Kielder bans wild camping after rubbish is dumped in park
One of Northumberland’s most popular outdoor destinations has been forced to ban wild camping after rubbish, including tents and sleeping bags, was repeatedly dumped.
Police have now warned that illegal campers in the park will be moved on.
Kielder Water and Forest Park posted a notice on its Facebook page accompanied by a photo showing one campsite where eight tents had been abandoned and the area left strewn with rubbish and bottles.
“Sadly due to continued illegal camping taking place (thankfully this is reducing slightly) and items being left behind for our staff to gather up, damage to habitats etc, we are unable for the remainder of 2020 to allow any form of wild camping,” it said in the post.“This includes the limited locations with permission where backpackers have enjoyed a night under stars in remote locations. In the last fortnight we again have had to deal with illegal camps as in the photo below of a major camp left with much mess.”
Northumbria Police Neighbourhood Sergeant Kate Benson said: "We are aware of concerns from the Forestry Commission about illegal camping at Kielder and have been working closely with them to address the issue.
"We have stepped up patrols in the area and if we find anyone camping illegally then they will be moved on.
"Kielder is an incredibly beautiful place that is enjoyed by residents and tourists throughout the year and deserves to be shown a bit of respect. It is not acceptable for individuals to behave in this way, destroying the environment and leaving rubbish littered throughout the forest.
"We are committed to working with both the Forestry Commission and the local authority to clampdown on this kind of activity so we can preserve the local environment."Camper vans and adapted camping vehicles are permitted overnight at Kielder Castle Car Park, Tower Knowe Car Park and also Elf Kirk Viewing Point for a fee of £10 per night.Booking for the designated campsite is on-line only at https://kieldercampsite.co.uk/ and campers will be required to produce identification.