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

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"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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2 days ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

Causey Arch walk with our Young Explorers today. Picking their way up the Gill following the stream , rope swings and a bit of scrambling, loads of chat and fun. These walks have been a great way to get the group really active (and wet!) and have all been planned and co-led by a group of our Young Leaders as part of the Active Youth project with support from @neyouthuk #localwalks #youngleaders #youngvolunteers #FreeRangeHumans #ActiveYouth ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

Why would you use any of the little bridges at Causey Arch when it's much more fun to pick your way across the stream ? Another 5,000 steps clocked up this morning with our Young Explorers for our young person led walk as part of the Active Youth project. Thanks to @neyouthuk for supporting this great programme #localwalks #youngleaders #youngvolunteer #youngexplorers ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

We hosted Wild and Curious with @curious_arts this afternoon. Our monthly hangout for LGBTQIA + and gender non conforming creative young people is growing with an over 16 and an under 16 group of outdoors-loving free range humans. Both groups came together to begin to collaborate on a semi-permanent piece of land art with artist @blossom._.butch . This artwork will be sited at the entrance to Birkheads Wild and we will invite other groups who visit us to contribute too. Loads of chat and laughter as everyone got to know each other and some exciting plans for future sessions too . Thanks to @aliceholliday8 for supporting the team and to @lgbtconsortium for enabling this work ❤🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍 #FreeRangeHumans #lgbtq🌈 #LGBTGIA+ #SafeSpace #outdooradventures #bushcraft #forestschool ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

Birkheads Wild Community Interest Company

Oh yeah, and dens, we made 3 epic dens today too. There was a very definite "no adults allowed" theme, and everyone had their lunch in theirs (til it hailed). I have no idea how we squeezed so much activity into a day but I m pretty sure Mark, Honor and I will sleep well tonight ! #denbuildingfun #denbuilding #shelterbuilding #forestschool ... See MoreSee Less

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We are delighted to announce that after a year of being closed due to COVID The Mud Cafe finally re opened again today for takeaway and delivery under Charlotte's management. Selling chocolate EVERYTHING (even chocolate lemonade for 3 stones), and even serving a menu for the goats which was delivered and served to them as they sunbathed. Our cafe has pretty basic facilities at the moment but we are hopeful of some help from our friends @lee_239 at @nu_foundation very soon to provide an upgraded service for the spring and summer 🤎 #mudcafe #mudkitchen #imaginativeplay #forestschool ... See MoreSee Less

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