Owing to its many unique habitats, North East England is home to a diverse and beautiful flora. Explore botany in the North East with NHSN’s passionate Botany Specialist Group.

Botany in the North East

The flora of North East England is incredibly diverse and botanists in our region are spoiled for choice when it comes to observing and enjoying wild plants.

In upper Teesdale, the North East holds one of Britain’s hotspots for wild plants, while the region is also home to many other notable botanical habitats including the Whin Sill, coastal dunes, upland hay meadows, the Durham Magnesian Limestone, calaminarian grassland and wet peat bogs.

Many NHSN members are passionate about botany in the North East and regularly record, observe and enjoy our region’s plants. With your support, they carry out important surveys, submit records and contribute to the conservation of threatened species.

Whether you are a keen beginner or seasoned botanist, NHSN’s Botany Specialist Group provides opportunities for everyone to get involved in the study and enjoyment of plants.

Pyramidal Orchid © James Common

Sign-up to our botany mailing list

A mailing list for all interested in botany in the North East. Beginner or expert, passionate recorder or casual enthusiast, we'll use this list to share news, opportunities, events and projects.

Your Botany Coordinators

Coordinators work to provide opportunities for you to enjoy, observe and learn about different strands of natural history.

Chris Metherell

Botany Co-Coordinator

Chris organises field trips and talks, produces informative videos and leads courses to inspire others about botany.

As a botanist, Chris is the BSBI vice-county recorder for North Northumberland, UK’s national referee for Eyebrights and a former President of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.

James Common

Botany Co-Coordinator

James works with Chris to organise botanical trips, talks and digital content to provide opportunities for others to get involved in local botany.

Alongside Chris, James is also joint vice-county recorder for North Northumberland (VC68).

Coming soon: Discovering Orchids ›

Of all the wildflowers to be found in the North East, few capture the imagination quite like our region’s exquisite orchids.

Ahead of a special regional atlas, in 2022, we need your help to put these iconic wildflowers on the map across the North East. Urban, rural, beginner or expert, everyone can help.

Find out more ›

Join the North East Botany Group

Are you passionate about wild plants?

NHSN and the Environmental Records Information Centre North East (ERIC) have come together to create a new group to encourage the recording and enjoyment of our region’s wildflowers.

Whether you’re a keen botanist or someone who simply enjoys observing and photographing wildflowers, this group is for you.

Covering Northumberland, Durham, and Teesside, this is a place to share sightings and photographs, discuss, request identification, and meet like-minded people. 

Botany in County Durham

Durham Wildlife Trust’s Botany Group aims to provide an interest in, and enjoyment of, all aspects of flora, within and beyond the Durham area.

Throughout the year, they run a busy programme of field trips to record and enjoy wild plants across the county.

The group have a thriving Facebook group and all are welcome to join.

Mid-week Botany Group

NHSN’s Mid-week Botany Group is a friendly group of members who go out regularly on Wednesdays during the summer to look at plants. They visit a variety of habitats and landscapes across the North East and enjoy studying and identifying the plants they find.

The Mid-week Botany Group organisers are Kevin Charman and Bill Burlton

Coralroot Orchid © Ho-Yin Wong

Useful Contacts

The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) appoints recorders for each vice-county who are always delighted to receive records of both common and interesting plant species.

These are:

County Durham (VC 66): Keith Robson (krobsonvc66@gmail.com)

South Northumberland (VC 67): Professor John Richards (hightreesgarden@btinternet.com) and Margaret Rogers (margaretrogers180@btinternet.com)

North Northumberland (VC 68): Chris Metherell (chris@metherell.org.uk) and James Common (jamesmcommon@gmail.com)

Your wildflower sightings

Share your botanical sightings by contacting James at james.common@newcastle.ac.uk

More on North East botany

Explore a range of informative articles and local reports to inspire you about plant life in the North East.

Botany ›
As part of Discovering Orchids, explore a short guide to orchid photography to help botanists identify your finds….
Botany ›
Local botanist, Fiona Greenwold, shares five winter wildflowers to look for as part of this year’s BSBI New Year Plant Hunt….
Botany ›
From Witches Broom to Silk Buttons, explore the world of plant galls and discover species you could encounter across the North East….
Botany ›
Horticulture Magazine have launched a new study and interactive map helping naturalists understand the spread of Japanese Knotweed in their area….
Botany ›
Last week, NHSN members headed for Lindisfarne in search of the elusive Moss Carder bee. Take a look back at what they discovered. …
Botany ›
Take a look back at a recent NHSN botany trip to Wylam in a short blog by local naturalist, James Common….