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Talks, field trips, events & activities

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

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly © Florence Davis

Upcoming events

3rd
January
2018

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve Needs You!

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve Needs You!

Every Wednesday, and Saturday 27 January, 24 February and 24 March. 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 new boardwalks to increase accessibility
  • improving the hides for greater comfort and bird-watching potential
  • woodland management
  • removal of invasive species to support and conserve our local species.

There is something to do for members of all ages 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.

12th
January
2018

Northumberland's Secret Seas

Northumberland's Secret Seas

Grey Seal, Farne Islands © Sven Roden

Friday 12 January, 7pm.  Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

Discovering the mysterious underwater world off the Northumberland coast, this talk by Ben Burville will focus on the behaviour of grey seals and white beaked dolphin. It will also feature some incredible marine birds.

Ben is a Visiting Researcher at Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science. A keen diver with over thirty years of experience, he has spent more time in the water with grey seals than anyone in the world.

13th
January
2018

Introduction to Winter Tree Identification

Introduction to Winter Tree Identification

GPNR © Paul Drummond

Saturday 13 January, 11:30am – 1:00pm

Paul Drummond, Reserve Warden, will lead you on a walk in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve and show you how to tell apart different tree species in winter.

Booking required.

19th
January
2018

Dragonflies - Masters of Air and Water

Dragonflies - Masters of Air and Water

Common Hawker © Florence Davis

Friday 19 January, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

David Clarke explores the uniquely fascinating history and biology of dragonflies, looks at species and habitats of particular importance, and reveals how they are responding locally to a changing climate.

David is the British Dragonfly Society’s county recorder for Cumbria.

21st
January
2018

Red Kite Roost

Red Kite Roost

Sunday 21 January, 2:30 – 5:00pm

Join the Friends of the Red Kites for a half-mile walk to the roost viewing point. Hear about the bird’s behaviour and the reintroduction programme. Bring a torch and warm clothing.

Please meet at Spa Well Car Park (grid reference NZ 189614) at 2:30pm. To get there: coming from the direction of the A1 or Western Bypass, take the A694 signposted to Consett. After two roundabouts, take the second pull-in (NOT Swalwell Cricket Club). The walk to Nine Arches viaduct will be a gentle 30-40 minutes.

26th
January
2018

The Tectonics of the Cleveland Basin

The Tectonics of the Cleveland Basin

Friday 26 January, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

The Cleveland Basin in North East England is famous for its Jurassic fossils, Whitby jet, moorland, and coastal scenery. Join Dr Johnny Imber to combine geological interpretations of historic maps from the former Cleveland ironstone mines with laser ablation analysis of uranium and lead isotopes within calcite-filled veins, to re-evaluate the tectonic history of the Cleveland Basin.

2nd
February
2018

Isle of May National Nature Reserve Uncovered

Isle of May National Nature Reserve Uncovered

Puffin

Friday 02 February, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

David Steel, Reserve Manager of the Isle of May, will reveal all about this hidden gem that is home to the largest Puffin colony on the east coast of the UK. David is well known to many, having formerly been Head Ranger of the Farne Islands over a period of fourteen years.

9th
February
2018

Non-native Species in a Changing World

Non-native Species in a Changing World

Touch-me-not, Impatien glandulifera © Colin Scrutton

Friday 09 February, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

Join Pete Robertson to look at the history and consequences of non-native species on the British countryside, their role in our ecosystems, and how their effects and our responses are changing.

Pete has a background in research and policy in the charitable and government sectors. He is now at Newcastle University, focusing on wildlife management and invasive non-native species.

10th
February
2018

Winter Tree Identification

Winter Tree Identification

Saturday 10 February, times TBC

Learn to identify trees while out in the winter months on this great opportunity to visit
Castle Eden Dene. Led by ERIC (Environmental Records Information Centre).

Booking required. Please contact eric.ne@twmuseums.org.uk. Coach travel
from GNM: Hancock will be available.

16th
February
2018

North East Botanists

North East Botanists

Angus Lunn

Friday 16 February, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

One could say that British botany began in the North East with William Turner of Morpeth.
Dr Angus Lunn, former Head of Adult Education at the University of Newcastle, is old enough to
have known a few of his subjects. Angus is the author of Northumberland in Collin’s New Naturalist series.

17th
February
2018

Herbarium Tour

Herbarium Tour

Myrica gale © herbarium@home

Saturday 17 February, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Join Chris Metherell for a rare chance to visit the NHSN herbarium – an impressive collection of over 15,000 plants, collected from the 1800s to the present day.

