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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.

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 as well as a wide range of wildlife you are never alone.

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

Visiting Allen Banks and Staward Gorge

If you're not quite sure what to expect from Allen Banks, perhaps watching this short video by Jamie Cogan about the woodland will inspire your first visit of many...

Bring your dog, go for a walk, play conkers, perhaps a little dip? The choice is yours.

The 'wobbly' bridge

In May 2013, horrific floods badly damaged the Victorian suspension bridge, then all of you wonderful people came to the rescue and helped to raise enough money to restore it.

BBC Countryfile

The BBC's Countryfile team recently helped the rangers to clear and burn rhododendron making charcoal to sell, with every penny going back into conserving this special place.

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