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Introduction to our society

The Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) is a voluntary organization run by its membership through a Council. The day-to-day work of the Society is carried out by three paid employees, supported by a team of volunteers.

Geology class field trip, Cheviots © Peter McGuckin

NHSN Council

NHSN is a registered charity with around 1700 members. The Society’s membership runs the organisation through an elected Council. Elections are held at the Society’s Annual Meeting which normally takes place during the winter months. Members of Council are elected for a term of 3 years.

Council meets three times per year and is the Society’s key decision making body although it has established a number of Committees to focus on particular areas of the Society’s work, such as the running of the nature reserve or the library.

Members of Council are also Trustees for the Society and as such are responsible in law for the Society’s organisation and activities.

The Society is always keen to broaden the skills and experience of its governing body and we particularly welcome nominations from people with experience of charity fundraising and membership recruitment or of financial investments. Click here to find out more about these roles and how to apply.


The rules by which the Society conducts its business are set out in our constitution. You can read or download this by clicking here. Changes to the constitution may be proposed at the Society’s Annual Meeting.

Financial Accounts

The Society submits its annual financial statements to the Charity Commission and these can be viewed on the Charity Commission website. Our annual financial statements are independently examined by an accountant and made available to our members. The Society’s financial year starts on 1st August.

Society Sections

In addition to its Committees, the Society also has informal Sections which are groups of members who have an interest in a particular area of natural history. Each Section has an informal leader who helps to devise and run the Society’s programme of talks and field outings. We currently have sections for birds, mammals, geology, botany and insects.