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Talks, field trips, events & activities

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

Red Squirrel - Jim Meikle ©

Upcoming events

15th
November
2019

Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Upland Nature Reserves

Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Upland Nature Reserves

Friday 15 November, 7.00pm-8.00pm, Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Duncan Hutt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust

The Trust now controls, or shares in the management of, a considerable area of upland Northumberland, covering a variety of habitats including blanket and raised bog, heather heath and the current rewilding project at Kielderhead. The largest reserve (and the largest in England) is Whitelee Moor (over 1,500 ha), and amongst the earliest with Trust involvement are the Border Mires (almost 3,000 ha) within the Forestry Commission’s Kielder Forest. The most recent acquisition is Benshaw Moor (over 250 ha), in Redesdale.

Duncan is Head of Living Landscapes and Conservation at the Trust, where he has worked for over two decades.

15th
November
2019

1829 Talk: Slugs count - mapping slug diversity in UK gardens

1829 Talk: Slugs count - mapping slug diversity in UK gardens

Friday 15 November, 18.29pm-18.45pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Imogen Cavadino

Slugs and snails are notorious horticultural pests, widely detested by gardeners. However, not all species of slug and snail found in the UK are considered plant pests, with many species playing important roles in breaking down decaying material and recycling nutrients into the soil. In domestic gardens the presence of these pests is usually recognized by feeding damage, with the culprit species not identified, and little is actually known about which slug and snail species are present in UK gardens. Using citizen science, this project seeks to engage with gardeners in the UK and empower them to identify species of slug found in their garden and learn to appreciate and tolerate them.

15th
November
2019

Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Upland Nature Reserves

Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Upland Nature Reserves

Friday 15 November, 7.00pm-8.00pm, Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Duncan Hutt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust

The Trust now controls, or shares in the management of, a considerable area of upland Northumberland, covering a variety of habitats including blanket and raised bog, heather heath and the current rewilding project at Kielderhead. The largest reserve (and the largest in England) is Whitelee Moor (over 1,500 ha), and amongst the earliest with Trust involvement are the Border Mires (almost 3,000 ha) within the Forestry Commission’s Kielder Forest. The most recent acquisition is Benshaw Moor (over 250 ha), in Redesdale.

Duncan is Head of Living Landscapes and Conservation at the Trust, where he has worked for over two decades.

15th
November
2019

1829 Talk: Slugs count - mapping slug diversity in UK gardens

1829 Talk: Slugs count - mapping slug diversity in UK gardens

Friday 15 November, 18.29pm-18.45pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Imogen Cavadino

Slugs and snails are notorious horticultural pests, widely detested by gardeners. However, not all species of slug and snail found in the UK are considered plant pests, with many species playing important roles in breaking down decaying material and recycling nutrients into the soil. In domestic gardens the presence of these pests is usually recognized by feeding damage, with the culprit species not identified, and little is actually known about which slug and snail species are present in UK gardens. Using citizen science, this project seeks to engage with gardeners in the UK and empower them to identify species of slug found in their garden and learn to appreciate and tolerate them.

22nd
November
2019

How will climate change affect insect pollinators and the wildflowers they feed from?

How will climate change affect insect pollinators and the wildflowers they feed from?

Friday 22 November, 7.00pm-8.00pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Ellen Moss

“Bee declines” have been a media hot topic for several years now, but most of the coverage focuses on just one species: honeybees. The UK has around 250 species of native wild bees and many hundreds of species of flies, wasps, butterflies, and moths, all of which act as vital pollinators of our native plants and crops. Ellen’s research looks at how climate change affects this wider community of pollinating insects and wildflowers, and what the consequences could be for humans and society.

Ellen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle, working on pollinators.

22nd
November
2019

1829 Talk: Increasing children’s knowledge of nature through participation in the citizen science project MammalWeb

1829 Talk: Increasing children’s knowledge of nature through participation in the citizen science project MammalWeb

Friday 22 November, 18.29pm-18.45pm

With Sammy Mason, Mammal Web

For children and teenagers, participating in ecological recording as part of a citizen science project may open up new opportunities to learn about, and connect with, the natural world around them. MammalWeb is a project that invites citizen scientists from across the UK to upload images from personal or borrowed camera traps. Citizen scientists then classify these images to create a database of mammal occurrence records. Throughout 2019, over 5,000 primary school children from almost 100 schools across northeast England are participating in MammalWeb. This talk will look at what, if any, positive impact being involved in MammalWeb has on school pupils, teachers, and parents. In particular focusing on their knowledge of UK mammals and connection to nature

23rd
November
2019

A Seasonal Guide to Tree ID

A Seasonal Guide to Tree ID

Saturday 23 November, 10.00 – 11.30am

N.B. This event is now fully booked, but there may still be places on the waitlist. To join the waitlist, follow the link to Eventbrite below, click on ‘Tickets’ and follow the instructions.

With Paul Drummond

Learn to tell your alders from your oaks and your hazels from your hornbeams in this interactive session with Reserve Warden, Paul Drummond.

NHSN members ONLY. You will be asked to provide your NHSN membership number during registration. If you would like to join NHSN, please go to http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/join-us/become-a-member/

Booking essential. To book, please go to Eventbrite here.

