Camping before the midges arrive

Kielderhead, Ridge End Burn (c) Duncan Hutt

Kielderhead, Ridge End Burn (c) Duncan Hutt

East Kielder Back packing site (c) Sally Hutt

East Kielder Back packing site (c) Sally Hutt

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.

Young rowan leaves (c) Duncan Hutt

Young rowan leaves (c) Duncan Hutt

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.

roe deer (c) Duncan Hutt

roe deer (c) Duncan Hutt

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.

Our camp at night (c) Duncan Hutt

Our camp at night (c) Duncan Hutt


About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
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6 Responses to Camping before the midges arrive

  1. What a great idea. I hope those midges keep away longer!

  2. thehutts says:

    Unfortunately is wasn’t pre tick season as we discovered last night! Sally

  3. Talking about the midges: I was taught an excellent natural way to avoid being bitten by midges by a Traveller friend of mine. Stand right in the wood smoke of the camp fire and allow the smoke to billow around you for a couple of minutes or so. It may be quite uncomfortable to do and you might reek like an Arbroath Smokie, but I can assure you, the midges will not bother you because they hate the smell of wood smoke. No need for bottles of midge repellent!

  4. thehutts says:

    Nice idea Colin but I don’t fancy fires in Kielder Forest at the moment – we have had a few issues with visitors lighting fires where they shouldn’t over the last few weekends. The worst on Easter Sunday resulted in 5 fire engines being called out and a large burnt area of trees all around a car park. Personally I use Smidge or Ambre Solaire smelly sun screen which seems to stop them biting me. Sally

  5. Andy says:

    Yeah fires and idiots don’t go well together, nothing wrong with a well managed small, contained fire either cleared of any bracken/grass around and or dug in or surrounded by stones. Unfortunately a few sad people think a fire in the middle of a built up woods is the thing to do.

    After several years in the forces and an upbringing through cubs, scouts and cadets I gladly have had the right education regarding the outdoors and only wish other people would get an understanding before pounding off into the middle of no where.

    Its those that get the majority the bad name. I spoke to a guy who has lived in Kielder for 30 years, after a conversation that lasted some 15 minutes regarding hiking and wild camping we both agreed that it was not an issue if the person or persons had that one thing – common sense.

    Unfortunately a lot of people don’t.


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