Gavin Forster Photography | Kielder Forest part 1

Kielder Forest part 1

April 24, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

The north side of Keilder water

For the last few days I have been visiting some memories. Having been brought up in Northumberland one of the Sunday visits was up to my fathers place of work, Keilder reservoir. Keilder lies out in the far north west of the county just outside of Bellingham and Falstone.

The reservoir is the key focal point and is surrounded by ‘the largest manmade woodland in Europe’ the water attracts sports enthusiasts for both sailing and water skiing. In recent years there as been a significant shift in marketing and the creating of a more formalised footpath all 26miles around the water means it has become a hub for walkers and mountain bikers. Recent additions of downhill routes have cemented the area with biking fans from around the UK.
The commissioned artwork

Greenery near ‘Silvas Capitalis’

My focus for the trip was to have a relaxing few days and get some additional shots for my portfolio. As ever I was well planned and had enough gear to fill my car…I now think that my camera bag weighs more than my fully laded golf bag! With plans to shoot both landscapes and wildlife I had all the way from 10mm out to 500mm.

7D
10-20mm Sigma
17-50mm 2.8 Tamron
50mm 1.8 Canon
70-200mm 2.8 Canon
170-500mm Sigma
10 stop filter
grad filters

We stayed at Ravenshill forest park which is located at the far end of the reservoir next to Keilder castle (a hunting lodge built for the duke of Northumberland in 1775). The location is waking distance from Bakethin reservoir (the top end of the main reservoir) and within 15 mins drive to any of the main visitor attractions. Situated through a woodland drive and surrounded by stunning views the wood cabin provided a wonderful base for taking photos.

My shooting started on the cacophony of feeding stations outside of the cabin, sat on the balcony I was able to tick off the following visitors:

Chaffinch
Blue tit
Great tit
Coal tit
Spuggies
Nuthatch

Eating all the nuts

I’m sure you could spend all of your time in the cabin relaxing but that’s not how I am programmed so most of our days were spent out hunting for locations and finding routes between the various artwork installations. The commissioned artwork features provide reasons for visiting the more extreme parts of the forest.

one of the first installations in the forest


As a child I spent many a day on the banks of the water at the Bull Crag peninsula filling my time with staring at a bobbing orange float, waiting to pull out a whopping rainbow trout. At least that’s how I remember it, my dad enjoys telling the story that what actually happened was that I spent time making a reel go the wrong way and create many hours of cutting line followed by profanities. For this reason I tried to investigate some of the farther reaches of the area to widen my creative horizons.
Since the northern bank has only recently been accessible and the installations of ‘Silvas Capitalis’ and the ‘janus chairs’ being a big draw this was the first tripout.

this could go on a while so we can take a small break i think. more coming in part 2!

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