Storm Arwen recovery update

Updated 29th July 2022

Kielder Water and Forest Park

On 26 November 2021, the north of England experienced significant northerly winds leading to storm damage which affected trees, buildings and other infrastructure. Storm Malik and storm Corrie over weekend 29/30 January 2022 has led to more trees falling over and slowing down the recovery process.

Forestry England’s first priority in the aftermath of the storm was to help the rural communities cut off from power such as in Kielder Forest, where staff worked with other agencies including the power company, to clear fallen and unstable trees from power lines, access roads and main paths.

Good progress continues on storm recovery work across Northumberland’s forests. We are still planning and implementing the safe and prompt removal of windblown trees across our forests and multiple sites, including our trails. The safe removal of windblown trees is a complex operation, requiring planning, machinery, and skilled operators.

Our teams are working as fast as they can, but in some areas the size and complexity of the damage and remote locations is still going to take months to fix.

Storm damaged trees can be unstable and dangerous. We need to make trees safe, within two tree-lengths of all our trails. Unfortunately, this means some facilities remain closed. We update this list frequently so that we can keep updates timely. Great progress is being made on opening formal access routes and we are now moving onto the larger areas with significant damage which takes time to work through.

We continue to ask that everyone stays on the main forest tracks and always adhere to all information/ warning signs and barriers.

The table below highlights what those trails and areas still closed or diverted, please check this list before travelling to Kielder Water and Forest Park.

 

Status of forest walks

Facility / route name

Open/Closed/Partially open

Updates

Pennine Way (national trail)

Open diversion in place between The Sill and Stonehaugh

Forest diversion will be in place during February. Bellingham to Blakehopeburnhaugh fully open.

Skyspace/ Kielder Observatory

Open with diversion using forest road.

Using forest road only- forest area walk followed will be closed for months possibly into 2023.

Duchess Trail

Closed

Route now cleared- surfacing works to be carried out soon.

Wild Trails (near Kielder Castle

Closed

A set of natural trails for walkers linking around the back of Kielder village- closed until further notice.

Sidwood Bastle Trail

Closed

Will be closed for many months.

Status of cycle trail and mountain bike facilities

Facility / route name

Open/Closed/Partially open

Updates

Osprey Trail

Open with diversions

Mixture of trail and road until late summer.

Lonesome Pine Trail

Closed

Skydive section ONLY open.

Bloodybush Trail

Closed

Working to open during August.

Cycle Skills Loop

Closed

Due to upgrading work required.

Information on routes available to walk or cycle are available on the Visit Kielder website: www.visitkielder.com

 

Wider Northumberland forests

 

Forest Name

Open/Closed/Partially open

Updates

Wooler Common

Forest walk and St Cuthberts Way northwards is open

Only rights of way southside is blocked

Holystone

Ladywell path clear

Car park being repaired by 31/08

Harwood

Forestroads open

Public rights of way closed

Simonside

Closed

Work well underway, reopening by Winter 2022

Thrunton

Closed

Badly affected with storm damage, 2023 predicted opening timeline

Kidland

Forest roads open

Rights of way blocked- Kidland is badly affected with storm damage. 2023 before forest itself reopen at earliest