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Who We Are

The Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) is a voluntary organization run by its membership through a Council. The day-to-day work of the Society is carried out by three paid employees, supported by a team of volunteers.

Geology class field trip, Cheviots © Peter McGuckin

NHSN Council

NHSN is a registered charity with around 1700 members. The Society’s membership runs the organisation through an elected Council. Elections are held at the Society’s Annual Meeting which normally takes place during the winter months. Members of Council are elected for a term of 3 years.

Council meets three times per year and is the Society’s key decision making body although it has established a number of Committees to focus on particular areas of the Society’s work, such as the running of the nature reserve or the library.

Members of Council are also Trustees for the Society and as such are responsible in law for the Society’s organisation and activities.

The Society is always keen to broaden the skills and experience of its governing body and we particularly welcome nominations from people with experience of charity fundraising and membership recruitment or of financial investments. Click here to find out more about these roles and how to apply.


The rules by which the Society conducts its business are set out in our constitution. You can read or download this by clicking here. Changes to the constitution may be proposed at the Society’s Annual Meeting.

NHSN Annual Report and Financial Statement

You can now download a copy of NHSN’s Annual Report and Annual Financial Statement.

Financial Accounts

The Society submits its annual financial statements to the Charity Commission and these can be viewed on the Charity Commission website. Our annual financial statements are independently examined by an accountant and made available to our members. The Society’s financial year starts on 1st August.

Society Sections

In addition to its Committees, the Society also has informal Sections which are groups of members who have an interest in a particular area of natural history. Each Section has an informal leader who helps to devise and run the Society’s programme of talks and field outings. We currently have sections for birds, mammals, geology, botany and insects.

Charitable Objectives

The Society was registered as a UK charity in 1963 and our charitable objectives include:

  • The encouragement by every means of the study of natural history in all its branches
  • The protection of the local flora and fauna
  • The maintenance and extension of the Society’s library and collections
  • The publication of ‘Transactions’ and other scientific papers
  • The organisation of lectures, discussions and field meetings and co-operation with other scientific societies or associations with similar objectives
  • The Society shall also encourage the establishment of sections for the purpose of studying botany, geology and zoology and such other subjects as may from time to time be approved by the Council of the Society.

Registered charity number: 526770