Image: Wildlife scuplture at Kielder Water (photo: Stanegate Cottages)
Image: Wildlife in the area of Stanegate holiday accommodation - osprey and red squirrel.

A Wildlife Haven …

Northumberland and Cumbria offer an astonishing range of flora and fauna, from the humble fungi to the magnificent osprey. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a black grouse which is an endangered species. But more likely you will disturb a red grouse as it takes to the air with its characteristic ‘chuckle’!

If you are near one of the region’s rivers, you could see salmon or trout and perhaps an otter or two. Northumberland’s rivers are amongst the least polluted in the country, as a result,  the otter has survived here naturally. Similarly, the lack of water pollution also allows species like the freshwater mussel and white-clawed crayfish to thrive.  Watch out also for the dipper bobbing in and out of a fast flowing stream. This fascinating little bird needs streams with clean, clear water,  making Northumberland a perfect place for it to live.

Squirrels, Goats and Bees …

You will undoubtedly have come across the grey squirrel, but how about the red squirrel? In many parts of the country, this beautiful small mammal has been wiped out because of the introduction of the grey squirrel. The organisation ‘Red Squirrels Northern England’ is dedicated to the conservation of our native squirrel in the north of England. Wildlife trusts, the Forestry Commission and local groups monitor and conserve red squirrel populations, thus ensuring their survival.

There is also a population of wild goats in the Cheviots. These are not escaped domestic goats that have become feral, but are genuinely wild goats. They have been living here for thousands of years and it is a sobering thought that their ancestors probably helped sustain Stone Age farmers.

And don’t forget the reptiles, wild flowers and the insects, particularly the bees. Our area has all of the common types of bee, but it also is home to the rare moss-carder bee. The Northumberland NPA work with farmers and have a planting programme that helps to support this vitally important insect family.

Staying at Stanegate Cottage …

A holiday spent at Stanegate Cottage is perfect for any nature lover. There is plenty to experience whether you are a keen birder or simply have a general interest in wildlife. An hour’s drive will see you at Kielder Water, where you can see the local osprey population. Or head for the hills in spring or summer to spot waders like the curlew, lapwing or snipe. Take an evening stroll along Hadrian’s Wall and you could glimpse the native roe deer, fox or badger. And keep your eyes open whilst exploring locally – red squirrels have been spotted near the Roman Army Museum at Walltown.

Image: wildlife at Stanegate Cottage - pheasant.