The Northern Kites project, now ended, was one of the northeast's most high profile wildlife initiatives. The aim of the project was to return breeding red kites to the region after an absence of 170 years and to provide opportunities for people to enjoy and appreciate these spectacular birds. The project was the first in the world to re-introduce kites into a semi-urban environment in Gateshead's Derwent Valley.
The Friends of the Red Kites (FoRK) are still active promoting Red Kite and their conservation. To find out more, including information on events and how to become a Red Kites Volunteer visit the Friends of the Red Kites website.
Durham Wildlife Trust have installed a live 'Kittiwake Cam' on the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
Image credit: Durham Wildlife Trust
To see the live footage of the Kittiwakes' colony as the birds make their nests, lay and incubate their eggs, see the chicks hatch and watch them grow before they fledge their nests and return to sea in the Summer, view the Kittiwake Cam.
Summer 2015 visitor centre opening times
Thornley Woodland Centre 10am - 3pm daily weekdays and 10am - 4pm weekends.
The Cafe in the Woods at Thornley Woodlands Centre is open from 10am - 3pm.
Swalwell Visitor Centre 10am - 4pm daily.
Under new management
In summer 2014 Durham Wildlife Trust took over the management of 7 sites across Gateshead.
The sites are Lamesley Pastures, Cross Lane Meadows, Chopwell Meadows, Westfield Pastures (near Ryton) Addison Woodlands and Hedgefield Quarry, Barlow Burn (owned by SITA) and Shibdon Meadow.
The sites are being taken on a 30 year lease and a member of staff from the Wildlife Trust will oversee the management of the sites and encourage community involvement.
Councillor John McElroy, the Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said 'Durham Wildlife Trust is an organisation with valuable expertise and experience in managing important wildlife sites. This is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen Gateshead's links with the Trust and to help to safeguard the future of these significant areas. I look forward to seeing the Trust add to the Council's previous work on these sites for the benefit of both communities and wildlife conservation'.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Durham Wildlife Trust and working on these sites contact the Trust on 0191 584 3112.
Dunston Saltmarsh Garden
The Saltmarsh Garden will be open in Summer 2015 when the developer completes the work but until them there are a whole series of events taking place around the Staiths this summer.
For more information on the Staiths restoration project visit http://dunstonstaiths.org.uk/
Friends of Red Kites Health Walks
The Friends of Red Kites are continuing with free health walks every Monday afternoon. Walks start at 1.30 until 3pm (approx 3 miles). New walkers please meet at 1.20pm to register.
For more information on meeting points visit the health walks page on the Friends of Red Kites website.