MIGRATING birds returning to Kielder Water & Forest Park this spring are in for a big surprise.

The sculpture, designed by FleaFolly Architects, draws inspiration from the nearby and now-flooded Plashetts Quarry, from which rock was quarried during the construction of the dam, as well as Plashetts Station, a halt on the Border Counties Railway that once ran through the North Tyne Valley but now lies deep beneath Kielder Water’s surface.

The top of the Plashetts Rising has been sculpted to incorporate lengths of timber, creating a comfortable perching place for many species of bird.

Tom Dearnley, from the Forestry Commission, said: “Plashetts Rising should be particularly popular with ospreys who feed on live fish and look for their food by flying over the water. Families visiting Kielder from late spring should have a great view of Ospreys and other birds silhouetted against the sky on Plashetts Rising, either from land with binoculars, or from the Kielder Osprey Ferry which transports visitors across the water during the summer.

The closest views of the sculpture can be enjoyed whilst walking or cycling along the north shore of the Lakeside Way.

Lynn Turner, director of the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “Plashetts Rising links nature, creative art and the history of Kielder with a contemporary visitor experience. We love it and we hope all our 2019 visitors - particularly ospreys and other birds - will too.

“I would like to thank National Lottery players and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting ‘Living Wild at Kielder’; a project that helps people experience and learn about the area’s special animals, birds and plants."