[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Park witnesses rare bird success
Red kite
Red Kites were extinct in England by the end of the 19th century
Visitors to a North East park will be able to see rare birds of prey, re-introduced to the region after an absence of more than 150 years.

Almost 100 red kites were released into Gateshead's Derwent Valley between 2004 and 2006.

A summer viewing point has been set up Derwent Walk Country Park, where many of the birds have nested.

Keith Bowey, Northern Kites project manager said he hoped thousands of people would visit the park.

Red kites were formerly widespread and common in the UK, but human persecution led to their extinction in England and Scotland by the end of the 19th Century.

Northern Kites was formed to reintroduce and ultimately re-establish the red kite as a breeding bird in the North East.

It is managed by the RSPB and Natural England, in partnership with Gateshead Council, Northumbrian Water, The National Trust and the Forestry Commission.

Breeding population

In June 2006, the group confirmed that a breeding population of kites had been established when two chicks hatched.

Gateshead councillor John McElroy said: "This is the first year that we haven't released any birds and I hope it indicates we've got a group of kites that are going to stay.

"It's great that we've got a project that relates to the people of Gateshead and particularly the young people, who've really taken them to their hearts."

The viewing point, which opened on Saturday, will be in place until 5 August.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific