2014 is our Double Anniversary Year.   

 2014 celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the release of the first red kite into the Derwent Valley.

 2014 celebrates the 5th Anniversary of Friends of Red Kites, formed in 2009.

Follow our plans on the 2014 Anniversary celebrations page. 




 Anniversary Red Kite Bus Tour
 With very generous support and co-operation from

Go North East,   Friends of Red Kites

 enjoyed a tour of Red Kite country recently.


Go to 2014 Anniversary page to read all about it.


On Saturday 5 July, we celebrated 




In 2004, when the red kite reintroduction was begun by Northern Kites, Rowlands Gill Primary School was the first to adopt a kite chick, named Speedy.  He sped off to join the Yorkshire Kites soon after!

The children of Year Six, under the direction of Clare Satow, a local artist,  created thesebeautiful and colourful red kite mobiles which were suspended from the balconies of the Sage Gateshead Halls.

 Rowlands Gills primary mobiles _Sage

Red Kite mobiles facing west on Hall Two Balcony

 Sage Rowlands Gill Primary _mobiles

The mobiles facing east on Hall One Balcony


Rowlands Gill kite mobiles _Sage

   We were greatly honoured to have Royal Northern Sinfonia Ensemble playing for us.

 They were under the experienced baton of Mark Edwards. 

Trai Anfield, Patron of Friends of Red Kites presented the two concerts in Hall Two.

Sage concert hosted Trai anfield Patron

The Stocksfield Stompers performed and delighted everyone in Hall Two and on the Concourse.

Stocksfield Stompers at Sage

Images courtesy of Jane Adamson, John O'Rourke

Sage concourse Chris English 

Image courtesy of Christine English

 The Concourse became lively as people enjoyed the displays and The Stompers' playing.

Sage_RSPB display

   Below, Marian Williams and BaK School entries        and Eric Nicholson with FoRK members' entries.

 BaK School entries FoRK members' entries
                                                                                                                                   Images courtesy of June Atkinson

We were delighted to welcome RSPB to contribute to our Event.  Hen Harriers are important, too!

Winner photo comp_ Mick Render 

Mick Render, Washington, and one of our Members, won the Photographic Competition with his stunning close-up portrait of one of our Red Kites.

Sage red kite mosaic

Image courtesy of Jon Clapham

Our Red Kite mosaic landed on Performance Square at Sage Gateshead!

 Acetate mobile

The first kite mobile went up, suspended from Hall One at Sage Gateshead. 

Amble Choir

Amble First School choir performed twice on the Concourse, to the delight of the spectators.

Rehearsed for months, they sang "like angels"!  John Treherne directed from the keyboard.

FoRK Committee and Trai anfield Patron


Sage Gateshead


held at Sage Gateshead on Saturday 5 July 2014.

Full details are on our 2014 Anniversary Celebrations page.

Go to our Media page for a Press release


Listen to excerpts from the three new pieces inspired by red kites

Baltic kite build

  In 2009, the kite mosaic was built on Baltic Quays to mark the end of a very successful Northern Kites Project, to introduce red kites into Gateshead's Derwent Valley, after 170 years' absence.

 On Saturday 5 July it  was built at Sage Gateshead

Kite mosaic Palace Green

In May 2014, it was built on Palace Green, Durham Cathedral, a World Heritage site. The Flight of the Red Kite Photo Exhibition was on display during May and attracted 1572 visitors.

 as part of our free Event On Red Kite Wings.

Producer:  ON RED KITE WINGS    Chris Pentney

Head of Folkworks Programme Sage Gateshead

   Friends of Red Kites, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne  International Centre for Music Studies, directed by Professor Agustín Fernández, Royal Northern Sinfonia Ensemble under the baton of Mark Edwards and managed by Hannah Reynolds, and Sage staff collaborated for over a year to create this event .  Robin Purser, Adult Learning Manager, ensured the practical layout of the Concourse.  Harriet Mayhew, Communications Manager,  generated excellent publicity for the Event.  Chris guided us throughout; FoRK wish to express their appreciation for the sustained effort, understanding and support shown by everyone.

 We congratulate Hugo Bell, Ian Fleming and Hannah Hawley on their winning compositions.

 A special word of thanks is extended to our Committee and our  Volunteers who manned  the event.

We thank our Patron, Trai Anfield, for hosting the concerts and for creating the accompanying film.

