• Recent sightings

    The recent cold weather has meant a slow start to the breeding season with meadow pipits arriving back in lower numbers than usual along with low numbers of summer migrants. Cuckoos are now present in the Bruthwaite woodland (at least 2 males have been heard). Grasshopper warbler can be heard singing in the morning by the main cark park and sedge warbler occasionally by the tarn. We have curlews sitting on eggs and lapwings…

    • 5 May 2021
  • Nofence invisible fencing trial

    Geltsdale reserve has large open areas of moorland and woodland pasture which are grazed primarily with cattle. Standard post and wire livestock fencing can be extremely difficult to erect due to the topography and inaccessibility of the some of the grazing compartments. Conventional fencing can also be problematic for bird species such as black grouse which can get caught up in the wire and perish.

    Nofence is an invisible…

    • 5 May 2021
  • Early April sightings

    In the warm spell last week we had several early records of spring migrants. The first Wheatear was on the 26th March, a fairly usual date, as was the first Sand Martin four days later. However at least three House Martins and a Swallow on the same day as the Sand Martin were the earliest return dates for these species on the nature reserve. A Willow Warbler on the 2nd April and male Redstart on the 6th were early dates…

    • 8 Apr 2021
  • Recent Sightings September 2020

    What’s about at RSPB Geltsdale

    10th September 2020  

    Tindale Tarn


    Song Thrush*

    Visitor centre garden

    Mute Swan***


    Mistle Thrush*

    Great Spot. Woodp.*

    Greylag Goose*

    Black Grouse*



    Canada Goose*

    Red Grouse*





    Coal Tit*




    Blue Tit**



    • 10 Sep 2020
  • RSPB Geltsdale Summer

    As with the rest of the country ..indeed the world, it has been a very strange Spring and Summer here at Geltsdale Reserve this year.

    With lockdown coming in just as the breeding season was kicking off, it has meant that we have been unable to do anywhere near as much monitoring as usual and as a result do not have a very complete picture of how various species have fared. For much of the Spring there has been a much…

    • 12 Aug 2020
  • Successful Big Schools Bird Watch at Brampton Primary

    Pupils at Brampton Primary ID BirdsLocal Volunteer Helps Pupils Bird Watch

    Staff and volunteers from RSPB Geltsdale help Year 1 & 2 pupils from Brampton Primary with their Big Schools Bird Watch

    • 12 Feb 2020
  • Winter Tree Planting at Geltsdale

    Tree Planting at Geltsdale

    A further 15550 trees planted at Geltsdale this winter and nearly half of them planted by our amazing volunteers. The mix of rowan, birch, hawthorn, aspen and alder will in time create excellent habitat for black grouse, whinchats and willow warblers

    • 29 Jan 2020
  • Project Doorstep an exciting new Exhibition by Molly Matcham running until 29 March

    Project Doorstep is a collection of photographs featuring members of the local community on their doorstep and is the work of Hallbankgate based photographer Molly Matchham.

    The Visitor Centre and Gallery is open daily 9am to 5pm. 

    For exhibition and accessibility details contact the reserve on 016977 46717 or by email at geltsdale@rspb.org.uk

    • 15 Jan 2020
  • Riotous Assembly an Exhibition by Jill Jones at RSPB Geltsdale showing until 5th January

    Riotous Assembly is a diverse collection of nature inspired images in print, watercolour and textiles by Jill Jones.  This is Jill’s first exhibition, the work illustrating the joy and wonder she finds in the natural world.

    The Visitor Centre and Gallery is open daily 9am to 5pm. 

    For exhibition and accessibility details contact the reserve on 016977 46717 or by email at geltsdale@rspb.org.uk

    • 21 Oct 2019
  • Geltsdale Gallery - Linocut Workshop with Vega Brennan

    These are just some of the lovely linocut prints created during our Linocut Workshop with Vega Brennan last month.


    • 1 Oct 2019
  • Fabric and Threads Workshop with Helen Walsh

    The Geltsdale Gallery hosted a well attended Fabric and Threads Workshop with local textile artist Helen Walsh.  The images below are just some of the imaginative creations produced on the day.

    • 14 Aug 2019
  • Wildlands Exhibition at RSPB Geltsdale

    Lapwing by David Philips

    Cumbrian wildlife photographer David Philips is showing his Wildlands exhibition at the Geltsdale Gallery from Friday 26 July until 27 September.  The exhibition will feature photographs of birdlife from Northern England and Southern Scotland.

    The Visitor Centre and Gallery is open daily 9am to 5pm. 

    For exhibition and accessibility details contact the reserve on 016977 46717 or by email at geltsdale@rspb.org.uk

    • 24 Jul 2019
  • Brampton Art Club Visit Geltsdale

    Brampton Art Club visited the reserve over the weekend and produced some lovely landscape paintings.  The work below was created by Kathy Arthur.

