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Talks, field trips, events & activities

Welcome to our action-packed Summer programme of talks, outings and activities.

Upcoming events

7th
July
2017

Cetacean Boat Trips, departing North & South Shields

Cetacean Boat Trips, departing North & South Shields

White Beaked Dolphin ©John Carnell

Fridays July 7, 14, 19, 21 and 28; August 4 and 11 All 6.00pm – 10.00pm

Join the Northumbria Mammal Group/Northern Experience Wildlife Tours for any of these popular four hour evening pelagic trips in the North Sea, led by Martin Kitching, looking for whales, dolphins and seabirds. Early-bird discount for NHSN members is £30.

Book via Northumberland Wildlife Trust 0191 284 6884. A £10 non-returnable deposit is required.

30th
July
2017

The Eastern Cheviots

The Eastern Cheviots

Cheviot Hills

Sunday 30 July 2017 10.30am – late afternoon

Join Angus Lunn to examine the glacial deposits and landforms in the Powburn-Wooler area, the kamiform landscape south of Wooler and the spectacular meltwater channels to its west. This area has been described as having some of the “best views in England” and is an ideal location to view a wide variety of glacial depositional landforms.

Angus has been leading field-trips to examine Quaternary landscapes, for more years than he might care to mention.

There will be a small amount of rough walking but the trip is not strenuous. Bring lunch. Meet: Ingram car park (NU 018163)

5th
August
2017

Purple Hairstreak spotting at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Saturday 5 August 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Purple Hairstreak butterflies live entirely on Oak trees and there is a healthy population in the reserve. They are very attractive but live in the tree tops and are difficult to see.

Join reserve warden Paul Drummond for this drop in session to try and see these butterflies, which tend to be most active on sunny afternoons. Bring binoculars if you have them.

Meet on the woodland path near the reserve entrance.

13th
August
2017

Scremerston shore, near Berwick

Sunday 13 August 11.00am – mid afternoon

The site features rich dunes and former limeworks. Among species we might see are Danish Milk-vetch Astragalus danicus, Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria and Bloody Cranesbill Geranium sanguineum. Additionally there are Autumn Gentian Gentianella amarella subsp. septentrionalis – one of Northumberland’s special plants, and near the car park is a site for Flat-sedge Blysmus compressus, and some of the small grasses such as Fern-grass Catapodium rigidum and Crested Hair-grass Koeleria macrantha will also still be around. Because of the time of year we should be able to demonstrate the differences between some of the genera of yellow composites – Crepis, Hypochaeris, Leontodon and so forth.

Led by Chris Metherell, vice-county recorder for North Northumberland, and President-elect of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.

Meet in the car park at NU 026487. The site is reached by minor roads from the A1 and Scremerston village. Bring lunch.

2nd
September
2017

Bats at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Saturday 2 September 7.45pm – 9.15pm

This is an evening event starting around sunset and continuing until dark. Leader Jonathan Pounder will give a short talk on bat biology and ecology, and as the sun is setting we will walk through the reserve looking for and listening to the bats we find, hopefully species of Pipistrelle, Daubenton’s and Noctule.

Limited places, please book via the Society Office on 0191 208 2790.

2nd
September
2017

Moths of Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Saturday 2 September 7.30pm – 11.00pm

Call into the nature reserve anytime over the evening to see the range of moths that can be found in the reserve, stay for a short time or for the whole evening, everyone welcome.

Led by Tom Tams, County Moth Recorder.

Access the reserve from entrance at Lake Lodge on Salters Lane, postcode NE3 5EP.

8th
September
2017

‘Percy the Pelican’ visits the Hancock.

‘Percy the Pelican’ visits the Hancock.

NHSN Council Room

Friday 8 September 11.00am – 3.30pm

We will be opening the doors of our prestigious Council Room in the Great North Museum: Hancock as part of the national Heritage Open Day weekend.

