Northern Kites is the project that has returned red kites to North East England after an absence of 150 years. It is part of a UK programme of re-introductions. The initiative, centred on Gateshead’s Derwent Valley, claimed a world-first in re-introducing kites to an urban fringe location. The project is managed by the RSPB and Natural England, in partnership with Gateshead Council, Northumbrian Water, The National Trust and the Forestry Commission, with additional funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and SITA Trust. Between 2004 and 2006, 94 red kites were released less than six miles from Newcastle City Centre. Birds first bred in 2006 and a self-sustaining population is now established. In the last three years, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed the kites and they are supporting local tourism initiatives.
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