How did the group start?
In March 2000 a group of 35 local people attended a meeting to discuss the foundation of an active Wildlife Group in the Alnwick area of Northumberland. There was strong support for the iniative and it was decided to form the Alnwick Wildlife Group (AWG).
Who is in AWG?
Many of the original 35 people still actively support AWG, but they have been joined by many more. Each year since 2000 we have had a membership of between 150 and 175. Most members are local residents but we do have members from far afield - as far even as Nova Scotia and New Zealand, as well as Newcastle! Influential larger groups such as the Natural History Society of Northumbria pay a membership fee each year and our newsletters contribute to their archive of journals. We also have close links with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT)
How are we organized?
Roger Manning was the founder leader and sponsor, but since his retirement in May of 2010 arrangements are being made to run the group by a committee. The first AGM was held at our September meeting that year when a constitution was adopted and a committee elected. Wherever, in this website the word WE is used it must be understood that it is a collective WE covering all the members.
What do we do?
We hold nine monthly indoor meetings from September to May. Each meeting has a speaker, usually supported by a slide show, although we have had several guests who have brought video presentations. The meetings are well attended, with our record so far being 100 at a talk about Red Squirrels.
We produce what we think is an interesting monthly newsletter.
We encourage all members and non members to send in wildlife sightings and records which we share with all members via the newsletter.
We have occasional field trips to give the opportunity to interested members and guests to visit familiar or new areas of our district, usually with the guidance of someone who has a good knowledge of the site visited.
We encourage a friendly, social environment for all who attend meetings and field trips. Indoor meetings always end with free refreshments and many people stay to discuss the talk and to chat.
What is in the Newsletter?
The main part of each newsletter is the summary of the previous months sightings sent in by members. You don't have to be any sort of expert to contribute interesting and useful information. We encourage people to report all sightings of interest - not just the rarities - and to include information on the whole range of living things, not just birds and plants. We hope that over a period of years the records of AWG members will provide valuable data on wildlife trends in our area that can be used by conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts.
It is planned to include in each issue:
A page of news with details of forthcoming meetings and field trips. Also brief reports on previous meetings and trips.
Details of sightings, during the last month, of birds, plants, mammals etc. etc.
Suggestions of what to look out for in the months ahead.
A list of contributors and any other details of interest.
We are keen whenever possible to encourage members to submit occasional or regular short articles for the newsletter in addition to their sightings reports.
Not everyone wants to get involved in wildlife projects. But some members do enjoy such activities and there are several projects which are in progress and to which new volunteers would be welcome. We are at present conducting several bird surveys and have previously carried out botanical surveys. For more details see the "Projects" page of this website We are always willing to consider suggestions for interesting work of this kind.
Alnwick Wildlife Group is sponsored by Mannings of Alnwick .