    • 26 Jun 2019
  • What’s about at RSPB Geltsdale

    For information on June Sightings see list below:

    Tindale Tarn



    Visitor centre garden

    Mute Swan***




    Canada Goose***

    Black Grouse*



    Greylag Goose**

    Red Grouse*





    Song Thrush*


    Tufted Duck*


    Mistle Thrush**

    Coal Tit*

    Grey Heron*


    • 5 Jun 2019
  • Transformer : a Winter’s Tale, an Exhibition by Rachel Gibson - 4 May to 21 July

    The Geltsdale Gallery is hosting an exhibition by local artist Rachel Gibson whose work is in response to the landscape and nature of the North Pennine Fells.

    Transformer: a winter’s tale reflects on the beauty of the season past and is recorded in paint, pencil, book works and animation.

    The RSPB Geltsdale Gallery is open daily 9am to 5pm. 

    For exhibition and accessibility information, please call 016977 46717…

    • 1 May 2019
  • Dark Sky Night with Border Astronomical Society

    Geltsdale hosted a Dark Sky Event with Border Astronomical Society on Thursday 14th March.  Unfortunately the clouds failed to part that night, but that didn't stop us from seeing and learning about the planets and stars.

    • 25 Mar 2019
  • Snake in the Grass

    The Adder in the photograph was observed off one of reserve's trails enjoying the unseasonal February weather last Friday.

    • 27 Feb 2019
  • The Garden of Eden - an Exhibition by Katie Lock

    A new exhibition "The Garden of Eden" is on show at the Geltsdale Gallery from 4th February until 26th April.

    The Garden of Eden is Katie Locks first solo exhibition and takes the viewer through a rustic, psychedelic trip via abstraction, symbolism and foliage. 

    Katie is currently based and working in Carlisle, although originally from Blackpool. Katie came to the city as an illustration student, studying at the…

    • 30 Jan 2019
  • Geltsdale Gallery Hosts Print Workshop with Vega Brennan

      The Geltsdale Gallery hosted a successful Mono-printing workshop with local artist Vega Brennan.  Here is just two of the prints created during the day.  Vega's Printing Nature Exhibition is currently on show until 31 January and available to view 9am to 5pm daily.  Further details at geltsdale@rspb.org.uk

    • 19 Nov 2018
  • Geltsdale help RSPB Dove Stone with their Peatland Restoration Project

    The RSPB Dove Stone team made their annual raid on Denton Fell to harvest sphagnum for their peatland restoration project.

    Geltsdale volunteers turned out to help bag up a trailer load of moss to start a new life in Derbyshire.  After a hot summer, the peat bog has stayed wet and cranberry has abounded.

    In a reciprocal arrangement, the Dove Stone wardens helped lug 1000 tree stakes up the fell to help with a guarding…

    • 29 Oct 2018
  • Spreading our Wings an Exhibition by Carlisle Youth Zone showing until Sunday 28th October

    Following a successful visit to Geltsdale, members of Carlisle Youth Zone have created a bird and street art inspired exhibition "Spreading Our Wings".

    The young people not only learnt about birds and nature but explored their aspirations for the future.  What do they need to fly and what clips their wings?

    The exhibition can be viewed daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm - for information including accessibility contact…

    • 8 Oct 2018
  • Drystone Walling with Northumbria Wildlife Trust

    In September volunteers and staff from Northumberland Wildlife Trust came to RSPB Geltsdale for some drystone walling training.  Usually planting trees for the Kielder Wildwood project, 15 turned up to be tutored in the art of walling.  With the aim of building a stone seat at Kielder, similar to the one in our carpark, they were keen to get stuck in.  Learning how to repair a wall at Forest Head Quarry, they gained valuable…

    • 8 Oct 2018
  • Residential Volunteering at the Geltsdale RSPB Reserve in Cumbria

    by Stephanie from Hamburg, Germany:


    Work and duties


    As I am volunteering in September, it seems that most of the work to do with birds is already over and done with so that my duties here focus mainly on conservation work: building fences, repairing drystone walls, clearing out bird boxes for the next breeding season, clearing paths and trails of bracken or overhanging branches, picking litter and all sorts of things…

    • 26 Sep 2018
  • Carlisle Youth Zone Visit Geltsdale

    Carlisle Youth Zone visited the reserve as part of their Hitz Outdoors week.  They learnt about the birds on the reserve and what they eat, looked through binoculars and caught insects in sweep nets, which they identified. They played games and visited an art exhibition… all in a morning! 

    We look forward to Carlisle Youth Zone exhibiting their bird inspired artwork at the Geltsdale Gallery from 6th - 28th October…

    • 3 Sep 2018
  • Warden Walks the Pennine Way

    Belinda Lloyd, Geltsdale's Assistant Farmland Warden has taken up the challenge of walking the Pennine Way.  The photograph above shows Belinda taking a well earned break on the section between Slaggyford to Greenhead. We look forward to seeing her back at Geltsdale next week.

    • 30 Aug 2018