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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

25th
May
2018

Bat Walk

Bat Walk

Soprano pipistrelle © Paul Drummond

Friday 25 May, Evening – time TBC on booking

Newcastle City Council Rangers will be leading a short talk and walk in Heaton Park on different species of bats that live in the UK.

Booking essential. £5 per person. We are advertising this event on behalf of the host. To book, please phone Ouseburn Parks Visitor Centre on 0191 281 2082.

26th
May
2018

Spring Walk at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Spring Walk at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

GPNR In Spring © David Noble Rollin

Saturday 26 May, 10.00am – 2.00pm (approx.)

A two-mile walk led by Philip Jordan and Jane Gray through Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, looking for signs of spring. Migrant birds will have arrived, and butterflies and damselflies should be on the wing. We hope to ring a brood of Blue Tits from a nest box.

Meet at the Information Hut just inside the reserve entrance.

2nd
June
2018

Bees & Other Insects at Prudhoe Spetchells

Bees & Other Insects at Prudhoe Spetchells

Male Ashy Mining Bee, Prudhoe © Louise Hislop

Saturday 02 June, 2.00 – 4.00pm

Louise Hislop and Dr Gordon Port will be exploring the Spetchells at Prudhoe, a unique site supporting chalk loving plants and a wide range of insects.

Meet at the Prudhoe Riverside car park (NZ 086 634) at 2.00pm. In the event of poor weather such as heavy rain, this visit may be cancelled. If in doubt, please ring 07941 710162 to confirm.

5th
June
2018

Identifying Diptera with a focus on Hoverflies

Identifying Diptera with a focus on Hoverflies

Hoverfly © Olive Taylor

Tuesday 05 June and Wednesday 06 June, 10.00am – 4.00pm

A two-day workshop for beginners to intermediates led by Diptera expert, Martin Harvey. Indoor and outdoor sessions at Bowlees Visitor Centre, and a walk to Wynch Bridge End Cottage, Teesdale.

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

10th
June
2018

Seabird Walk

Seabird Walk

Gannet © Keith Cochrane

Sunday 10 June, 11.00am – 2.00pm

Graham Bell will lead a walk along the cliffs of St Abbs Head Nature Reserve to see nesting auks and gannets.

Bring a packed lunch. Strong footwear recommended. Meet in the reserve car park at St Abbs (NT 913 674).

16th
June
2018

Introduction to Tree Identification at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Introduction to Tree Identification at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

GPNR Trees © Florence Davis

Sunday 17 June, 3.00 – 5.00pm

Would you like to learn how to identify the different trees found in our woodlands? Reserve Warden Paul Drummond will lead you on a walk helping to teach you how to tell the different trees species in summer.

Booking essential. Please phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

16th
June
2018

Introduction to Insects and other Invertebrates at GPNR

Introduction to Insects and other Invertebrates at GPNR

Nettle Weevil © John Buxton

Saturday 16 June, 2.00 – 4.00pm

There are over 25,000 species of insects in the UK. This workshop with our Entomology Group lead Dr Gordon Port will give you a chance to learn the difference between the more common types.

23rd
June
2018

Moths at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Moths at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Moth trapping at GPNR © Andy Atkinson

Saturday 23 June, 9.00pm
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.

23rd
June
2018

Tyne Kittiwake Tour

Tyne Kittiwake Tour

Kittiwake Millenium Bridge © Ian Cook

Saturday 23 June, 11.00am – approx. 3.00pm

N.B. This event is now fully booked.

Daniel Turner will lead a tour along Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides on foot to observe Kittiwake nesting sites. Then meet 1:00pm outside entrance to BALTIC Art Gallery for a limited availability tour by car to observe Saltmeadows Tower and Akzo Nobel river sites.

Booking essential. Please phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

24th
June
2018

Meadow and Orchard Tour at Wylam Community Orchard

Meadow and Orchard Tour at Wylam Community Orchard

© Wylam Community Orchid Tour, June 2017

Sunday 24 June, 2.00 – 4.00pm

Come and see the beautiful meadow in flower on this tour led by Alison and Peter Fisher. A south-facing site overlooking the River Tyne, the orchard is managed for biodiversity. Regular surveys of bats, moths, butterflies, bees, wasps and flowers are undertaken. Results show a year on year improvement.

Booking essential. Please phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

29th
June
2018

Identifying Solitary Bees and other Hymenoptera

Identifying Solitary Bees and other Hymenoptera

Male Solitary Bee, Colletes Species © Louise Hislop

Friday 29 and Saturday 30 June, 10.00am – 4.00pm

A two-day workshop for beginners to intermediates led by hymenoptera expert, Steven Falk. Indoor and outdoor sessions at Newbiggin Village Hall, Middleton-in-Teesdale.

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

29th
June
2018

Cetacean Boat Trips

Cetacean Boat Trips

White-beaked Dolphin © John Carnell

Friday 29 June, 6.00 – 10.00pm
Friday 06, 13, 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.

30th
June
2018

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve Exploration Day and Insect BioBlitz

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve Exploration Day and Insect BioBlitz

GPNR Open Day 2017 © NHSN

Saturday 30 June, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Take the opportunity to experience Gosforth Park Nature Reserve at our annual open day for everyone of all ages, members and non-members. Drop in any time between 10:30 am-3.30pm to learn about birds, plants, mammals and insects from local experts.
 
This year, we will also be attempting to identify as many insects and other invertebrates as we can in an ‘Insect BioBlitz’ with our entomology lead, Dr Gordon Port.
 
Accessibility: please note that the ground can be wet, muddy and uneven.

