A huge boost for volunteers at Gosforth Nature Reserve


Volunteers from the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) have received over £49,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) to improve Gosforth Nature Reserve for visitors, volunteers and wildlife.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began, NHSN Volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure members visiting the reserve can enjoy a safe, socially distanced and enjoyable visit. Volunteer Rangers have been on hand to welcome guests, share wildlife sightings and enthuse about nature, all while continuing the vital monitoring and conservation work that helps maintain the reserve as a wonderful place for people and wildlife. Now, thanks to the generous support of National Lottery players, volunteers will be able to improve the site further for all who visit and help ensure that Gosforth Nature Reserve remains a place of learning and enjoyment for visitors for years to come.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of NHSN and, supported by the NLHF, will work to make several improvements at the reserve, including:

  • The installation of a welcome hut to provide shelter for Volunteer Rangers and ensure all visitors to the reserve receive a warm welcome.
  • Improvements to the Pearce Hide to ensure visitors can enjoy wildlife in a safe, socially distanced setting.
  • Provide important storage for equipment to ensure volunteers can carry out effective conservation work on site.
  • Recruit, train and support a growing team of Volunteer Rangers to monitor wildlife, welcome visitors and provide a reassuring site presence.
  • Provide new opportunities for NHSN supporters to experience and learn about the reserve and its wildlife.

Support from National Lottery players will also help re-develop the NHSN website to provide visitors with a welcoming, user-friendly and enjoyable digital experience as they seek to discover nature in the North East.

Lockdown has led many more people to appreciate and enjoy the natural world on their doorstep. With the support of the NLHF, NHSN volunteers will ensure Gosforth Nature Reserve continues to inspire; while evolving to meet the challenges presented by Covid-19.

Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as NHSN during this uncertain time.”

Like NHSN, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

Ros Kerslake, CEO of the National Lottery heritage Fund

Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now fully support the passionate volunteers working at Gosforth Nature Reserve and ensure they are able to carry out important monitoring, conservation and engagement work in a safe, secure and comfortable setting.

Volunteers are the beating heart of NHSN and carry out valuable work for people and nature at Gosforth Nature Reserve and across the wider North East. We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting NHSN at this crucial time, in doing so, providing a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.

Since 1829, NHSN has been an organisation led by passionate volunteers for the benefit of people in the North East who study, enjoy and protect nature. With this support, the National Lottery Heritage Fund have ensured that our dedicated volunteers can continue this important work long into the future’

Clare Freeman, NHSN Director