Finally, our thanks to Anthony Sargent CBE  General Director, Sage Gateshead, who saw  merit in the proposal to create music which celebrates the return of our majestic Red Kites to our northern skies.

  Durham WHC Exhibition






Our Flight of the Red Kite Photographic Exhibition

has now ended at this venue and will next 

be staged at Sage Gateshead on Saturday 5 July 2014 

All the details are to be found on our Flight of the Kite page

 Mosaic PPP thumb c

Our Red Kite Mosaic was built on Palace Green

 on Saturday 24 May at 10a.m.

Volunteers  constructed the 150 - tile red kite mosaic. 

Visitors to the Cathedral were encouraged to join in the build.

The story of this memorable build is on Flight of the Kite Page.

 THe red kite mosaic will now go to a Conservation group in the Black Isle, Ross-shire, to help in the fight against persecution there.

Our  Befriend a Kite Scheme

The choir of Amble First School, Northumberland, sang twice on the Concourse at our all-day Event  ON RED KITE WINGS.

 John Treherne, former Director of Music in Gateshead Schools, had composed two new Kite songs for the children and they  also sang their well-known song, MUFFIN the PUFFIN

Schools are invited to join; details on the Befriend a Kite Scheme Page. 

Anniversary Walk  Home


On Wednesday 16th April, a group of 22 keen and enthusiastic Health Walkers met at the former Rowley station in County Durham to walk a 7-mile section of the Lanchester Valley Walk, on the course of an old railway line.  The group was led by John and Joanne Davison, who pointed out places of interest along the way. 

Go to our 2014 Anniversary Celebrations page for this story.

 Chick H9




 Go to the 2014 Breeding survey page to see

all of our chicks which have been found and tagged and /or ringed.



Scarlet chick


One of Scarlet's two 2014 chicks

News from Yorkshire Red Kites

Doug Simpson MBE sent us news of our Wing Tag 02.

Scarlet left the Derwent Valley in August 2005 and has bred

very successfully in the Harewood House area, near Harrogate.

Read more on our News and  Features page.

  Red Kite Breeding Survey 2014   in north east of England

Our Survey began on Monday 10 February, with the first Training Day held at Thornley Woodlands Visitor Centre, led by Ken Sanderson, Chairman and Kite Officer.  Other Volunteers were also there to welcome  the sizeable Team for this extremely important task.    A further Training Day was held on Saturday 22 February 2014.  A further meeting was held on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at Thornley Woodlands Visitor Centre to consolidate results.

All the details are to be found on the 2014 Red Kite Breeding Survey page.   

WT43 George Francis
  Image courtesy of George Francis

The red kite is one of Britain's rarest and most spectacular birds, especially at close quarters.Between 2004and 2007 the Northern Kites Project re-introduced 94 red kites into the lower Derwent Valley.  This Project was unique; whereas the previous ones had been carried out in rural areas, this one brought back the kites to a semi-urban environment, close to the large conglomeration of Gateshead and its neighbour on the north bank of the River Tyne, Newcastle.   People can now walk to admire the red kites in the Lower Derwent Valley and yet, in the distance, they can see the silver roof of The Sage Gateshead.

Kite   Iain Clyne

Image courtesy of Iain Clyne

It was in 2006 that red kites began to breed in the region for the first time after an absence of 170 years. The core area for the kites is the Lower Derwent Valley but  as the population increases they are slowly becoming more widely distributed.

Red Philip

                                                                       Red Philip Wing Tag 15                 Image courtesy of Paul Danielson

WT 76 Chester _D Bilton

Here is Wing Tag 76, Chester, flying and below, perched

WT 76  perched D Bilton

  Images courtesy of  Derek Bilton 

 When the Northern Kites Project finished in July 2009, the Friends of Red Kites group was established.

FoRK launch

Image courtesy of Patrick Malone 

Go-North East kindly gave the Group a Red Kite Bus for four hours, and we held a rolling Launch at Lintzford Garden Centre and at Gibside.  The co-operation and support of Staff was much appreciated. 

FoRK aims

We continue  working to conserve Wildlife, supporting the Economy, working with our local Partners and encouraging people to become the Guardians of these majestic Red Kites, which are so welcome.

Red Kite Trail Guide

An up-dated, detailed and extended Guide for the Red Kite Trail is now available.

Click on the above image