A place for free range humans

The outdoors is important to us and we want to share our little bit of it with you. Bring your group to visit Birkheads Wild and go free range for a little while.

We are a perfect spot to come for a day or a couple of hours, or to try (almost) wild, off-grid camping for the first time - small, close to home and with hands-on support to enable your group to have a memorable night under canvas.

Acorn Guy

Bring your
Youth Group

Youth Groups

We'll design day sessions or overnight camps to suit the needs of your group.
Find out more

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Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Our site is an ideal base for Bronze level expeditions.

We'll help you plan an unforgettable and successful adventure.
Find out more

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Are you new to the outdoors?

New to the outdoors?

Never been camping before? We'll support and advise you to ensure your group is prepared and knows what to expect.
Find out more

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Our
Guided Walks

Guided Walks

We can adapt our walks to suit all abilities and ages - including fully accessible routes.
Find out more.

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Bushcraft
sessions

Bushcraft Sessions

From 2 hour ' taster' sessions to full days 'in the wild', we'll provide an unforgettable outdoor experience.
Find out more

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Come Camping
Here

Come Camping Here

We can host 28 overnight camps here per year.
Find out more

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Hire Our Yurt

Hire Our Yurt

Exclusive use of our very own yurt - The Barrow Den - for your family or team away day
Find out more

Book a session

We run regular After School Clubs and holiday sessions for local young people. We also run events and camps for families, and even some sessions just for free-range grown ups! All current available sessions are shown below. Select a session to join our tribe

As a social enterprise

We exist to help more young people to discover, explore and enjoy being outdoors.

Birkheads Wild is a Community Interest Company (CIC), this means any surplus we make is reinvested to help more young people experience (almost) wild camping and the outdoors.

Check out this video of what we achieved on our Gift of the Wild programme in 2018/19 in collaboration with Stomping Grounds Forest School.

What our visitors say...

"Jack has talked of nothing else since he got home, thanks to all the grown ups for an unforgettable adventure today!"

Joanne O'Leary (Jack's Mum)

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“I have had fantastic feedback from all of the families who were lucky enough to be nominated for 'Gift of the Wild' programme.  Parents were anxious about six week holiday activities and the associated costs.  Several children were reluctant to engage in out of schools activities.  These children have talked about the friendships formed during the day and the amazing array of activities they took part it.  Thank you so much". 

Family Support Worker, Gateshead

bushcraft robin Gateshead

"Great place for a DofE Bronze practice or qualifier. Walks straight from the camp site and plenty of footpaths. Fiona is so enthusiastic and helpful you couldn't be in better hands. The place is tranquil and you wouldn't realise that you are just outside the hustle and bustle of the major conurbations of the north east"

Steve Southern, Operations Officer for Newcastle, Gateshead & Hartlepool, DofE North

"Lovely atmosphere and a great place for DofE!"

Leah & Chloe, Y10

"Amazing people and amazing place"

Megan, 15

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"Cute campsite with a very welcoming feeling"

Oxclose Community Academy, Washington, Y9

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"Your site is awesome and you helped me start a fire and gave me some helpful tips that I will use again"

James, Y10

"We are now in our fourth year of running DofE Awards. Our students work really hard at getting the same national award as everyone else - and do this through volunteering, physical activities, undertaking an expedition and learning new skills. This year they're learning bushcraft skills at a great little spot - Birkheads Wild!"

Cambian Dilston College, Northumberland

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" Your camp site is beautiful and DofE is good! Thank you so much."

Cassie, (15) BCT Aspire, Bronze Duke of Edniburgh's Expedition

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"I love this place you can build dens and its lots of fun, you can also explore!!!"

Daisy (9), Kibblesworth Academy, Gateshead

"We work with young women with complex needs (eg on child protection plans due to neglect, babies and unborn babies of young women on CP plans, young women with fairly severe mental health problems including selective mutism, eating distress anxiety,  depression,  those at risk of sexual exploitation, young women who go missing, excluded from school due to behaviour, home educated, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorder, drug and alcohol use, in abusive relationships, socially isolated, bereavement or displaying early sexual behaviour). We also work with young parents, including fathers.

Working with Birkheads Wild over the past year has been a unique experience that has taken the young people out of their comfort zone and challenged them, building confidence and the ability to transfer this confidence into everyday life.

