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Kielder Water is a large artificial reservoir in Northumberland in North East England. It is the largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom by capacity and it is surrounded by Kielder Forest, the largest human-made woodland in Europe. It was planned in the late 1960s to satisfy an expected rise in demand for water to support a booming UK industrial economy. It was constructed between 1975 and 1981 by an AMEC/Balfour Beatty joint venture, designed for Northumbria Water by Sir Frederick Gibberd and Partners and consulting engineer Babtie, Shaw and Morton and was opened by Queen Elizabeth IIin 1982. It took two years for the valley to fill with water completely once construction was completed.
Kielder Forest is a large forestry plantation surrounding the reservoir Kielder Water. It is the largest man-made woodland in England. The majority of the forest lies within The Border Forest Park with the southern tip, known as Wark Forest, lying within Northumberland National Park.
Kielder Water & Forest Park features mile upon mile of purpose-built trails including forest walks for all the family and dedicated mountain bike tracks. The Lakeside Way is a 26 mile multi-user trail, suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users, that encircles the shoreline of Kielder Water.
A haven for wildlife, Kielder Water & Forest Park is also home to around 50% of England's native red squirrel population. In 2009 three chicks were born to a record breaking osprey couple - the first birds for at least 200 years to successfully raise chicks in Northumberland. So far they have returned to breed every year since. You can also spot otters, roe deer badgers and bats.