Storm Arwen recovery update

Updated 15th December 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 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 access trails.

The safe removal of windblown trees is a complex operation, requiring planning, machinery, and skilled operators and now we are getting into the more complex sites which takes longer.

 Thrunton Wood is taking longer to clear than estimated and Kidland Forest requires a long term recovery operation, possibly into 2024.

Storm damaged trees in many areas are still 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 continue to ask that everyone stays on the main forest tracks in all the forests and always adhere to all information/ warning signs and barriers.

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.

Kielder Castle Visitor Centre

Currently closed due to renovation works.

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.

Will remain closed into late 2023

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.

Cycle Trail/ Mountain Bike facilities

Facility / route name

Open/Closed/Partially open

Updates

Lonesome Pine Trail

Closed

Skydive section ONLY open. Long term closure on rest of trail- could be late 2023/ early 2024 reopened.

Bloodybush Trail

Closed

Working to open before December 2022

Cycle Skills Loop

Closed

Closed until 2023.

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 open

Only rights of way southside is blocked

Holystone

Open

 

Harwood

Forestroads open

Public rights of way closed

Simonside

Open

 

Thrunton

Closed

Clear up work has commenced- 2023 opening timeline

Kidland

Forest roads open

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

Harbottle

Partially open

Car park and walk at Westwood closed