THE Forestry Commission has revealed plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary with a host events throughout Kielder Forest and the North Tyne.

The commission plans to host a variety of activities and events to celebrate the origins of Kielder Forest which date back to the First World War when Britain faced a shortage of timber.

At the time, woodland covered just five per cent of Britain and the country was shot on imports. The Acland Committee was set up to look at woodland resources and the Forestry Commission was subsequently set up in 1919.

The area of moorland around Kielder Castle had been identified by Lord Robinson as suitable for forestry, and the first trees in Kielder Forest were planted in 1926. It now stands as Europe’s largest man-made forest. Kielder Forest produces half a million tonnes of timber a year after the first trees were felled in 1948.

The commission has also been instrumental in establishing forestry in the North Tyne by building purpose-built villages such as Stonehaugh and expanding Kielder and Byrness for housing forestry workers in the 1950s.

Alex MacLennan from the Forestry Commission explained: “What once started out as a forest now has a variety of uses, and has become a worldwide tourist destination.”

As part of the celebrations, the annual Kielder classic car show in May will be transformed to focus on 100 classic Landrovers and their role in the development of the Forestry Commission.

The commission is also encouraging anyone with information about the forest’s history to come forward.

Alex added: “We’re looking for stories, articles, items or any information and photos which relates relates to the Forestry Commission in the area. We also have a big stall planned for the Northumberland County Show in May which will help amplify our message to an even bigger audience.”