The North Pennines is a fantastic place to watch birds.
The rich mix of habitats, wildlife and stunning landscapes in the AONB is unique in England. The thrilling swoop and cry of the lapwing during its breeding display and the ethereal bubbling song of the curlew are just two of the wonders to be found.
Visit the Explore North Pennines portal to discover the amazing range of activities available across the AONB. At the heart of this site is an interactive map which will allow you to search by activity, interest and location.
See birds of the high moors, grassland birds, the black grouse, woodland birds, birds of rivers and streams, birds of scrub, scree and crag and birds of open water for more information about the bird life found in the North Pennines.
Follow out free downloadable birdwalks and you’ll be well placed to discover the birds of the North Pennines.
Responsible bird watching
When you are enjoying the birds in the AONB please be sure to follow the Birdwatchers’ Code of Conduct. In addition when watching black grouse please be sure to follow the Black Grouse Watching Code as well. It is particularly important that you follow this code because lekking black grouse are especially vulnerable to disturbance. The North Pennines is home to 80% of England’s black grouse and your help is needed to ensure that the population is protected for future generations of birdwatchers to enjoy.
Wild North Discovery offers you the chance to discover the unique birdlife in one of Britain’s wildest locations – the North Pennines. There are few places in the UK with such a range of upland birds from the exotic black grouse, enigmatic nightjars, birds of prey like merlin, goshawk and shorteared owls and waders like golden plover, snipe and curlew with their wonderful evocative calls. We gauge the day to suit you from complete beginner wanting plenty of birding tips to keen birder. Local guide, Bruce Ferguson, has 29 years experience leading people of all abilities on nature and wildlife exploration. Tel 01388 529154
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours Ltd is a Northumberland based eco-tourism business that aims to enhance the experience of visitors while maintaining ethical principles with regard to the ecology of the region and the local community.
Join experienced guide Martin Kitching on a tour in the North Pennines and take in the soundscape of Allen Banks as well as the spectacular moorland of Allendale, Teesdale and Weardale. With a remarkable density of breeding waders and displaying Black Grouse and a stunning carpet of wildflowers, your day with Northern Experience Wildlife Tours in the North Pennines will live long in the memory. Tel: 01670 827465
Moor House-Upper Teesdale NNR
Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR) runs a programme of events and activities, including black grouse watching, based on this huge upland nature reserve. Tel: 01833 622374
Geltsdale RSPB Reserve
From remote and windswept blanket bog to flower-filled hay meadows, Geltsdale RSPB Reserve is a fantastic place for upland birds and wildlife. Visit the information point at Stagsike Cottages and during the breeding season you’ll find CCTV trained on nesting birds, such as barn owls and hen harriers. The reserve team also run a programme of events.