Scattered around Kielder Forest are a number of wild camping sites, flatish areas out in the more remote parts of the forest designed for a few small tents. One of the closer ones to a road is near East Kielder, it’s about half a kilometer to walk in but a long way from the bustle of a normal camp site.
From our camp spot we had an evening walk up the secluded valley of the Ridge End Burn, past tiny waterfalls and scattered birches and rowans. Our aim of a nearby hill was never very likely and the roughness of the terrain made it soon clear that we wouldn’t have enough light for that. Instead we were content to watch the roe deer bound across the hillside, investigate odd hollows and cliffs and enjoy the new spring growth of those hillside trees.
Back at camp we had a quiet evening; the midges are yet to pose any sort of problem. It was a wonderfully quiet place where the day arrived to the sounds of an albeit limited dawn chorus. However at least two cuckoos offered a welcome sound of spring and the shrill wren and more melodious willow warbler provided the background music. Down by the Burn, by the ruins of an old sheep dip, were the yellow of golden saxifrage and the white of wood sorrel and anemone and the tufts of primrose. The weather was a bit damp and misty for any butterflies but ideal for those midges; it’s just as well it’s still too early for them.