Monday, 19 October 2015

Opportunity to work with Kielder Partnership to develop an art project

During the current academic year the Newcastle University Fine Art Department will be working with the Kielder Partnership to develop an exciting new year-long art project. 

Up to 15 artists: students and staff in the Department will have the opportunity to develop and site art in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, one of England’s most beautiful wild arenas for contemporary art and architecture. 

The project will involve site visits and site working, and will culminate in the siting/performance of a group of works within the forest created by students and staff in early summer 2016. 

Kielder Water and Forest Park is the largest man made water and forest park in northern Europe. Kielder Forest is managed sustainably and is a valuable home and sanctuary for many species of flora and fauna, including deer, squirrels birds of prey, border mires with peat bog plant species. 

Kielder Water  and Forest Park Development Trust is a registered charity working at Kielder to promote sustainable development, provide recreational facilities, improve knowledge of the natural environment and encourage the arts. 

The water surface area of Kielder Water is about 1000 ha - this represents the same size of area which is replanted with trees each and every year.

The workings of the reservoir

Kielder Water is the largest man-made lake in northern Europe and is capable of holding 200 billion litres of water. It has a shoreline of 27 miles and is 170 feet at its deepest point (taller than Nelson’s Column). Following many years of planning it was built at a cost of £167million and was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1982.
When completed, the Kielder Water Scheme was one of the largest and most forward looking projects of its time. The first example in the UK of a regional water grid, it was designed to meet the demands of the north east well into the future.

The scheme is a regional transfer system designed to allow water from Kielder Reservoir in the north west to be released into the Rivers Tyne, Derwent, Wear and Tees. This water is used to maintain minimum flow levels at times of low natural rainfall and allows additional flows to be released for both domestic and industrial abstraction.

Electricity generation is also a by-product of the release of water into the river. Two hydro-electric generators installed at Kielder dam convert latent energy into electricity for the nation grid. A water release of 1,300 million litres a day can produce enough power to illuminate a town the size of Hexham (population 11,000). Kielder Water can provide up to 909 million litres a day, nearly as much as all the other sources in the region added together.

In close consultation with the Environment Agency, which sets the release regime for the reservoir, water releases are used to encourage migratory salmon and sea trout to move up the river to spawn. It can also be used to help resolve problems these fish encounter with shallow flows in the lower stretches of the Tyne or in emergencies when a pollution incident has occurred downstream.

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