30th
June
2018

The Geology of Kingwater and Crammel Linn, Gilsland

The Geology of Kingwater and Crammel Linn, Gilsland

Saturday 30 June, 10.00am – 4.00pm

A rare chance to explore the wild scenery and geology of the Cumbria/Northumberland border with Karl Egeland-Eriksen. Kingwater provides the best examples of in situ fossil tree stumps in the Lower Carboniferous of Britain.

Meet at the Gilsland Hall Hotel (formerly Gilsland Spa Hotel Grid Ref NY635677).

6th
July
2018

Discovering Wildlife at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Discovering Wildlife at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Ridley Bird Hide, GPNR © Jill Tate

Friday 06 July, 9.30am – 11.30am

If you would like help identifying birds or some photography top tips, pop into the Ridley Hide at the reserve any time between 9:30-11:30am where Neil Pont will be happy to help.

7th
July
2018

Farne Islands Wildlife

Farne Islands Wildlife

Inner Farne Lighthouse © Anne Wilson

Saturday 07 July, 2.00 – 4.45pm

An opportunity to enjoy one of our region’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Join Anne Wilson for this half-day visit including landing on the Inner Farne. The seabird colonies will be in full swing, with chicks getting ready to fledge and the coastal flowers in bloom. We will also see Grey Seal and explore the island’s history.

Booking essential. Cost for the boat is £15 per person. Landing fee for non-National Trust members £9. Over 16s only. Phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

8th
July
2018

Thrislington Plantation

Thrislington Plantation

Dark-red Helleborine © John Richards

Sunday 08 July, 11.00am

A chance to visit the richest magnesian limestone grassland in Durham with Professor John Richards, featuring Perennial Flax, Dark-red Helleborine and good butterflies.

Thrislington lies between Cornforth and Bishop Middleham. Park in the Tarmac quarry office managers car park at NZ310327 (follow signs from weighbridge). This is east of the minor road between Cornforth and Ferryhill Station (DL17 9EY).
Please bring a packed lunch.

14th
July
2018

Dragonflies and other Insects at Dinnington

Dragonflies and other Insects at Dinnington

Dragonfly © Maria Schusler

Saturday 14 July, 2.00 – 4.00pm

Join Drs Christopher Wren and Gordon Port to look at the dragonflies, damselflies and other insects at a site near Dinnington.

Booking essential. Phone 0191 208 2790 to book. In the event of poor weather such as heavy rain, this visit may be cancelled.

14th
July
2018

Wildflower Grassland Moths of the North Pennines

Wildflower Grassland Moths of the North Pennines

Five-spot Burnet Moth © Jim Meikle

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July, 10.00am – 4.00pm

A two-day workshop for beginners to intermediates led by moth expert, Dave Grundy. Indoor and outdoor sessions at Bowlees Visitor Centre, Forest-in-Teesdale.

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

14th
July
2018

Rockpooling at Cullercoats

Rockpooling at Cullercoats

Rockpooling © NHSN

Saturday 14 July, 11.00am – 1.00pm

Join Chris Surtees to discover the wonders of the intertidal zone. The event will cover rockpooling techniques, species identification and an introduction to the ecology of this fascinating ecosystem.

Booking essential. Please phone 0191 208 2790 to book.

16th
July
2018

Great Exhibition of the North - NHSN Members Exclusive Access Evening

Great Exhibition of the North - NHSN Members Exclusive Access Evening

Lithograph drawn from 'Struggle with the Quarry' by John Hancock © NHSN

Monday 16 July, 6.30 – 8.00pm

A chance to enjoy the special exhibitions that showcase innovation from the North after all the crowds have left for the day. Items from the NHSN collections and archive are included in the exhibitions, including the magnificent Gyrfalcon ‘The Struggle with the Quarry’ by John Hancock, celebrated when it was part of the Great Exhibition in 1851 for how lifelike his preservation technique was.

17th
July
2018

Grassland Butterflies and Moths

Grassland Butterflies and Moths

Small Skipper Butterfly © John Buxton

Tuesday 17 July, 11.00am – 1.00pm

Exploring the flower rich grasslands of Weetslade Country Park with David Stebbings, looking for butterflies and moths. Target species include Small Skipper, Ringlet, Common Blue and Small Heath. Plus, how to identify the different species of burnet moths and carpet moths.

Meet at the car park near High Weetslade Farm on the B1319 near its junction with the A189, (NZ 260723).

21st
July
2018

Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve

Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve

Denemouth Viaduct, Castle Eden Dene © Steve Metcalfe

Saturday 21 July, 10.00am – 12.00pm

A walk through part of the largest of the wooded valleys in north east England with Steve Metcalfe, looking at the management, history and natural history of this spectacular gorge woodland.

Meet at car park, Oakerside Dene Lodge, Stanhope Chase, Peterlee. SR8 1NJ.

22nd
July
2018

Bird Ringing at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Bird Ringing at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Ringing Group Hut © David Noble-Rollin

Sunday 22 July, 9.00 – 11.00am

Join Chris Redfern and Reserve Warden Paul Drummond for an opportunity to see bird ringing in action, hear how ringing increases our knowledge of birds and contributes to the national scheme.

Booking essential.  Please phone 0191 208 2970 to book.

22nd
July
2018

Crag Lough

Crag Lough

Dactylorhiza maculata © John Richards

Sunday 22 July, 11.00am

Professor John Richards will lead an exploration of whin scree and cliffs, then fen, fen carr and aquatics. This is one of Northumberland’s premier sites for plants with scarce sedges, pondweeds and fern-allies.

Park at Steel Rigg car park north of ‘Once Brewed’ on the Military Road at NY750677. Parking is £4, and there are limited spaces. Try to share cars. There is alternative parking at The Sill, 700m to the south (£1/hour, maximum £5). Bring stout, waterproof boots and lunch

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.

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

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.

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

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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