Drop in to see some of our fascinating archive material relating to the popular specimen of Percy the Pelican. Percy lived on the River Coquet at Warkworth from 1973 until his death in 1976 and starred in the Museum bird gallery for 30 years as a stand alone exhibit.

You can also see the historic furnishings and paintings in the room and speak to the Society’s archivist June Holmes.

14th
September
2017

Druridge Bay Country Park Bat Walk

Tuesday 14 September 7.00pm – 9.30pm

Hazel Makepeace will give a short talk on bat ecology and then lead you on a walk around Ladyburn lake to watch and hear bats foraging over the lake.

Northumberland Bat Group members will help identify what bats we are seeing, hopefully Nyctalus noctula (Noctule
bats) Myotis spp and Pipistrellus spp, particularly Pipistrellus nathusii (Nathusius pipistrelle).

Tarmac and grass paths. Limited places, please book via the Society Office on 0191 208 2790.

16th
September
2017

Small mammals in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Small mammals in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Wood mouse © Olive Taylor

Saturday 16 September 10.30am – 12.30pm

Led by Veronica Carnell, we will be examining bait tubes and Longworth live traps for signs and presence of small mammals (mice, voles and shrews), participants will be able to re-bait and reset the traps after examination if they wish.

Accompanied children welcome. Please be prepared for muddy conditions underfoot. This event is part of our ongoing annual survey for small mammals. Volunteers welcome, training provided.

24th
September
2017

A beached bird survey on the Northumberland coast.

A beached bird survey on the Northumberland coast.

Sunday 24 September 12 noon – 2.00pm

Daniel Turner, Coordinator of the ‘Northeast England Beached Bird Surveys’ group, will talk about the survey process and we will look for beached bird corpses to collect / record, also noting live birds. Beached birds we may find include guillemot, kittiwake, black-headed gull and others.

The trip involves a short walk to the beach on paths and down wooden steps then a shore walk of up to 3 km: the shore slopes gently, the tide will be low, mostly quite level sand though there are stones in places.

Meet at the entrance to the visitor centre in Druridge Bay Country Park. Postcode NE61 5BX, GR NZ272998. Any donations would be accepted into the beached bird group funds.

Limited places, please book via the Society Office on 0191 208 2790.

About Talks, Field Trips, Events & Activities

Outdoor Events

Throughout the year experts lead field meetings to explore the natural world and magical landscapes of Northern England.

Outdoor events are free to members and their families. Some trips require us to hire boats or pay entrance fees and details of these costs are included in the event information.

For many events you can just turn up at the meeting place but some events must be booked in advance and this is stated in the information. You must make your own way to the meeting point. Please arrive early so that the event can start on time.

In order to visit the best places our trips take place in natural landscapes that can be unpredictable. It is essential that you wear, or take with you, appropriate clothing and accessories to cope with heat, cold, wet, wind, biting insects and to walk on uneven, slippery or wet surfaces. Before you join any of our outdoor events it is essential that you read our Guidance.

Some events are run in partnership with other organisations or groups but otherwise our outdoor events are exclusively for Society members. If you are not a member and would like to attend an outdoor activity then please contact the Society Office in advance – we would welcome a donation or please consider joining us.

Indoor Events

From October to March the Society invites experts in the natural world to give inspiring lectures to our members and the wider public.

Unless stated lectures are held on Friday evenings at 7pm in the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle. The museum is closed to the public at this time, so entry is via both side entrances.

Entry is from 6.20pm and tea/coffee/biscuits are available and the opportunity to socialise. Speakers give an illustrated presentation for 45mins-1 hour and then open the floor for questions.

On site parking is limited to blue badge holders only. There is a car park nearby on Claremont Road. The Museum is a 300m walk from Haymarket Metro and bus stations. For directions, click here.

Non-members are very welcome to attend but we ask that they kindly make a donation on the night to support these lectures.

To download our talks programme, click here.

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