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Gorge of the River Allen with ornamental and ancient woodland

Take a walk on the wild side at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in Northumberland.

This extensive area of gorge and river scenery, including the 41-hectare (101-acre) Stawardpeel Site of Special Scientific Interest, has miles of waymarked walks through ornamental and ancient woods.

Largely created by Susan Davidson, Allen Banks has become a fantastic home for flora, fauna and fungi. It is also well known for its carpet of bluebells and ramsons, commonly known as wild garlic, which covers the woodland floor in spring and early summer.

There are plenty of things to see and do - look out for the remains of a medieval pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summer-house - and with over 70 species of birds spotted at Allen Banks and a number of mammals such as roe deer, dormice, otters and bats, you are never alone.

The team are dedicated to maintaining and improving the site to preserve its natural history for the public to enjoy.

NB: All of the woodland area sits within the North Pennines AONB.

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

Join the rangers for a day of bushcraft

Join the rangers for a day of bushcraft

Love being outdoors? Then '50 Things to do before you're 11 ¾' is the challenge for you! With the help of our 50 Things map you can complete a range of tasks by yourself and tackle the tricker ones by taking part in an organised event...

Book onto one of our events to Camp out in the wild (no. 3), Play in the snow (no. 15), Cook on a camp fire (no. 47), Go on a really long bike ride (no. 11), Build a den (no. 4) and Explore a cave (no. 29).

The 'wobbly' bridge news

  • Local firms BT Bell and Dodwell Brothers have been appointed to work on the bridge.
  • Hopefully work will be completed by the middle of October.
  • If you're visiting, you can still cross the River Allen via Plankey Mill.

Wildlife

Northumberland is an excellent place to spot wildlife and to catch a glimpse of a red squirrel is top of the list. If you see one of these little cuties at Allen Banks why not let us know about it on twitter?

Head outdoors

Whether you're walking or running there's plenty of routes to choose from with resting spots along the way and picnic benches to stop for a well-deserved snack.

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