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Talks, field trips, events & activities

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

Comma - Ken Dawson

Upcoming events

20th
July
2018

Cetacean Boat Trips

Cetacean Boat Trips

White-beaked Dolphin © John Carnell

Friday 20 and 27 July, 6.00 – 10.00pm
Friday 03 and 10 August, 6.00 – 10.00pm

Join Martin Kitching with Northern Experience Wildlife Tours for a four-hour pelagic boat trip on the North Sea. We hope to see dolphins, porpoises and sea birds.

Booking essential. Discounted price for NHSN members £30.00 (normally £35). We are advertising this workshop on behalf of the host. To book, go to the Northumberland Wildlife Trust website.

Boat departs from Royal Quays Marina, North Shields. Pick-up from the Customs House in South Shields is also available.

1st
August
2018

Women Naturalists of the North East: Grace Hickling

Women Naturalists of the North East: Grace Hickling

Wednesday 1 August, 10.30am-12.30 pm

From her love of the Farne Islands’ Grey Seals and her pioneering study into their movements, to her bird ringing: Grace Hickling is a name synonymous with the Farne Islands and natural history in our region. This informal session provides a perfect opportunity to find out more about her life and work. Take a journey through the pioneering life of Grace Hickling with Farne Islands Archivist and longstanding NHSN member, Anne Wilson.

Booking essential via NHSN on 0191 208 2790

4th
August
2018

Purple Hairstreak Spotting at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Purple Hairstreak Spotting at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Purple Hairstreak © Paul Drummond

Saturday 04 August, 5.00 – 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 along binoculars if you have them.

Meet at the Information Hut just inside the reserve entrance.

8th
August
2018

Botanical Afternoon at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Botanical Afternoon at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Bluebells In Wood © Christopher Castling

Wednesday 08 August, 2.00 – 4.00pm

A walk around the reserve to look for the broad-leaved helleborine with botanist and NHSN Trustee Professor John Richards and Reserve Warden Paul Drummond. With an impressive 60 years of experience between them, this is a great opportunity to learn about plant identification and reserve management!

Meet at the Information Hut just inside the reserve entrance.

12th
August
2018

Tynemouth and Tyne River Mouth Tour

Tynemouth and Tyne River Mouth Tour

Black Headed Gull © Richard Potts

Sunday 12 August, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Meet Daniel Turner at the entrance to Tynemouth Priory for a walk down onto the pier to view nesting fulmars, then along the promenade on the river mouth to observe low tide birds of shore and river. Birds present should be a good mix of gulls, terns, waders and cormorant.

15th
August
2018

Women Naturalists of the North-East: Kathleen Blackburn

Women Naturalists of the North-East: Kathleen Blackburn

Kathleen Blackburn

Wednesday 15 August, 10.00am-1.00pm,

Join Alan Hart for a snapshot into the life and legacy of Kathleen Blackburn.

Teacher, scientist and botanist recognised for her work in plant genetics and pollen analysis that helped reveal the history of vegetation especially following the last ice-age. Find out more about Kathleen’s life and career through decades of accumulated materials, including rarely seen photos, samples and past articles.

Booking essential via NHSN on 0191 208 2790

18th
August
2018

Skull Workshop at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Skull Workshop at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Badger skull © NHSN

Saturday 18 August, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Discover what is really going on in your head! Jonathan Pounder will lead this family-friendly session to investigate how to identify animal skulls and relate their features to animal functions that will hopefully make identifying them easier!

Booking essential. Please phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

18th
August
2018

Identifying Shield Bugs and other Hemiptera

Identifying Shield Bugs and other Hemiptera

Birch Shield Bug, GPNR © Chris Barlow

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August, 10.00am – 4.00pm

A two-day workshop for beginners to intermediates led by hemiptera expert, Steve Hewitt. Indoor and outdoor sessions at Stanhope Methodist Church.

Booking essential. £60 per person, £50 concessions. We are advertising this workshop on behalf of the host. To book, please email ruth@northpenninesaonb.org.uk

22nd
August
2018

Women Naturalists of the North-East: Margaret Dickinson

Women Naturalists of the North-East: Margaret Dickinson

Red Bryony - Margaret Dickinson

Wednesday 22 August, 6.00pm-7.15pm

Join award-winning poet and PhD student Linda France for an exclusive reading of ‘Portrait of an Artist as an Island Flower’ – a poem inspired by Margaret Rebecca Dickinson’s 1874 expedition to Holy Island, where she added a number of new flowers to her botanical collection. Also an opportunity to see Margaret’s original artwork.  It believed that no portrait of Margaret Dickinson exists in the present day, thus Linda’s reading provides the perfect opportunity to familiarise yourself with a true pioneer of North-East botany, and botanical art.

