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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.
Otter numbers are on the up. Ranger Chris Johnson recently set up a wildlife camera by the River Allen and we're pleased to say the video shows a family of otters.
Unfortunately, this video could be the last as the wildlife camera has been stolen and with fresh tracks in the snow who knows what would have been in the next episode of the Otter family?