Undoubtably being at Birkheads Wild and out of their normal environment is beneficial to their mental health. It is an opportunity that they would not otherwise have had to forget their worries for a while in the beautiful countryside. They also learnt new skills and tried out new activities. I noticed our young people behaving differently in a new environment, talking about nature and linking this to positive memories. They also did more physical activity producing endorphins, which is something they may not otherwise do as part of their day.

Our young parents reported benefits to themselves and their babies in that it gave them the knowledge and confidence that they can do things in the outdoors which make them feel good that don't not cost anything, and can be done in similar environments close to their own homes, for example walking, climbing, making things from nature and having interesting, knowledgeable conversations about nature and the environment.

The overnight camp gave young people more opportunity to form relationships, both with peers and staff. It was also empowering for young parents who live at home and have not had the opportunity to be away with their children without the presence of grandparents/parents/foster carers. "

Julie Stott, Project Director, Gateshead Young Women's Outreach Project

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Facebook Posts

5 hours ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

'Normal rules don't apply now' says Scout as she gets onto the bed.
#scoutthedog #lurchersofinstagram #lurcher #bedroomdecor #victoriancottage @ Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company
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Wah ! We are missing all our regular muddy faces! Tuesdays are usually Young Explorers our outdoor youth club, and just before the virus struck the group was trained by Simone from @tyneriverstrust to Adopt A Stream. The group chose Red Burn which is our nearest named stream about 20 mins walk from site. We should have been taking the group there this evening to do our monitoring, but Mose, Arlo and I have had to do a socially distanced monitor and report (which also definitely counts as Science at around Y7 level) today. We've uploaded our findings and other observations successfully via the My Tyne App. If any other very local Young Explorers who were trained (plus their families) would like to walk up and borrow the testing kit as part of their daily exercise please get in touch for me to arrange to leave the kit bag out on the gate for you. You could test Red Burn (Beamish Woods) next month, or Coltspool Burn near Kibblesworth or even your garden pond in the coming weeks.

*Just to be clear - we walked to the stream as our daily exercise from home/dog walk today. @tyneriverstrust have made it clear that they do not want groups or families who have adopted a stream to be driving anywhere or walking unnecessarily in order to monitor and observe our streams during the current restrictions. Please act responsibly *
#outdoorlearning #community #adoptastream #environment #pollution #nature #stream #beamish #homeschooling
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Good stuff from lovely folk !As we start week two of home schooling, we hope you are all doing OK. If you are stuck for something to do with the children, why not check out scotswoodgarden.org.uk/learn/school-visits? We have included suggestions of activities, as well as links to interesting websites and resources. We particularly love the link to the Wildlife Trust's webcams of nesting birds around the UK. Have fun! ... See MoreSee Less

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It's looking a bit brighter here than it was when we had freezing snow flurries and a biting north wind. I've just come across this little worksheet we did for some groups last Spring. Feel free to screen shot, print out or share if you want an activity for your family over the next couple of weeks. The old railway lines round this part of Gateshead are perfect for spotting the wildlife on this sheet, so if you are fortunate enough to be able to get out 'on the lines' close to your house you may get 6/6 on this sheet done in 1 walk! I often mention Lapwings as one of my favourite birds - rare elsewhere but surprisingly common over the fields round here. They sound so distinctive (like 80's computer games) and fly erratically like they've been shot in the wing. Lots of the young people who attend our sessions regularly will be expert in Silver Birch spotting as it's a great bushcraft tree - the peely bark and twiggy bundles are excellent firefighting resources. #getkidsoutside #newcastlegateshead #dailyexercise #nature #bushcraft ... See MoreSee Less

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The clocks go forward this weekend. Not sure how far but I reckon 4 months might be enough...I' m sorry we've not been able to do, or share more to help local families discover, explore and enjoy the outdoors over the past couple of weeks. I tried to set up single family Stay and Play sessions and over night camps in the Yurt for 1 family at a time, but even that now doesnt seem like a safe option. So with a heavy heart we'll just be closing down the site entirely until it's safe and possible for us to re-open again to groups and families.
I'd like to have had time and energy to post online resources for helping you enjoy your outdoors time, but that hasn't happened either yet. Our friends over at @stompinggroundsne have been sharing some good ideas so have a look at those if you need some inspiration.
Thanks for all the lovely messages of support and affirmation that what Birkheads Wild provides is needed and valued by our communities. Hopefully we'll be back on our feet again later in the summer, until then stay safe, healthy and make sure you get time in the outdoors every day however you can #socialenterprise #getkidsoutdoors #springforward
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