Booking essential via NHSN on 0191 208 2790

23rd
August
2018

Druridge Bay Country Park Bat Walk

Druridge Bay Country Park Bat Walk

Soprano pipistrelle © Paul Drummond

Thursday 23 August, 8.00 – 10.00pm

Join Hazel Makepeace and Northumberland Bat Group members for a short talk on bat ecology, then a walk around Ladyburn Lake to watch, hear and identify bats foraging. We hope to see Noctules, Daubenton’s and Pipistrelles.

Accessibility: tarmac and grass paths.

Booking essential. Please phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

26th
August
2018

Seal Watch at Seal Sands

Seal Watch at Seal Sands

26th August 2018, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Join the Northumbria Mammal Group for a visit to Seal Sands to enjoy both of our native seal species.  Late August is the peak time of year for Harbour Seal haulouts, so we can expect to see around 100 seals in total, alongside a few Grey Seals.  Venator have kindly given permission for us to access their seal hide on Greenabella Marsh to see the seals on Seal Sands, which is where the majority of the sites seals will be at low tide.  The visit will be led by Ian Bond of INCA, who co-ordinates the Teesmouth seal monitoring programme.

Time: Start at 10am to coincide with low tide and will take about 2 hours.

Meeting place: Main car park at Venator on the A178 Seal Sand Road, TS25 2DD.  There is a bus service from Hartlepool which stops there.

Route: The intention is to walk to the seal hide then continue along the sea wall to Greatham Creek to count the seals there, to get a total population count.  This would involve a walk of around 4km in total but it would be possible to shorten this depending on participant’s fitness levels to a walk to the seal hide and back, which would be around 2km in total.  The paths are mainly flat and partially surfaced but there are some steps up to the seal hide and the occasional pipe to cross.

Facilities:  No toilets or refreshments on site.  The nearest are at Seaton Carew or, in the opposite direction, at Saltholme, both of which are about 1 mile away.  (There is a £5 charge per car to visit Saltholme but its free just to use the café).

If you would like to attend or for more information please contact Ian Bond on bondian@hotmail.co.uk

1st
September
2018

Bats at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Bats at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Noctule Bat, GPNR © Chris Castling

Saturday 01 September, 7.45 – 9.15pm

Evening event starting around sunset and continuing until dark. Jonathan Pounder will give a short talk on bat biology and ecology, then as the sun is setting we will walk through the reserve looking for and listening to the bats we find. Hopefully we will encounter Pipistrelle, Daubenton’s and Noctule bats.

Booking essential. Please ring 0191 208 2790 to book.

7th
September
2018

Heritage Open Day at NHSN Library and Archive

Heritage Open Day at NHSN Library and Archive

NHSN Council Room © NHSN

Friday 07 September, 11.00am – 3.30pm

A chance to view the treasures of the Natural History Society of Northumbria.

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.  Come along and see historic furnishings and paintings, including a magnificent portrait of Thomas Bewick by Ramsay. A selection of our fascinating archival material will also be on display.

This year we are celebrating the bicentenary of the publication of Thomas Bewick’s iconic work The Fables of Aesop and Others, 1818. Some of Bewick’s original drawings for the Fables will be on show with a small collection of his unique woodblocks.

 

8th
September
2018

Moths at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Moths at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Moth trapping at GPNR © Andy Atkinson

Saturday 08 September, 9.00pm

Join County Moth Recorder Tom Tams and Reserve Warden Paul Drummond to get close up to these beautiful and rarely seen insects. The moths are trapped using a bright light before they are released. Gosforth Park has a range of common and rare moths.

We recommend you bring sunglasses, as the trapping light is bright, a torch and insect repellent. Meet at the Information Hut just inside the reserve entrance.

8th
September
2018

Spider Ecology and Identification

Spider Ecology and Identification

Huning Spider And Nest, GPNR © NHSN

Saturday 08 and Sunday 09 September, 10.00am – 4.00pm

A two-day workshop for beginners to intermediates led by spider expert, Fran Garcia. Indoor and outdoor sessions at Allendale Village Hall, Hexham.

Booking essential. £60 per person, £50 concessions. We are advertising this workshop on behalf of the host. To book, please email ruth@northpenninesaonb.org.uk

22nd
September
2018

Building Stones of Grainger Town, Newcastle

Building Stones of Grainger Town, Newcastle

Grainger Town © Derek Teasdale

Saturday 22 September, 11.00am – 3.00pm

Join Derek Teasdale for a gentle guided walk to examine the beautiful sandstone buildings and exotic finishing stones used to create one of the country’s architectural gems.

Meet at Grey’s Monument, Newcastle upon Tyne.

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 event 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.

Our Friday evening lectures have changed venue. Due to popular demand for our talks, Newcastle University has kindly made available a larger venue at their Ridley Building. A map to the new venue and parking details is below, and available on this downloadable leaflet.

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 public car park directly opposite the Ridley Building on Claremont Road.

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

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