Ahoy there! Water company recycles shipping containers - destined for the scrap heap - into the perfect bird's eye view.


Northumbrian Water has converted two 20 foot long-retired shipping containers into a first-class bird watching facility here in the North East.


The water company, working in partnership with local company Brightblue Studio, used recycled materials to help create the new two storey bird hide, which overlooks the River Tyne and replaces the original hide that had been vandalised.


The destiny of the shipping containers, that have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles around the world, changed course and they were given a new lease of life by Northumbrian Water. Instead of a final journey to the scrapyard, the re-purposed containers have retired to a secure and tranquil home in North Tyneside.


Stuart Pudney, Northumbrian Water's Conservation and Land Manager, said: "We were devastated to lose our previous much-loved facility, as were many of its regular users, but we're delighted with our new high-flying bird hide.


"This investment will provide an opportunity for the community to enjoy wetland birds in their natural habitat and get closer to nature.


"It's important we all recognise the wealth of biodiversity right here on our doorstep and play our part in protecting it for future generations. Our new facility will help to do just that and will encourage people to get outdoors more to enjoy our wonderful surroundings.


"Supporting our local communities and the environment is something we are passionate about, and we're delighted with the outcome of our new eco-friendly facility."


The green innovative project cost the water company around £22,000 for the design, construction and installation.


The hide - weighing in at five tonnes - took two months to make, over six hours to construct and five hours to install. It boasts an adjustable sun-light colour camouflage to help nature feel more at ease and has a sedum blanket living roof.


Architect Henry Amos, who is also the Director of Brightblue Studio, said: "Working with Northumbrian Water on this sustainable project has been exploratory and inventive, to say the least.


"We've transformed two scrap metal containers and re-used other scrap materials to create something really special in this unique, and important, location. 


"The hide is made from re-used scrap materials and boasts hundreds of individual panels, fixed similarly to slate cladding, to create different light effects and help the sculptural form morph in with the surrounding context and landscape.


"It's truly a wonderful project, which will bring lots of benefits to the wider community and the monitoring of the natural environment."


The hide is on land owned and managed by Northumbrian Water through partnership working with the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club, who control the access and use of the new facility.



  • A video of the construction of the bird hide is available on request by e-mailing ExternalCommunications@nwl.co.uk
  • Local firm Brightblue Studio is based on the Fish Quay in North Shields.