Inspiring Young Naturalists – A Living Tribute to Tony Tynan

Thanks to a generous donation, children from Newsham Primary School recently had the chance to experience nature at Gosforth Nature Reserve

Children from Newsham Primary School enjoyed a nature-filled day at Gosforth Nature Reserve, all made possible by a very generous donation in memory of Tony Tynan. Along with many other roles, Tony was a longstanding NHSN member, trustee and curator of the ‘Hancock Museum’.

Throughout the day, children spent time creating nature art, going on nature walks, playing meet the tree, bird spotting and enjoying delicious doughnuts.

I loved the bird spotting and trying to work out which birds we saw

Pupil, aged 7

Tony Tynan loved being outside as a child, which inspired his lifelong passion for local nature. Tony studied Botany, Zoology and Geology at Reading University and during his 30 years as curator at the Hancock Museum, inspired many in engaging educational displays.

In 1962, Tony founded the Northumberland and Durham Naturalist’s Trust with the help of other enthusiasts, which later became the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the Durham Wildlife Trust. He also promoted many coastal reserves and paved the way for creative wetland conservation at Druridge Bay after coal working had been terminated.

Tony Tynan’s inspiring enthusiasm and love for nature still flows through the North East and thanks to this wonderful legacy we can encourage young minds to develop this passion and connect with nature.

I loved the nature art because I got to use lots of different things to make a lovely picture

Pupil, aged 6

It wasn’t just the children who enjoyed their visit to Gosforth Nature Reserve, the teachers also had a great time.

We all had a really wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities. The rangers were so knowledgeable and enthusiastic, the children learnt so much from them and so did the teachers! It really is a beautiful setting, made even more special by the gorgeous autumn colours. Thank you so much for having us and for the incredibly yummy doughnuts!

Gemma Tetley, Class Teacher

Neil Jones, acting Headteacher shared:

‘On behalf of Newsham Primary, I would like to say thank you for the amazing experience you provided for our pupils. The children came back absolutely buzzing about their day and were inspired to support and discover more about the natural environment around school and their homes.’

He also mentions that the teachers were amazed at the activities, facilities and staff that were on hand for the day, also stating that:

‘We would have been delighted with this event had we paid for it, but the fact that this experience was paid for by a benefactor made it even more exceptional. On recent school visits, where we have asked for parental donations, we have not received enough money to cover the transport, let alone a visit. This has meant the school has had to significantly subsidise visits and reduce the number of events we are able to offer.’

A massive thank you to Tony Tynan and his family for making the Newsham Primary School trip to Gosforth Nature Reserve possible.  Continuing to inspire young naturalists feels like a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to North East nature and education.

Aimee Shovlar
Student Naturalist

Aimee is a Zoology student at the University of Cumbria. She is currently working at NHSN as a Student Naturalist.

She also runs a Hedgehog society at her university which is focused on making the campus Hedgehog friendly.