Meet at the reception desk of the Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4JA.

23rd
February
2018

Beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Friday 23 February, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

Professor John Woodward will provide us with highlights from his Antarctic journey. The coldest and highest continent is now the subject of intense research as concerns have been raised about the long-term stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

24th
February
2018

An Introduction to Rock Pools

An Introduction to Rock Pools

Saturday 24 February, time TBC

Join Christopher Surtees at Cullercoats (next to Dove Marine Laboratory) to take a tour through the incredible world of rock pools, learning to identify everything from starfish to seaweed. Learn about the challenges of this variable environment and the fascinating adaptations of the species within.

Children and adults welcome, warm clothing and wellington boots are advised.

Booking required.

2nd
March
2018

Migration and Wintering Strategy of Arctic Terns

Migration and Wintering Strategy of Arctic Terns

Arctic tern © Chris Redfern

Friday 02 March, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

Chris Redfern will give an update on his research on Arctic Terns from the Farne Islands, what he has learned since last winter, a progress report on this season’s work, and what more we hope to learn if we can recover geolocator devices in the 2018 breeding season.

3rd
March
2018

Exclusive Tour of NHSN Collections

Exclusive Tour of NHSN Collections

Great Auk

Saturday 03 March, 11:00am – 1:00pm

NHSN has half a million items in its collections. Join Dan Gordon, GNM: Hancock’s Keeper of Biology, to look at rare, extinct and unusual specimens, such as our Great Auk, Dodo and Passenger Pigeon.

Booking required.

Meet at the Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4JA.

9th
March
2018

Red Kites in North East England

Red Kites in North East England

Red Kite © Andy Jackson

Friday 09 March, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

Red Kites were re-introduced to the Derwent Valley between 2003 and 2006. This talk by
Ian Kerr, a member of Friends of Red Kites’ monitoring team, covers the history, progress and problems they still face in becoming once more a common sight in the region’s skies.

13th
March
2018

Treasures of the NHSN Collections

Treasures of the NHSN Collections

Tuesday 13 March, 3:00 – 5:00pm

Join GNM: Hancock librarian Ian Bower for a wonderful opportunity to view a range of rare and fascinating items from the NHSN library collections that are not normally on display. You will also have a chance to get ‘behind the scenes’ in the library.

Booking required.

16th
March
2018

The Secret World of Rhododendrons

The Secret World of Rhododendrons

Friday 16 March, 7pm. Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

Discovering the evolution of Rhododendron and how it spread across four continents.
Dr Richard Milne explains the role of natural and cultivar hybridisation before delving into the ethnobotany of the plant, and mythbusting the extraordinary story of Rhododendron in Britain.

Richard is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He is a keen field botanist with a particular interest in training novices in plant identification.

18th
March
2018

Kielder Goshawk Walk

Kielder Goshawk Walk

Sunday 18 March, 9:30am – 2:00pm

March is a good time to look for some of the specialist bird species found in upland coniferous forest, in particular Goshawk and Crossbill. Join Martin Davison for a slow walk along forest tracks with plenty of stops to scan for displaying/flying raptors.

Booking required.

23rd
March
2018

NHSN Annual General Meeting & Social Evening

NHSN Annual General Meeting & Social Evening

Friday 23 March, 7:00 – 8:30pm

A friendly social evening open to all NHSN members to find out more about what NHSN has achieved over the last year, and look ahead to an exciting 2018. The library and archive will be open to visitors 7:30 – 8:30pm.

Clore Suite, Great North Museum: Hancock.

28th
April
2018

Naturetrek Birdwatching Trip to Mallorca

Naturetrek Birdwatching Trip to Mallorca

A fantastic opportunity to study birds of the Mediterranean on the island of Mallorca! This week-long trip, in partnership with and led by Naturetrek, will introduce you to a variety of birds typical to the region along with some of the island’s specialties. Staying at the Puerto Pollensa resort, which has its very own hide looking over S’Albufereta Marsh, there will be a number of easy walking trips suitable for all ages to a wide range of habitats. As well as birds, there will also be opportunities to see plants and other wildlife, such as orchids and butterflies.

A full itinerary of the trip is available to download here.

There are two trips: 28 April – 5 May 2018, and 5 – 12 May 2018. The trip costs £1495 per person, with a £150 single supplement. This covers all flights, meals and accommodation.

To reserve a place, you must book with Naturetrek directly. Their email address is info@naturetrek.co.uk, or you can phone them on 01962 733 051.

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.

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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