There are six observation (bird) hides that allow you a unique view of the wildlife that makes its home in Gateshead. To use the hides you can buy a key for £5 from Thornley Woodlands Centre and the Civic Centre at the 2nd Floor reception. This key gives you access to six hides. Two in the Derwent Walk Country Park, one at Shibdon Pond, one at Lamesley Pastures and two at Clara Vale Local Nature Reserve.
Thornley Hide (Derwent Walk Country Park)
Across the road from the Thornley Woodlands Centre and about 100 yards down the path. This hide overlooks the feeding station where feeding takes place at approximately 9am daily. Please be aware that this hide is used by school visits on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings throughout term time.
Far Pasture Hide (Derwent Walk Country Park)
This is a wetland hide about half a mile along the A694 towards Rowlands Gill from the Thornley Woodlands Centre. Take the first left turn (beside the bus lay-by) and follow the narrow surfaced road. After crossing the bridge over the Derwent Walk turn right at the T-junction then go down the hill to the end of the road. Car park open 9am to 5pm.
Shibdon Pond Hide
This is a wetland hide on the pond edge facing Shibdon Road, park at the Blaydon Swimming Baths and walk along the edge of the pond towards Swalwell.
To visit this wetland hide please use the car park at the Ravensworth Arms Hotel in Lamesley. The hide is directly opposite the pub.
Clara Vale Local Nature Reserve
There are two hides in the nature reserve, the wetland hide is accessed via the Cricket Club car park, the woodland hide is in the main part of the reserve.
Directions: from Blaydon head for Crawcrook on the B6317, at Crawcrook traffic signals turn right onto Crawcrook Lane After half a mile turn right onto Stannerford Road when you arrive in Clara Vale turn left immediately before the war memorial, drive up the track and park at the cricket ground. The site is managed by the Friends of Clara Vale in conjunction with Gateshead Council.
Hide key information
- All hides must be locked at all times
- Please close the windows when leaving
- If other visitors are in the hide when you are leaving, please ensure that they have a key to lock up. If not, please let us know so that we can lock up when they leave.
- If a log book is present please record what you see.
- Contact us at the Thornley Woodlands Centre on 01207 545 212.