Saturday 18th May 2024 40th Anniversary Celebrations

On Saturday 38 members came together at Bamburgh Pavilion to celebrate 40 years since the club was founded by the now Honorary President, Graham Bell. We enjoyed a buffet lunch, photo show and a Neil Hinchliff quizz. A lot of chatting and reminiscing went on. The Club announced that from 2024 there would be an annual members photographic competition for the Graham Bell Trophy.


40 years ago today, January 31st 1984, the first meeting of people interested in forming the NNBC took place. The club is still going strong.

BTO Breeding Bird Surveys

There are 33 Breeding Bird Survey squares available for take up in Northumberland. Some are really up in the hills eg Kielderhead but others are in populated areas eg Widdrington. The survey takes place within a 1km square and involves walking across the square on 2 “paths”  500m apart to record the birds seen/heard. The surveying is done twice in the breeding season.

To see the squares and details of how to take part access the link here :     Breeding Bird Survey (3)

Phil Hanmer’s action packed story of his 40 mins. in a Spindlestone Hide

Forty minutes in a hide 2023

Bex Outram, Wildlife Warden for the Life Wader Project has written the report that can be accessed on the next line. Hover with the pointer and click.

2023 Northumberland Coast Ringed Plover Report

Link to Schedule 1 Birds and our responsibilities under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Schedule 1 for website

Breeding Bird Survey and Wetlands Bird Survey 2022

Breaking news!  Northumberland has been given 20 new BBS squares because of our wonderful surveyors’ success at covering over 85% of assigned sites in 2021.  Many of these are in easily accessible areas, and others in close proximity to another square which could be done consecutively.  There is now a chance to have visits to 142x1km squares.

If you’d like to take part, please register with BTO on the BBS website or contact Muriel Cadwallender at

Grid Ref is SW corner of 1km square

BBS Vacant Squares 2022

Grid Ref Approximate Location OS Map
NT7108 Deerlee Knowe 80 NEW Route needed
NT7405 Middle Shank nth of Catleugh 80 NEW Route needed
NT8017 Blackbrough Hill (Borders) 80 NEW Route needed
NT8617 White Knowe, Cocklaw (Borders) 80 NEW Route needed
NT9540 Heaton Moor nr Etal 75 NEW Route needed
NT9837 nr Routin Lin 75 NEW Route needed
NT9849 Unthank Square, West of Scremerston 75 NEW Route needed
NU0247 NE Cheswick 75 Mapped
NU0637 Buckton Moor 75 Mapped
NU0313 Eslington Park, West of Whittingham 81 NEW Route needed
NU0740 Fenwick Granary 75 NEW Route needed
NY6068 Snowden Close, NW Gilsland 86 NEW Route needed
NY6781 Whickhope Nick Kielder 80 Mapped
NY6799 nr Kielder Head 80 NEW Route needed
NY7298 steep ravine no tracks 80 uncoverable?
NY7398 Blakehope Nick East, Kielder 80 Rough Terrain
NY8091 Highgreen Manor, Tarset Burn 80 NEW Route needed
NY8293 Nether Houses, nr Rochester 80 NEW Route needed
NY9059 High Ardley, Hexhamshire 87 Mapped
NY9154 White Hall W of Slaley Forest 87 NEW Route needed
NZ0075 Mootlaw, E Hallington 87 NEW Route needed
NZ0154 Barley Hill Nth of Derwent 87 NEW Route needed
NZ0355 New Field, E of Minsteracres 87 NEW Route needed
NZ0567 Welton Farm, Near Whittle Dene 87 Mapped
NZ0577 Belsay Barns 87 NEW Route needed
NZ1270 Dissington Old Hall nr Medburn 88 NEW Route needed
NZ1593 Smallburn W of Longhorsley 81 NEW Route needed
NZ1698 Howdens SE of Felton 81 NEW Route needed
WBBS Vacant River Sections
Ref Only Stretch (negotiable)
NU0026 Wooler Water 74 NT995279 – NT997248
NY6086 Lewis Burn 86 NY631887-NY623874 or NY888927-NY900901



The BTO Breeding Bird Survey & Waterways Breeding Bird Survey

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common breeding birds. It is a national volunteer project aimed at keeping track of changes in the breeding populations of widespread bird species in the UK. Wild bird populations are an important indicator of the health of the countryside, and knowing to what extent bird populations are increasing or decreasing is fundamental to bird conservation.  WBBS extends the methodology of BBS to linear waterways.

BBS involves two early-morning visits through April, May and June to a randomly selected 1-km square to count all the birds seen or heard while walking two 1-km transects across the square. In WBBS, up to ten 500m units in a stretch may be covered.  Basic habitat details are required, with an option to record mammals. For those covering BBS with free time later in the season another visit can be made for a Butterfly Survey.

If you’d like to take part, please register with BTO on the BBS website or contact Muriel Cadwallender at

 If you have interesting sightings or feel that you could write a short article on a birding topic then please send the material to the NNBC email address :

The club’s Facebook site will also keep you up to date about local birding.

Natural England Lindisfarne Reserve

Would you like to help to keep an eye on some of the most sensitive of the breeding birds on the reserve this spring/early summer – a morning or afternoon a week?

The Little Terns and the Ringed Plover need your help.

Please get in touch with Andrew Craggs – Senior Warden for the reserve – for more information at