People are given a taste of life on Coquet Island

Coquet Island
Coquet Island

Nature lovers were able to experience what life is like on an RSPB reserve, which is home to nesting seabirds.

The old night hide from Coquet Island, off the coast of Amble, went on show in Gateshead, as part of the Baltic’s Creative Conservation event.

The structure was re-erected in the venue as the centrepiece of the event, which was held during the recent half-term holiday.

The week included a live webcam feed of the nesting roseate terns on the island and of the breeding kittiwakes on the Baltic building, plus themed art activities for youngsters.

But the big draw was the hide, which for 10 years sheltered wardens on the RSPB reserve during 24-hour watches to guard against egg thieves.

The hide – which has been replaced on the island by a new, bigger one – was made by award-winning blacksmith Stephen Lunn, from Red Row, and mimics the appearance of the lighthouse on Coquet Island.

The 6ft-by-6ft structure includes a metal wood-burning stove in the shape of a clam shell, also made by Stephen, who is a volunteer on the island.

Over the years, the hide gathered items such as a lighthouse top and a glass disco ball which reflected the light at dusk and dawn to signal the start and end of the overnight watching shifts.

The hide had its first taste of celebrity status 18 months ago when it was transported by warden Wesley Davies to London to feature in a Migration Festival at The Forge arts and music venue in Camden. And it also proved popular at the Baltic.

Wesley said: “The old night hide was installed at the Baltic to give people a taste of what life is like on the island. The old hide gave us 10 good years of service and we hope the Baltic is not its last foray.”

The live webcam feed will run for the next few months at www.rspb.org.uk/coquetlive