A place for free range humans

OUR MISSION: We believe that getting outdoors is vital to every aspect of our health and wellbeing, and crucial to our understanding of the world around us. We want to help local young people (and their families) to have more opportunities to discover, explore and enjoy the outdoors.

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.

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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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6 days ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

A big Shout Out and thankyou so much to this week's online supporters Ellie Turner and Jane Johnson who have sponsored our Young Leaders in their 2 challenges to raise funds for more outdoor trips and experiences. We are completing a 3km Mud Run and obstacle course and an 8 mile walk in August and September and would be so grateful for any support you can offer the young people via the following link:

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/more-outdoor-experiences-for-birkheads-wild-cic

Thanks 💚

* here they are testing out the giant cargo net obstacle on the mud run course !

#youngleaders #youngexplorers #outdooryouthclub #outdooradventures #outdoorexperiences #getkidsoutside #getkidsactive
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6 days ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

Yesterday's summer holiday group from River Tyne Academy PRU had a relaxing time around the fire with Corrina @mulhollland . There were tortilla pizzas followed by s’mores for lunch. Lots of creativity flowing with whittled mushrooms and Hapa zome bags. A lovely bright sunny day to start the holidays! #alternativeprovision #alternativeeducation #summerholidayfun #forestschool ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

On Wednesday we hosted a Team Away Day for the staff of Gateshead Young Women's Outreach Project who we've worked with on several outdoors projects in the past 3 years. They wanted time to reconnect, reflect and chill out together and enjoy the outdoors. Their young women are currently participating in a self portrait project so we decided to ask them to use nature to create their own with the brief ; "How I see myself". There was some deep reflection when sharing the portraits, also some hilarity when Pearl the hen came round to "judge" the portraits and also eat the Raspberry eyes from one! We then carved Journey Sticks and talked about the therapeutic benefits of whittling. More chatting, eating and re connecting before ending the session with some reflection on the one thing we wanted to keep from the last year and the one thing we wanted to let go of - these we ceremonially burnt on the camp fire. If your team would benefit from a day at Birkheads Wild please get in touch #teamwork #relaxation #wellbeing #naturetherapy #natureconnection #crafting #campfire #outdoorlearning #teamawayday #teamdevelopment #gatesheadyoungwomenandgirls ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

Please help our young people to fundraise for more outdoor experiences in the year ahead . Look at some of the things our Young Explorers and Young Leaders got up to in the last year! Young Explorers is our fully outdoors youth club for 11-14 year olds. We want to aim higher, further and wilder next year so a team of Young Explorers and our Young Leaders are taking on 2 fundraising challenges in the next 8 weeks! Please could you support them with a donation via this link:
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/more-outdoor-experiences-for-birkheads-wild-cic

In August they'll be completing in a 3km Mud Run Clarty Bairns with Challenge Northumberland and in September they'll be walking an 8 mile stretch of Hadrians Wall for @neyouthuk .
Please follow the link to support them and to find out more #youngleaders #fundraising #fundraisingchallenge #outdooradventures #outdoorsyouthclub #resilience #teamwork #gateshead
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2 weeks ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

Always satisfying to be able to complete a growing cycle - as part of his #alternativeprovision T helped spread chicken and goat manure under the gooseberry bushes in early spring and this summer we have been rewarded with a bumper crop of fruit which he harvested today. This is a half full washing up bowl of fruit! He'd never seen or tried one before and preferred the taste of the super sour, unripe ones to the fat, sweeter ones ! We chatted about fruit picking as a job, and how hazardous Gooseberry picking is compared to Strawberry picking. Our hands got needled from their thorns and stung by the nettles growing amongst the bushes. I ve promised to save him some Gooseberry Fool as a reward! #growourown #gooseberry #fruitpicking #harvest #socialfarming #alternativeeducation #forestschool #growyourown #communitygarden #ruralgateshead ... See MoreSee Less

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