Kielder Festival of Lanterns


The darkest night skies in England are set to glow with the lights of hundreds of beautiful lanterns.

The dramatic landscape of Kielder Water & Forest Park will play host to the first ever Kielder Festival of Lanterns on Saturday 20 March 2010.

The Park is famed for having the darkest night skies in England thanks to minimal light pollution but for one night only the forest and water will be ablaze with light from an unforgettable lantern parade.

The fun-filled day long event draws on the theme of earth, air, fire and water, and focuses on the rivers, lakes, forests, mountains and skies of this rural area. During the day, members of the public will have the opportunity to experience this unique setting by taking part in a range of free, family orientated music, art and dance workshops which will celebrate the heritage of Northumberland and cultural diversity. These will be held at three of the main visitor centres.

As the evening draws in there will be the opportunity to watch and take part in the lantern-lit procession through Kielder Forest and down to the shores of Kielder Water, where an extravagant water-based finale awaits.

Councillor Isabel Hunter, executive member for culture at Northumberland County Council said: "We are pleased to be able to support this exciting event, which will offer opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy a magical experience that celebrates Northumberland′s distinctiveness."

Shona Hendrick, events and activities development officer for Kielder Partnership, said: “In the months leading up to the event, the community will be heavily involved and we’ve a variety of schools and groups making lanterns for the parade. It’s a great time to see everyone join together and celebrate Northumberland in an event for all the family.”

Local school children will be involved throughout the whole process from initial concept designs to putting the materials together. Visitors also have the option to attend open lantern making workshops in the run up to and on the day of the event or to bring their own lanterns. For safety, visitors are advised to bring battery powered lanterns rather than using naked flames.

The lanterns will be made in celebration of the images of salmon, herons and stars. Large-scale images will also be placed in the forest as illuminated installations and mark the route of the procession. This culminates in an extravagant water, light and music finale which will incorporate floating lanterns, water jets, screens and creating dream-like water imagery. This promises to be an impressive display in a truly unique setting.

The daytime festival will commence at noon at various locations throughout the Park. Workshop places need to be pre-booked. The lantern parade and performance, which also needs to be pre-booked, will take place at Leaplish Waterside Park. Visitors are asked to arrive at 5:00pm for a 5:30pm start.

The event is organised by Kielder Partnership, together with Dodgy Clutch, and is supported by Northumberland County Council (which is also supporting this year’s historic ‘Riding of the Bounds’ event in Berwick on Saturday 1 May 2010).

Dodgy Clutch Theatre Company has been creating spectacular events from its base in the North East for the past 30 years, including the Winter Wonderland at Kielder every winter. The ‘Follow the Heron’ event has been written and devised by Dodgy Clutch’s artistic director, Ozzie Riley, and will be the focus of the evening parade. 

Elaine Beard, co-director said: “In order to create something enchanting, you have to be enchanted yourself. Follow the Heron will delight children and adults of all ages.”

For further information about Kielder Festival of Lanterns go to or telephone 01434 652 220. 

Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to

For more information contact Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park), on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or or Sarah Wilson, communications officer, Northumberland County Council on 01670 533 253 or

Notes to editor:

The Kielder Partnership is a public, voluntary and private sector collaboration working to develop Kielder Water & Forest Park as an inspirational place for leisure, exploration and fun. 

Partners are Calvert Trust Kielder, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Northumberland County Council, Northumbrian Water plus representation from community groups.

Northumberland County Council
The Riding of the Bounds event (also supported by Northumberland County Council and Dodgy Clutch) at Berwick will take place on Saturday 1 May 2010. The event is now in its 5th century as this year will be the 401st Riding of the Bounds.

Berwick′s bounds date back to 1438 when representatives from England and Scotland agreed where one country would end and the other begin. Records show that as early as 1542 the Bounds of Berwick-upon-Tweed were patrolled.

While the need to protect against encroachment by the Scots has long since past, the ride still attracts well over 100 riders and draws hundreds of onlookers. This year there will be celebrations throughout the town and local school children will be involved in the run up to the event. The ‘Bounds’ offers a great opportunity to experience a unique event in a historic setting.

Dodgy Clutch
This year, Dodgy Clutch will also be touring its show ‘Elephant’ to the New Victory Theatre in New York as well as around the UK, producing a six month long event based on Alice in Wonderland at Antony House in Cornwall (the location for Tim Burton’s new film), and working in South Africa.

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