25th
November
2019

Bird Ringing at GPNR

Bird Ringing at GPNR

Juvenile Pied Wagtail © Phil Hanmer

Monday 25 November,  10.00am – 1.00pm

N.B. This event is now fully booked, but there may still be places on the waitlist. To join the waitlist, follow the link to Eventbrite below, click on ‘Tickets’ and follow the instructions.

With Jane Gray and Philip Jordan

An opportunity to see birds visiting the feeding station in the hand and to learn what information may be gained through the study of bird movements. Join Dr Chris Redfern, and volunteer wardens and ornithologists Jane Gray and Philip Jordan to get up close and personal with the bird-life of the reserve.

NHSN members ONLY. You will be asked to provide your NHSN membership number during registration. If you would like to join NHSN, please go to http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/join-us/become-a-member/

Booking essential. To book, please go to Eventbrite here.

 

29th
November
2019

Morpeth Swift Project

Morpeth Swift Project

Friday 29 November, 7.00pm-8.00pm, Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Graham Sorrie

When he first moved to Lancaster Park, Graham Sorrie was delighted to find a pair of Swifts nesting on his house. However, a decade later, he noticed that the number of places for them to nest in Morpeth was reducing due to uPVC soffits or new extensions being built. Graham established the Morpeth Swift Conservation programme in 2014 and since then has been working tirelessly to raise awareness and encourage others to put up nest boxes. His work to protect this iconic migrant has persuaded a number of housing developers to install ‘swift bricks’ across various new developments in the Morpeth area.

 

 

30th
November
2019

Conservation Volunteering at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Conservation Volunteering at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Saturday 30 November, 10.00am – 1.00pm
Also every Wednesday, 10.00am – 1.00pm

At the reserve, there are always more tasks than there are people to do them. Each week, a handful of volunteers work for a few hours to make the reserve a better place for everyone, including wildlife! Tasks include:

  • building and maintaining boardwalks to increase accessibility
  • improving the hides for greater comfort and bird-watching potential
  • woodland management and restoration of native woodland
  • removal of invasive species to support and conserve our local species

There is something to do for members of all ages (teen & up) and abilities, and every little bit helps to ensure the short, medium and long-term success of our beautiful nature reserve. Whether you would like an opportunity to get active, to pick up new skills, meet new people, or add something to your CV, we need you at the reserve.

Training (and biscuits) will be provided, please wear sensible clothing and footwear.

1st
December
2019

Exclusive Wildlife Holidays with Naturetrek

Exclusive Wildlife Holidays with Naturetrek

Southern Cyprus: Wednesday 11th – Wednesday 18th March 2020, 8 days, £1395

This tour offers a week of birding and botanising on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which is generally bathed in sunshine during the spring. During this two-centre holiday, we will spend three nights in the historic town of Paphos, before moving close to the beautiful Akamas Peninsula National Park on the western side of the island for the subsequent four nights. From each base we will head out each day on gentle natural history walks in search of migrant birds, flowers and a variety of other wildlife, breaking with a taverna lunch or a picnic in a scenic spot. Highlights may include Black Francolin, Chukar Partridge, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, migrating birds and the endemic Cyprus Warbler, plus some late orchids such as Fragrant orchids and Tongue orchids. At the end of each day there will be time to relax back at the hotel or stroll along the beautiful beach below.

Southern Portugal: Sunday 19th – Thursday 23rd April 2020, 5 days, £995

This holiday is timed to get the best from this beautiful region’s rich flora and diverse range of breeding and migratory birds, from Cork Oak forests to the wide-open grass plains and parkland, we will encounter much of interest and wonder. Perched high above the Guadiana River, our base in the beautiful hilltop town of Mértola, offers fine opportunities to explore both the stunning flower-studded plains around Castro Verde — where we hope to see both Great and Little Bustards, Stone Curlew and numerous Montagu’s Harriers — and the rugged, seldom explored savannah country towards the Spanish border, where we might encounter Black-shouldered Kite, Black Vulture, Great Spotted Cuckoo and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Ocellated Lizards, the largest European lizard, are common in this area, and the rivers are full of terrapins and water snakes. Mértola itself has a large colony of Lesser Kestrels and the sight of several dozen of these beautiful birds wheeling around in the evening sky above the castle and 14th-century Franciscan convent is something to be remembered.

Abruzzo in Autumn: Friday 11th to Friday 18th September 2020, 8 days, £1495

In mid-September, Abruzzo National Park is bursting with the fruitfulness of autumn, and our aim during this leisurely week-long holiday is to enjoy the area’s mammal and birdlife as it prepares for the coming winter as well as late-flowering plants. Setting out each day from our delightful family-run hotel base, we’ll select a scenic spot at which to break our daily walk with a delicious lunch made from local produce, and the opportunity to scan the mountain slopes around us for Red Deer, Chamois and Alpine Chough. In September the area’s Brown (‘Marsican’) Bears are fattening up on the seasonal glut of berries — in particular on Alpine Buckthorn berries — and we’ll look for these on an optional afternoon/evening excursion to Refugio l’orio followed by a candlelit supper. Traditional cuisine and aromatic local wines make this a thoroughly well-rounded Italian experience far from the tourist crowds!

