Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies Kittiwakery Tower – Saltmeadows – Gateshead

Kittiwakery Tower – Saltmeadows – Gateshead

HG Nichol Tower (RWE Renewables)

A brand new tower was constructed early 2023 close to where the existing Saltmeadows Tower is located.  This has been developed using funds from an external business, so is not managed by Gateshead Council.  Local Kittiwake experts were consulted during the design process and experienced professionals are involved with the day to day management.  

It was hoped pairs of Kittiwakes would opt to nest on the Kittiwakery Tower  during the 2023 breeding season.  The original Saltmeadows Tower continues to be managed by Gateshead Council.  The presence of two towers, potentially could increase the size of the Saltmeadows colony, and may help protect the nesting birds from predators.  It may also deter vandalism, which has been happening at times on the road facing side for the original Saltmeadows Tower. 

If there were a ‘Saltmeadows Cam’ this could have helped with security and research regarding the development of artificial structures for Kittiwakes. As with the ‘Baltic Gallery Cam’, live footage always helps raise awareness for The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World.

During the 2023 breeding season no Kittiwakes nested on this new Tower;
however it is hoped they will choose to in the coming seasons”

Such artificial towers cost significant sums of money to develop, construct and maintain, and there is always a risk that Kittiwakes will not choose them as a base for a new colony.  As the colonies of Tyne Kittiwakes expand however over the coming years, new sites will be needed.  The presence of such artificial structures, may help encourage Kittiwakes to start new colonies away from city centre buildings.