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Bakethin Hide

Newcastle University School of Architecture, 2017

A new wildlife hide for Bakethin conservation area

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Bakethin Hide is a new wildlife watching facility on the shores of Bakethin conservation area, at the head of Kielder Water. The structure was designed and built by a small group of MArch students from Newcastle University School of Architecture.

Students worked closely with the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water, and Kielder Art & Architecture, to create the brief for the project and develop a number of design responses from which the project partners selected their preferred option.

The hide replaces an old bird watching hide that had occupied this site for the past 20 years and the new structure responds to the aspiration to widen the experience to be had bt visitors to include opportunities to not only observe birds on Bakethin, but also wildlife in the forest adjacent to the hide at close hand.

The hide comprises of two hexagonal pod's, the 'lake pod' which faces the water, and the 'forest pod' which both looks to the water and also back into the forest. Although the two rooms are on different levels, both are fully accessible and contain boards providing information on the birds and animals that are likely to be seen from the hide throughout the year.

To the front, the hide is 100m from a new osprey nesting pole sited on a nearby island, providing unparalleled views of the birds throughout the nesting season. To the side, tall windows give vertical views from the forest floor to its canopy. Timber screens to hide approaching visitors and a moss roof complete the building.

Hide is designed to be a wildlife attraction to all, from serious birdwatchers, to family groups and has been funded  by the Heritage Lottery grant through the Living Wild at Kielder project.

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Hide is accessed from the Bakethin conservation area carpark close to Kielder Viaduct. Those with additional mobility needs can use closer parking (signed off the public road).

Follow directions from the car park over the old railway line to the start of the Lakeside Way (south), and then continue along the Lakeside Way past the dipping pond for 600m until the path to the hide will be seen to the right.

Walking time approximately 20 minutes. 

The route from the main car park has gradients where it crosses over the old railway embankment. The route from the disabled access parking spaces is flat.

The interior of the hide is fully accessible.