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. And of course local groups are great place to have fun, meet new people and socialize with old friends!
Washington Wildlife Group
Meet at Washington Old Hall at 7.30pm on the last Wednesday of every month
Gateshead Wildlife Group
Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in St Helen’s Church Hall, Low Fell at 7.15pm. To view details for this group visit their website here https://gatesheadwildlifegroup.weebly.com/
DWT Botany Group
Based at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve this group take part in walk, talks and surveys across the region throughout the year. For more information please visit our page.
Darlington Wildlife Group
Meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month at Cockerton Methodist Church at 7.30pm.
Lanchester Wildlife Group
Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in Small Hall, Lanchester Community Centre at 7.30-9pm.
Middleton-St-George Wildlife Group
Meet on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm in the W.I. Building, Middleton St George.
Rainton Meadows Wildlife Group
Meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 7pm at Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre.
Land of Oak & Iron Wildlife Group
Meet throughout the year at a range of locations throughout the Land of Oak & Iron area for training opportunities, guided walks and developing and sharing skills in species identification and recording. In addition the group take part in a variety of evening talks and social opportunities in the winter months. Please see www.durhamwt.com/events for upcoming events and courses
Rainton Meadows Wildlife Photography Group
Meet on the 1st Wednesday of the month (AM) at Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre. Meetings start at 10.00am and close at 12.30PM. The Annual membership Fee is £10 and there is a further charge of £1 per meeting attended. Membership of RMWPG includes membership to the other photography group, based at Low Barns Nature Reserve.
Low Barns Photography Group
Meet on the 1st Monday & 3rd Wednesday of the month (PM) at Low Barns Visitor Centre. Membership to LBPG includes membership to the Rainton Meadows Wildlife Photography Group and vice versa.
If you would like to know more about these groups use the contact form below and we’ll put you in touch with the right person. Make sure you specify in your message which group you would like to contact.
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.
Membership Development Officer (DWT)
firstname.lastname@example.org 0191 584 3112