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Talks, field trips, events & activities

Our action-packed programme of talks, outings and activities.

Moth event at Gosforth Park © Andy Atkinson

Upcoming events

3rd
March
2017

Arctic Terns on the Farne Islands: why are they here and what do they get up to when

Arctic Terns on the Farne Islands: why are they here and what do they get up to when

Illustrated talk by Dr Chris Redfern

Friday 3 March, 7-8pm.

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle NE2 4PT.

Around 6,000 pairs of this charismatic seabird nest on the Northumberland coast. Arctic Terns have been ringed on the Farne Islands for many years, and Chris has been studying their breeding biology on Northumberland’s islands since 1995. With the increasing miniaturisation of electronic dataloggers, it is now possible to fit lightweight devices to birds allowing us to study aspects of their behaviour in the non-breeding season. In this talk, he will describe some of the findings from fitting geolocators to Farnes Arctic Terns and what this is telling us about their migration routes and behaviour in their Antarctic summer.

Dr Chris Redfern is based at Newcastle University and leads the Society’s bird ringing and seabird research.

7th
March
2017

Tour of the Great North Museum: Hancock Collections - world treasures

Tour of the Great North Museum: Hancock Collections - world treasures

Tuesday 7 March, 11am-12pm

The Natural History Society of Northumbria has a 1/2 million items in its collections from Dodo bones to Egyptian mummies. Some of these are on display in the Great North Museum: Hancock but most are held in special stores in the basement of Newcastle’s Discovery Museum. This is a fantastic opportunity to see material that is not on display and to learn about the items and their care first hand.

Andrew Parkin will explore our treasure trove of amazing objects from around the world such as headhunters swords from Borneo, opium pipes from China and sharks teeth swords from Kirabati.

This tour is free but you must book in advance as numbers are limited. To book places please contact the Society Office 0191 208 2790 or nhsn@ncl.ac.uk

8th
March
2017

Fossil Collections Tour, Newcastle

Fossil Collections Tour, Newcastle

Wednesday 8 March, 2pm-3pm

Discovery Museum, Newcastle

Sylvia Humphrey is the curator of the Natural History Society of Northumbria’s geology collections, the majority of which are held in special stores in the basement of the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. This is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the fossils that have come to us via notable 19th century collectors such as William Hutton and Thomas Atthey. We will see examples of a variety of fossils, including fish and plants.

Free but booking is required to manage numbers. Please contact the Society Office to book: nhsn@ncl.ac.uk or 0191 208 2790.

9th
March
2017

Rare, Extinct and Unusual Specimens - Collections Tour

Rare, Extinct and Unusual Specimens - Collections Tour

Head of Hancock's specimen of the adult Great Auk © NHSN

Thursday 9 March, 2pm-3.30pm. SORRY – NOW FULLY BOOKED

A tour of the Natural History Society of Northumbria’s rare species collection at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle.

The Natural History Society of Northumbria is fortunate to have some amazing items in our collections. Passenger Pigeon, Slender-billed Curlew, Great Auk and Hawaiian Crow are just some of the rare and extinct specimens that are kept in storage in the basement of the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. Dan Gordon is the curator of the biology stores and he has kindly agreed to lead a tour based on some of our rare, extinct and unusual items. This will cover birds and mammals and include taxidermy, skins, bones and eggs and the fascinating stories behind them.

Free but booking is required to manage numbers. Please contact the Society Office to book: nhsn@ncl.ac.uk or 0191 208 2790.

10th
March
2017

Thomas Bewick and his dogs

Thomas Bewick and his dogs

Illustrated talk by Dr Leslie Jessop

Friday 10 March, 7-8pm.

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle NE2 4PT.

Dogs are some of the most lively and lifelike of Bewick’s illustrations of quadrupeds. Not only the portraits of the different varieties but also the various scenes of activity. In this talk we will take a look at Quadrupeds and other books illustrated by Bewick and marvel at the felicity of his depictions. The Society has one of the most important collections of Thomas Bewick illustrations in our library and archives and this is a great opportunity to showcase them to members.

Les Jessop is the Society’s Honorary Librarian who has an interest in the Society’s historic collections.

(Please note that due to ill health this is a change to the previously advertised talk by William Hale about Cannon Henry Baker Tristram)

11th
March
2017

Birds of Kielder Forest

Birds of Kielder Forest

Saturday 11 March, 9.30am – 2pm, with Martin Davison. SORRY- NOW FULLY BOOKED

Weather permitting, early March is a good time to look for some of the specialist bird species found in our upland coniferous forests, in particular Goshawk and Crossbill. We will also keep our eye out for Red Squirrel. This will involve a gentle walk of several miles along forest tracks.

Martin Davison is an expert on the birds of Kielder.

Free but booking is required to manage numbers. Please contact the Society Office to book. 

17th
March
2017

The wildlife and habitats of the North Pennines

The wildlife and habitats of the North Pennines

Illustrated talk by Rebecca Barrett

Friday 17 March, 7-8pm.

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle NE2 4PT.

This talk will introduce the range of habitats found in the North Pennines, the very special plants and other wildlife associated with them and some of the people and projects involved with their management.

Rebecca has been involved in land management and nature conservation in the North Pennines since 1995.  She has worked for the North Pennines AONB Partnership since 2004 and prior to that for the RSPB.

 

10th
May
2017

Society Wildlife Watching Holiday - Catalonia & Eastern Pyrenees

Society Wildlife Watching Holiday - Catalonia & Eastern Pyrenees

Wednesday 26 April to Wednesday 3 May 2017.

Wednesday 10 May to Wednesday 17 May 2017 (fully booked).

A week-long Society holiday of birdwatching and botanical walks and excursions from the plains to the stunning snow-capped pinnacles of the high Pyrenees. This tour will offer us a chance to explore a wide range of habitats including lowland wetlands, dry steppe, rocky crags and hidden river valleys and high mountains and is being organised in partnership with NatureTrek.

Based firstly at the monastery of Santa Maria de Bellpuig, near les Avellanes, and then Espot in the Pyrenees, with excursions to surrounding areas. Highlights are numerous but include: Little Bustard, Bee-eater, Black Wheatear, Lammergeier, several eagle species, Black Woodpecker, Squacco Heron and Alpine Accentor. Wonderful spring flowers including alpine specialities. Reptiles, butterflies & other insects. Direct flights from/to Newcastle. Price of £1,410pp (£140 single sup) includes accommodation, food, flights and guides. Click here for the full itinerary, details and how to book your place.

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 this can sometimes be arranged by contacting the Society office in advance and making a donation.

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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