Plashetts Rising
Plashetts Rising
Richard Bell

London architects create ‘surreal’ installation for birdlife at Kielder

A wildlife installation created by London-based FleaFolly Architects has arrived at Kielder Water & Forest Park.

Designed by FleaFolly’s Pascal Bronner and Thomas Hillier with the help of an ornithologist, the feature is a sculpted rock-scape that will serve as a lookout perch and resting place for birds at the park.

The installation, known as Plashetts Rising, is also designed to give ospreys and other species a handy platform when hunting fish.

The project was due for completion last November, but was delayed as the water level was too high.

This year, the dry spring and summer allowed the level to drop sufficiently, enabling work to go ahead.

Plashetts Rising is part of the Heritage Lottery-funded ‘Living Wild at Kielder’ project.

Additional funding for the scheme was provided by The Bartlett School of Architecture’s Project Fund in London.

Pascal and Thomas from FleaFolly said in a joint statement: “We’ve long been aware of the great work going on in this enchanted landscape, so working on this project has been a great privilege.

“Inspired by both the amazing natural landscape of Kielder Water & Forest Park and Rene Magritte’s The Castle of the Pyrenees, we wanted to create something that felt like it was quarried and carved physically from Kielder’s past, ripped from the reservoir and hung in space for all to see.”

They continued: “Our work often explores surreal qualities, and more often than not our two-dimensional drawn work defies the limits set by a gravitational world, something easily done on paper. It has been a pleasure to be given an opportunity to test some of these ideas in the flesh.”

Ospreys were reintroduced at Kielder in 2009, following an absence from Northumberland of 200 years.

In 2018, five breeding pairs at the park fledged eight chicks, all of which are now migrating south for winter.

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