Introduction to Urban Botany

Education Courses

Key Details

Education Courses


Join James Common, to explore the fascinating and diverse flora of urban Newcastle. Perfect for beginners and enthusiasts.

Course tutor: James Common

Course length: 7 sessions. Please check the program below.

Course structure: 7 field trips across Newcastle

Course cost: £100 NHSN Members / £120 Non-Members

Inhospitable and artificial, the North East’s urban spaces pose a unique challenge to our wild plants. Despite this, they are home to a unique flora comprised of both native species and a great many opportunistic aliens. From casual garden escapes and native relics to successful urban specialists, it really is a jungle out there.

Back for a second year, this field course will introduce the urban flora of Newcastle covering a range of habitats commonly encountered in the city, from terraced streets and roadsides to brownfield and wasteground plots.

Together, attendees will explore and identify the plant species commonly encountered in the city while developing a feel for the wider trends observed in our urban flora. It is suitable for beginners and enthusiasts alike.

Overall, this course aims to introduce our unique local flora while painting a picture of what you can expect to encounter in urban habitats across Newcastle

A full programme of dates is provided below. In the event of poor weather, every effort will be taken to reschedule missed sessions. An expanded programme, including meeting instructions, will be issued via email nearer the time.

Course Programme:

  1. Pavement Plants: Heaton – Thursday 25 April, 10.00 am-12.00 am
  2. Parks & Amenity Woodland: Jesmond - Thursday 9 May, 10.00 am - 1.00 pm
  3. Riverbanks & Roadsides: Elswick - Thursday 6 June, 1.00 pm - 3.30 pm
  4. Wasteground: Newcastle City Centre - Thursday 27 June, 10.00 am -12.00 pm
  5. Brilliant Brownfield: Newburn - Thursday 4 July, 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm
  6. Brownfield Continued: Walker - Thursday 18 July, 10.00 am - 1.00 pm
  7. Urban Trees: Heaton - Thursday 8 August, 10.00 am - 12.30 pm

Questions are welcome at any time by emailing

Please read the terms and conditions for NHSN education courses before booking.

Recommended Equipment:

A good field guide such as Collin's Guide to Wildflowers or Rose's Wildflower Key. A hand lens, if you have one, stout walking boots, and a good supply of snacks.

About the tutor:

James works as Senior Naturalist at NHSN. Outside of work, he is a passionate wildlife recorder with a focus on botany and invertebrates. As a botanist, he is a joint BSBI Vice-County Recorder for North Northumberland and an iRecord verifier for South Northumberland.