Issue 45

August 2013

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The Naturalists Field Trip 2013
Our annual ‘Field Trip’ took us to the beautiful Northumberland coast this year where we were blessed with the usual lovely weather which we have come to expect ! Some started the trip with a visit to Washington Wetland Reserve with a large selection of birds and lots of flowers while others visited the Alnwick Garden or The National Trust Garden at Wallington.

The next day we had calm waters for the boat trip to the Farne Islands. The first island we visited was Staple Island. The sea birds all had little chicks peeping out and we saw puffins aplenty, along with Guillemots, Shags and Razorbills plus a few grey seals .We then sailed on to the Inner Farne and were immediately attacked by the Arctic Terns who were guarding their chicks. We visited the little chapel of St. Cuthbert on the island and also watched a Rock Pipit visiting its nest. The Farne Islands are a real treat for anyone who likes birds as one can get so close to them.
The wide expanse of Druridge Bay was our venue the following morning where we visited a series of small reserves and wetland areas behind the dunes. During the afternoon small groups went off to do different things. One group took a geological walk along the coast just south of Craster to see where the Whin Sill was intruded into the local rocks.
Thursday saw us getting to Lindisfarne (Holy Island) before the tide cut us off from the mainland. Here we explored the dune systems and their flora and fauna before arriving at the village and spending some time enjoying the Castle, Priory  and having a walk along the shore.So much to see !






The last day was spent at Cragside near Rothbury, the home of Lord Armstrong renowned for his industrial empire and for building his own system of lakes and dams to create the first house in Britain to be lit by electricity – a fascinating place with beautiful grounds full of rhododendrons that were all in bloom.
We stayed just outside Alnwick in a most unusual and quirky hotel full of antiques. Many of the items of furniture had a price tag on them! It even had a cat to accompany us on walks across the field!

Diane Simpson
Anne Hopkins
186Puffin.JPG 162Shag.JPG