Walkers step out on the red kite trail

MORPETH Footpaths Society enjoyed a spectacular walk along the Red Kite Trail in the Derwent Valley.

Around 20 members of MFS, ranging in ages from 21 to 75, followed the specially signposted 11-mile trail from Derwenthaugh Park in Winlaton Mill under blue skies on Sunday, March 6.

The walk is designed to show off the rare red kites, re-introduced to the North East by The Northern Kites Project managed by the RSPB and Natural England.

A total of 94 kites have been released into the area since 2004, and the Morpeth walkers saw a good many of these large birds of prey on their walk around the pretty Derwent Valley.

Led by Martin Laidler, MFS walkers followed the varied terrain of the Derwent Walk, partly following the old Derwent Valley railway line. After a picnic lunch in Chopwell Woods, the group travelled over open country with great views of both the Derwent Valley and Newcastle and Gateshead in the distance.

A tired but happy group completed the walk in just over five hours. This was one of the longer walks for the society, but completed at a leisurely pace with plenty of rests to enjoy a snack and a rest.

Morpeth Footpaths Society holds regular guided walks throughout the North East. Walks range from easy to strenuous, but all are guided.

The next walk is on Sunday at 11am from The Ridley Arms in Stannington. It will cover almost six miles, walking on roads and woodland tracks, and will be led by Romek Goldsztajn.

For details of this and other MFS walks visit www.morpethfootpathssociety.org.uk or contact Sarah Howells on 01670 513757.

TOM LISGO