For more information about any of these holidays or to book, please call the Naturetrek office on 01962 733051 or email info@naturetrek.co.uk


Naturetrek has been nominated ‘Best Safari, Wildlife & Nature Holiday Company’ in the prestigious British Travel Awards, and currently, are in second place in the voting! If you feel they are worthy of this award and might like to vote, please click on this link https://www.britishtravelawards.com/btaform.php?nomLink=117 (there are many other categories and companies that have been nominated and it is possible to access the list from this link). As a thank you for taking the time to vote, the British Travel Awards enters everyone into a prize draw with some great holiday prizes for grabs.

3rd
December
2019

Discovering Redesdale

Discovering Redesdale

Emperor Moth © Cain Scrimgeour

Tuesday 3 December, 5.30 – 6.30pm

With Cain Scrimgeour & Heather Devey, Wild Intrigue

Gain an insight into a new Wild Intrigue project established to monitor and celebrate the wildlife of Redesdale, one of the most under-recorded areas in Northumberland.

NHSN members – FREE. You will be asked to provide your NHSN membership number during registration.
Non-members – £5.00. If you would like to join NHSN, please go to http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/join-us/become-a-member/

Booking essential. To book, please go to Eventbrite here.

6th
December
2019

Climate Change Impacts

Climate Change Impacts

Friday 6 December, 7.00pm-8.00pm, Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

with Prof. Hayley Fowler, Professor of Climate Change Impacts, School of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Newcastle University

Are high rainfall events set to become more common? Intense flooding events (e.g. at the Toddbrook Reservoir, near Whalley Bridge) are not a new phenomena in the UK, but are they becoming more frequent and intense? Prof Fowler has made an exceptional scientific contribution to our understanding of the impacts of climate change on water systems, specialising in recent trends in climate extremes and their impacts on future projections of flood and drought risks. This talk will focus on Prof. Fowler’s research from the UK and around the globe.

6th
December
2019

1829 Talk: The Use of Video for Monitoring Wild Mammals and Enhancing Public Engagement

1829 Talk: The Use of Video for Monitoring Wild Mammals and Enhancing Public Engagement

Friday 6 December, 18.29pm-18.45pm

With Sian Green, Mammal Web

Camera traps (motion-sensitive cameras) are an increasingly popular tool for monitoring wildlife, both for scientific research purposes and recreational use. When triggered, many camera traps are able to record either a short burst of photographs or short video clip. Currently, most research is done using photos, rather than videos, however, this is beginning to change. In this talk, I will be introducing my research designed to test the difference between photo and video settings and discussing the potential advantages and disadvantages of using video from both an ecological perspective and a public engagement one.

About Talks, Field Trips, Events & Activities

2019 Winter Talks

A downloadable, easy to read programme of our pre-Christmas winter talks can be found here, or download a poster of titles and dates here. Please share this with friends, family any anyone else you feel may be interested in delving deeper into the realm of environmental science this season.

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, while non-members are asked to provide a small donation. Some outdoor events – those requiring monetary support – will be charged, with NHSN members receiving a significant discount.

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.

It is always advisable (and likely cheaper) for non-members wishing to attend multiple NHSN events to join us.

Friday Night Talks

From October to March, the Society invites experts in the natural world to give inspiring lectures to our members and the wider public. We also have a series of shorter talks, ‘1829’, presented by early-career scientists and current researchers in a variety of topics before the main talk each week.

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 are below.

Entry is from 6.00pm for our new 15-minute 1829 talks (starting at 18:29). Tea, coffee and biscuits are available and the opportunity to socialise. Speakers of our main talks (7.00 – 8.00pm) give an illustrated presentation for 45 mins-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.

View Previous Events

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Plenty to find in the Blyth River today. Lobster, shore crabs, cod and plaice. Loads of data collected so far for their #marine environmental survey reports. @ecology_ncl @ModEviPol @newcastlemarine @aileencmill

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A new study shows that fragmentation of ecosystems leads to loss of biodiversity. This supports concerns raised about proposed developments near Gosforth Park Nature Reserve & Havannah and the effect they will have on #biodiversity #wildlife #conservation https://t.co/RGs5UVEXvU

Join us tonight for two more #naturalhistory talks at @UniofNewcastle 💡

1) Slugs count - mapping slug diversity in UK gardens (18.29-18.45pm)
2) Northumberland's Upland Nature Reserves (19.00-20.00pm)

We're excited, are you? Remember, all are welcome! @ecology_ncl #science

2

Some very wet Stage 1 students on a field visit to Gosforth Nature Reserve for Ecology & Conservation module. Thank goodness for hides! Huge thanks to the NHSN volunteers @SciencesNCL @ecology_ncl @StudentsNCL @NEE_Naturalist

2

Join us on Saturday in the library of the Natural History Society of Northumbria @NEE_Naturalist from 1pm. Topics to include: Paper, Hutton, Sportsman's Friend, Wombats and Circus folk with @ArchivistJune

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