Membership is open to all who have an active and beneficial interest in birds, irrespective of age, ability or experience. The membership year runs from January to December:
- New members receive a members' pack giving detailed information on the Club and its activities;
- Members receive, on publication, a copy of the annual ornithological report, Birds in Durham, summarising the observations during the previous calendar year;
- Members receive, on publication, a copy of each issue of the Club's thrice-yearly magazine, The Lek;
- Publications from earlier years are available for purchase, often at reduced prices. Details may be found on the Publications page;
- The 1000-page avifauna, The Birds of Durham; edited by Keith Bowey and Mark Newsome, may be purchased by members at a reduced price;
- The Club is able, for a small charge, to supply keys to the Whitburn Observatory - one of the best coastal stations on the east coast of Britain to study sea-bird movements - and to the hide at Castle Lake, Bishop Middleham;
- The Club arranges field trips for its members to places of ornithological interest;
- The Club has an active conservation programme, and a group, the Shovelers, which carries out practical conservation work;
- The Club contributes responsible comment on local planning issues and liaises closely with local authorities and other bodies, including the RSPB, Natural England, Durham Wildlife Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology;
- The winter programme of indoor meetings is not currently active, but the attention of members is drawn to the programme in Durham City arranged by the RSPB Durham Local Group;
- Members may participate in local and national projects and surveys which increase ornithological knowledge in a systematic way whilst adding to the observer's own enjoyment and interest through a greater involvement;
- Junior membership is available to those aged 16 or under. Junior members are entitled to all of the usual Club services and activities as well as a reduced fare on our coach outings and trips. Parental permission should be obtained beforehand if you wish to attend any of these events;
- In most years the Club presents the George Wilson Award, named in honour of the late George Wilson, a long standing member and keen local patch worker, to a Club member (outside the Committee) who has made an outstanding contribution to the Club or has contributed significantly to bird conservation within the area between Tyne and Tees;
- The Club offers younger members (aged under 25) the opportunity to apply for the Fred Grey Award, named in honour of a founding member of the Club and its first Chairman. A maximum grant of £300 is available annually for any project designed to promote field work or habitat conservation between Tyne and Tees.
If you are 16 or under, or a student in full-time education and have joined us as a Junior Member, then we would like to take this opportunity especially to welcome you as a Club Member. As a Junior Member you are entitled to all of our usual club services and activities as well as a much reduced fare on our Club outings and trips. We ask you to get your parents' permission beforehand should you wish to attend any of these events. In the future we also hope to promote special events just for our Junior members. Look out for news in the thrice-yearly Lek magazine for which, incidentally, we would welcome any contributions, such as drawings, articles or even cartoons!
As a Junior Member you are also entitled to apply for a special grant from the Club should you wish to undertake any conservation work within the County. This is our Fred Grey Award. Please see below for more details and how to apply for funding. Please feel free to contact any Club Officer should you have any queries.
The Fred Grey Award
Named in honour of the late Fred Grey, who was one of the Club's founding members and its first Chairman, this award is only open to members under 25, and is designed to promote field work or habitat conservation within our area. A maximum grant of £300 is available each year and can be used for any project you have in mind, as long as it will directly benefit birds within our County. If, for instance, you have a tree planting or nest box scheme in mind, and would like financial help, drop us a line and tell us about your idea and we will consider your project. Each application must be properly costed and be supported by all relevant documents. The Award may also be given to a member in recognition of work carried out to aid bird conservation within our County. Approval of any award, in part or in full is at the discretion of the Club Committee.
The George Wilson Award
Named in honour of the late George Wilson, a long standing member and keen local patch worker, this award is presented to a member of the Club on an annual basis. It is recognition for a Club member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Club in that year or has contributed significantly to bird conservation within the County during the year. Approval of the award is at the discretion of the committee, who are themselves exempt from nomination.
Membership application/renewal forms may be downloaded from the links below this panel