Hi fellas, after much messing around over the phone I finally received a better response via email:
Thank you for your email. We currently have some problems at Kielder due to wild camping (more the sort who bring a cheap tent, crate of beer and stereo), so unfortunately I am unable to officially approve requests from well-intentioned wild campers. However, we do have a number of 'back-packing' sites in the forest where overnight camping is allowed. These are usually clearings in the forest. Attached is a brochure promoting these sites. There is no charge to use them and all we ask is you let us know when you will be using them and leave them as you found them. Open fires are not allowed, although the fire-lighting in a bowl you describe below is an acceptable low risk. There is no vehicle access in the forest."
I've asked if we can use these sites for more than one night and been told two nights is acceptable. Though we do have the restrictions of vehicle access and no group fire. So it looks like it's going to be two nights, lumping kit from the car, and each to their own when it comes to stoves etc. I'm happy to help out lumping kit back and forth if folk have more than they can carry. I've looked at the brochure I was sent (can send it to anyone just send me a PM to ask for it) most are just open grassland but there is one thats in open forest which probably suits our needs better.
So that being said, who is still interested/able to make it? If we are still up for it as a group, then we can start discussing dates. I'd like to gauge the general consesus of what month best suits us, june, july, august?
I am interested, any weekend should be fine, weekdays with some notice. Will have to see about getting there before I confirm properly. My cam belt went earlier this year & the car was a write off. Since then I decided to spend more on gear, whisky and zombie movies than replacing the car
Very surprised they agreed - been watching this post but assumed they would refuse
After looking through the brochure, and talking with Hammy, we have decided that the Needs Hill site would suit our purposes the most. Hammys local knowledge has pointed out it's only a one mile walk from car layby to the site, and it may be possible to drive in and drop kit off (will have to check this though). Here is what the brochure has to say in all it's informative glory (not!):
And here we have the basic rules for using the sites:
Kielder Backpacking Sites 2014
Terms and conditions of use
1. To avoid clashes users should inform the Forestry Commission that they intend to use a site at least 3 days in advance (phone 01434
220242). 2. Users are advised to inform the car park’s owners if they are intending to leave a vehicle overnight to avoid concerns over abandoned vehicles (phone 01434 220242 for Forestry Commission car parks or 01434 251000 for Northumbrian Water) 3. In the Forestry Commission car parks, the full car park charge applies for each part day the vehicle is left, please purchase and display the required number of tickets on the day of arrival 4. The use of the backpacking sites is free 5. The sites are natural sites and are not staffed. If you are
concerned about a site do not use it and inform the Forestry
Commission of your concerns as soon as possible. 6. The sites are open all year. Users need to check weather conditions before arrival in order to assess the accessibility and safe condition of the site 7. The sites themselves are not accessible by vehicle. Access is on foot, by bike or on horse back. All of Kielder Forest is open access on foot and all forest roads are open to horse riders and cyclists. 8. Sites and access routes may be closed from time to time due to Forestry Operations or for other reasons. Please check details when enquiring about using a site. 9. When in Kielder Forest please observe all signage and comply with instructions from members of staff at all times 10.There are no facilities at the sites. Toilet holes need to be dug away from the site and from water courses and filled in before leaving. 11.There is open water near the sites, but users must bring their own drinking water or equipment for boiling or purify water for drinking 12.Please leave the sites as you would like to find them, always take your litter home 13.Sites are marked with a red and white post 14.Always respect other visitors, wildlife, domestic animals, the landscape and the environment and follow the countryside code 15.Camp fires are prohibited. Camping stoves or Kelly kettles are allowed.
I think we will get away with a group fire if it is contained in a fire pit. And I can't see hammocks being a problem, as I intend to hammock there too!
I'll sort some dates out this week to see what suits people best for a trial run
I'll be up for this, any weekend is fine by me, assuming I'm not already elsewhere.
I can pick up/drop off en route if anyone is stuck for transport.
Scottish visitors take note; the Fun Police in this area carry rule-books and ain't afraid to use them
Im not taking my canoe. Read a thread on SOTP about Kielder water. No chance. So I'll shove a 360 litre roof box on, so take as much kit as you want. FergsUK are you thinking of taking your son?
We could squeeze him in no probs. How old is he?
Copperhead, we'll have to arrange a place to meet, as I cant come to Hull mate. Train station or something.
GTbod, also have to arrange a place to meet.
Whats it like for ticks? Are the midges as bad as north west scotland, or more like the lake district?
Great to see that plenty of folk are on board for this
The dates I have so far for the first meet is the 19th/20th of June. This should hopefully give people enough time to arrange transport etc. Let me know how this sounds and I can start a seperate thread to keep things clear.
Now I have a date in mind, I will call the FC officer and ask about the dates, accessibility, and dogs. Let me know if there is anything else people need to know thanks