The visitor centre, which underwent a £100,000 refurbishment and was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in September 2018, closed for the winter in 2019 and hasn’t reopened since due to coronavirus restrictions.
The centre – which is free to visit – is now officially reopening for the summer on Friday 27 May, in time for the half-term school holiday.
The interactive experience allows visitors to get up close with salmon and critically endangered freshwater pearl mussels and help people understand the fascinating world that lies below the surface of the river. It includes:
- a natural North East river environment aquarium showcasing salmon and other local river species
- videos revealing the behind the scenes work at the centre to protect iconic species
- a prehistoric salmon fossil dig
- a quiz and brass rubbings to unveil interesting information about the salmon
- pearl mussel breeding beds
Rare job opportunity
To support the centre reopening, a rare Environment Agency job opportunity has been created to support Salmon Centre Manager Richard Bond and Pearl Mussel specialist Ben Strachan. The Facilities Management Assistant job includes working with the iconic salmon species and on endangered pearl mussel conservation, as well as the perks of working next to the idyllic Kielder reservoir.
Richard Bond, Salmon Centre Manager for more than 17 years, said:
We’re really looking forward to welcoming people back to the visitor centre. It gives a fascinating insight into our work to protect this incredible, iconic fish, and explain the innovative work to hand rear the endangered freshwater pearl mussel, which is vital to our river systems.
It’s rare that job opportunities at the Salmon Centre arise and we’re looking for a new member of our team to help us keep it a great and safe place to work. This role is a truly unique one, and we are looking for someone who is excellent at Facilities Management as well as relishing the opportunity to get stuck into lots of different activities.
Kielder Salmon Centre reopens at 10am on Friday 27 May. It will be open daily between 10am-4pm until 30 September. It can be found at 3, Rivermead Workshops, Kielder, Hexham, NE48 1HX.
Visit Kielder has more information about the surrounding area.
On an average year, Kielder Salmon Centre rears and releases around 360,000 juvenile salmon into the River Tyne catchment.
It was built in 1978 to compensate for the building of Kielder Reservoir – the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe – which cut off around 7% of the River Tyne catchment including some of the best spawning streams for salmon.