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Kielder Water

Kielder Water is not in the Lake District but is to be found on the opposite side of the North of England, in Northumberland close to the Scottish border. Often described as the largest man-made lake in Europe this is true if measured by the volume of water. By surface area it is a little smaller than Rutland Water in the East Midlands but Keilder is deeper.

Now surrounded by the enormous Kielder Forest, at the heart of the Northumberland National Park it is often difficult to believe that Kielder Water is man-made but in fact the 170 feet high dam, blocking the North Tyne valley, was only commenced in 1976. The official opening of the scheme was in 1982. The purpose was to provide a reliable water supply for the heavily industrialised areas of Tyneside, Teesside and Wearside, and the lake holds up to 44 billion gallons. It is now at the centre of one of Britain's major nature reserves, including providing a habitat for the red squirrel which has all but disappeared in most areas of the country.

Sailing and other water-based sports are provided for, and the Kielder Yacht Club attracts members from a wide area, well outside the borders of Northumberland. Nearby, in the Kielder Forest, is Keilder Castle which was first built by the Duke of Northumberland in the eighteenth century as a hunting lodge and now includes an information centre managed by the Forestry Commission. The lake is managed by Northumbrian Water, who control the fishing rights and provide facilities for both bank and boat fishing. Kielder's reputation for trout fishing is excellent.



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