Start of Triathlon in Kielder Water

Kielder in the North Tyne valley is not the my most favourite place. Great if you like water sports of all sorts or fishing but too manicured and sanitized for me. And so so commercial.

Superlatives abound. With 44 billion gallons Keider Water is the largest reservoir in the UK, has the largest hydro electric plant in England and is surrounded by the largest man-made woodland in Europe. A forest which has matured quite a bit since I last orienteered there in the late 80s. I remember the grot well. And the midges are just as ferocious.

Keider Water was built in the late 70s to provide a water supply to the heavy industries of the Tyne. A beautiful Northumbrian valley with numerous farms and a school were lost beneath the water which took two years to fill.

Nowadays the reservoir is used to top up the North Tyne to allow water to be abstracted downstream. Water can also be transferred by pipeline to the Wear and Tees when these rivers are low.


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