever popular birds of prey display. On Wednesday 31st October between 11am – 3pm the stunning birds from Ridgeside Falconry will be on show. Visitors are sure to be thrilled when the birds demonstrate their amazing flying skills at 12 noon and 2pm. The Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Railway should also be running that day until approximately 2.30pm.

Meanwhile, at Hadrian’s Wall, a new book exploring the wildlife of Hadrian’s Wall has inspired English Heritage to host a week full of nature themed activities this October half term, at Birdoswald Roman Fort.

Hadrian’s Wildlife, by local author John Miles, is new book which looks beyond the Roman history of the World Heritage Site, detailing the fascinating living landscapes which span 2,000 years of history across Hadrian’s Wall.

Throughout October half term, nature lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to discover another side to Birdoswald Roman Fort, as the site is transformed into a haven filled with wildlife themed activities. Visitors are invited to enter Birdoswald’s wildlife room, and find out more about the abundance of nature that can be found on the site. For youngsters, there will be animal spotting challenges, trails around the fort and an assortment of craft and colouring activities.

Elsewhere, from the comfort of the tea room, people will be able to spot all varieties of birds – from goldfinches to starlings – feeding on the bird tables, via a camera relaying live feeding footage. With nature boards highlighting the many varieties of flora and fauna on display around the site, people will have the chance to discover more about the awe-inspiring living landscape of Hadrian’s Wall.

John Miles, author of Hadrian’s Wildlife, said: “The combination of 2,000 years of history and nature on Hadrian’s Wall is a fascinating one and I have spent many years exploring the Wall’s habitat.

“Birdoswald’s location and mixed habitat attracts a great deal of wildlife, with the stunning viewpoint offering the chance for an encounter with roe deer as they graze below, spectacular birds of prey, including kestrels, buzzards and sparrowhawks, a common sight and the River Irthing providing the setting for fabulous river sightings.

“I’m extremely pleased to be supporting English Heritage during its Wildlife Week at Birdoswald Roman Fort, I live close to the World Heritage Site and I hope to encourage many people to find out more about the wildlife of the Wall. With many rare and unusual species of wildlife and plants to be found along Hadrian’s Wall, it is vital that we do all we can to protect them and care for our stunning living landscape for the next 2,000 years and beyond.”

Visitors taking part in any of the nature themed activities at Birdoswald will also be entered into a free prize draw to win a signed copy of Hadrian’s Wildlife.

Lloyd Taylor, general manager for English Heritage’s Hadrian’s Wall properties, said: “Autumn is the perfect time of year to visit English Heritage’s Hadrian’s Wall sites and alongside fascinating Roman history we hope to encourage nature lovers from across the region to discover the many varieties of rare wildlife across the Wall.

“Wildlife Week at Birdoswald is a great way of inspiring youngsters to care for their environment and learn about the conservation of such important habitats. This half term provides the ideal opportunity for people to get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer!”

Wildlife Week at Birdoswald Roman Fort will run daily from Saturday 27 October – Sunday 4 November, 11am – 4pm. From 5 November – 28 March, all English Heritage properties will be open every winter weekend (Saturday and Sunday).

Hadrian’s Wildlife, by John Miles, is produced by Whittles Publishing at a cost of £16.99. For more information, or to purchase a copy of the book, visit

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