Local Wildlife Groups

At the core of every Wildlife Trust are local people. From the Tees to the Tyne our members shape what we do. Local needs, local knowledge and local expertise form the foundation of our work. Durham Wildlife Trust was founded by local volunteers who decided there was a need for action to be taken to conserve wildlife and special places in their area. Today, we have much the same focus and our Local Wildlife Groups help us to maximise our local impact.

Durham Wildlife Trust members’ groups are made up of like-minded people who share a passion for the area in which they live and a desire to increase their own wildlife knowledge. Local groups host talks and walks; some of them take on survey work or develop species projects. Members’ groups play a vital role in engaging with people outside of the Trust’s nature reserves, encouraging them to do their bit for nature conservation where they live.

Our Local Wildlife Groups

Washington Wildlife Group (WWG)
Meeting at Washington Old Hall on the last Wednesday of every month, the WWG take part in species surveying, share knowledge and socialise.

Gateshead Wildlife Group
The GWG run a fantastic Summer Series and Winter Meetings, perfect for all local naturalists. To view the details and to join in visit their website here https://gatesheadwildlifegroup.weebly.com/

DWT Botany Group
This is the group for all level botanist, whether you’re looking to start, advance or simply enjoy your botanical interests the Botany Group host events, surveys and meetings year round and across the entire DWT patch. To be added to the Botany Group mailing list email Steve Gater at Botany@durhamwt.co.uk

Darlington Wildlife Group
A local group for wildlife enthusiasts in Darlington, meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month. For details of upcoming meetings contact Cliff Evans on 01325466471.

Lanchester Wildlife Group

Middleton-St-George Wildlife Group

Rainton Meadows Wildlife Group


Support for growing your own local wildlife group 

Our local wildlife groups and members’ groups are listed above but if there isn’t one in your area, here’s a quick ‘how to’ for starting your own: 

  • Scout out the others. If you’re thinking about starting a group it’s good to get an idea of what our groups are up to, you could contact a few of the other organisers or pop along to one of their events to get a feel for what they do (although no two are the same). 
  • Get in touch with the team. DWT can provide support and advice throughout, starting with a cup of tea and a chat about what we can do to help. 
  • Enlist friends. We choose our friends carefully! Chances are if you have an interest, like-minded friends will share it. But don’t worry about gathering crowds, our Members are in every corner of ‘old’ Durham and we’ll let them know about the group. 
  • Find a venue. You’ll have an idea of somewhere in your town or village that could host a group. Send a quick enquiry – most places will be glad to support a new group and venue availability may determine your meeting day. 
  • Start a calendar. Most groups meet once a month, that’s 12 talks or activities (though your group might decide to do more once they get going) and DWT can provide speakers as well as point you in the right direction for other specialists. 


Emily Routledge
Membership Development Officer (DWT)
eroutledge@durhamwt.co.uk 0191 584 3112