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Education courses

Learn more about the natural world from local experts in an informal and friendly atmosphere and meet other people who share similar interests.

Northumbrian Botany class field trip, Long Byres, Shaftoe Crags © Janet Simkin

Courses cover a range of topics including geology, botany, astronomy and ornithology. Courses vary in length from 4-20 weeks, with many consisting of indoor classroom sessions and outdoor field trips. The Society is fortunate to have experienced and knowledgeable
course tutors. Student feedback has consistently rated the course content, teaching style and lecturers’ knowledge very highly.

Current and upcoming courses

Society members should have received an e-newsletter announcing that the bookings for Spring/Summer education courses will be taken from Monday 19 March when the course information will go live on our website.  From Monday 19 March, please email or phone the office to check availability on your chosen course.  Once your place is reserved please pay for your course, preferably online to reduce administrative costs.

Education courses are only open to Society members.  Everyone is welcome to join the Society.


Bird Song and Breeding Behaviour

Bird Song and Breeding Behaviour

Course Tutor David Noble Rollin

Tuesday mornings starting 01 May, 10.15am
Tuesday afternoons starting 01 May, 1.00pm

This ten-week course will cover Spring migration, bird song and breeding behaviour of species living in the North East. Particular emphasis will be placed on the identification and interpretation of songs, calls and territory. There will be six field meetings, which will cover a wide range of habitats including visits to woodlands, hill valleys, the coast and the Farne Islands.

You can sign up to do either mornings or afternoons. Indoor meetings will start at either 10.15am or 1.00pm.

Cost £88 (Concessions £72)

How to Book

To book a course please call 0191 208 2790 or email we will reserve your place and advise you how to make your payment. Once you have reserved your place, you can make an online payment by clicking here.  Receipt of payment will confirm your place.

To enrol on our courses you must be a member of the Natural History Society of Northumbria. For details of membership click here.

Our courses vary in length, costs and the amount of time spent on field trips or in the classroom, so please check each course for details. All our courses are suitable for beginner and intermediate level unless stated otherwise.

For outdoor classes you will need to make your own way to the meeting point (although we encourage car sharing where possible). You will also need to be physically able to walk on unsurfaced paths and up steps/slopes.

Unless stated, classroom sessions take place either in the Great North Museum: Hancock or the University of Newcastle campus, both in central Newcastle upon Tyne.

If you have questions about any of our courses, please contact us and we will be pleased to help, or you can download our full terms and conditions.

What Others Say

I really love being able to get to grips with specimens indoors, and then having the opportunity to see what we had studied actually growing outdoors. Fascinating!


I enjoy the course very much. Really, it’s just getting together with knowledgeable friends!


I like everything about my course! Our tutor is great, I really enjoy the field trips and you make friends with people who have the same interests.


Having the courses in the Society’s home at the Great North Museum: Hancock enables us to look at the actual fossil specimens and appreciate them more.