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Page history last edited by Alex Finnegan 16 years, 10 months ago

Public Talks


On a sunny summers day the hustle and bustle of life in the city is reduced to the sound of the cars and lorries passing overhead on byker bridge.

the birds are singing and could that have been a Red Admiral butterfly that just flew past?


Well yes it could have been, the Ouseburn Valley has a broad variety of wildlife and if you would like to know more you can click here to download theOuseburn farm 2007 Butterflies butterfly summary.doc

(the file size of this word document is large at 1.5M, as this is a free-to-use service, this file will be removed when I need to free up some wiki memory, that is unless some generous patron upgrades this wiki for me)


Here is an extract

Fourteen species of butterfly were recorded, the same total number as last year. The 2007 total included one new species, the Small Tortoiseshell, a common and familiar butterfly of gardens.


Two new dragonflies were recorded. Single adults of the Southern Hawker and the Migrant Hawker were found hunting back and forth along the hedges and paths around the bridge, very typical behaviour of these species. Both are widespread species, travelling far from breeding sites, so it is likely that these were brief visitors to the Farm.


Thanks to Mike Jeffries, Division of Environmental Management, Northumbria University for allowing Ouseburn Interactive access to this report.





2007 Summer Walks


5th June: An introduction to the Lower Ouseburn Valley This part of Newcastle, ignored and forgotten until recently, has been claimed to be the cradle of the Industrial Revolution in North Eastern England. This circular walk will lead the visitor around some of the buildings, structures and open spaces that have contributed to the history of this remarkable part of Newcastle.


12th June: Public Art The rejuvenation of the valley has included the installation of a variety of pieces of public art. This walk will look at many of them, and attempt to explain their meaning and relevance. May include some uphill walking and steps.


19th June: St Dominic’s Priory Church Please meet at the main entrance to St Dominic’s Church on New Bridge Street. We will tour the Church and its cloister garden. The Dominicans first came to Newcastle in 1239, establishing Blackfriars Monastery. St Dominic’s Church was opened for worship in 1873 having been built on the site of Red Barns, an 18th century farm house.


26th June: Stepney Bank Stables and indoor riding arena An opportunity to visit what is both the last commercial stables still operating in the City and the first inner city riding project in the country. We will visit the stables where most of the horses are housed and the indoor arena where riding lessons take place.


3rd July: 36 Lime Street This building was built as a flax mill in 1848 by John Dobson who is more usually associated with stately homes than industrial sites. The building has had many uses over the years and is now home to several dozen artists and craftsmen, some of whom will open their studios and discuss their activities with us. We hope to also visit the new Theatre in the Round, an exciting new project in the Valley. Please note that we will be walking up and down several flights of stairs.


10th July: Jesmond Vale, Heaton and Armstrong Parks Please meet at the junction of Warwick Street and Newington Road. We will see the entrance to the Culvert, the remains of a mill, a windmill, King John’s Palace and “the Shoe Tree”. This walk will involve some steep and, possibly, slippery paths.


17th July: Nature Walk This walk was very popular when it was introduced last year. We will explore the unexpectedly rich and varied natural environment of the lower Ouseburn Valley which ranges from mud flats to meadows. In particular, we will look at some of the common plants and consider their uses including as food and medicines.


24th July: St Ann’s Church Please note that the tour begins in the churchyard of St Ann’s Church. Visitors are invited to explore the churchyard and identify the gravestones of various notable local industrialists laid to rest there, including the recently restored Crawhall tomb. Following this exploration we will have a guided tour of the Church which dates from 1768, replacing an earlier chapel. It is hoped that there will be an opportunity to see the re-discovered, and restored, WW1 Book of Honour.


31st July: Maling Pottery Although there have been a number of potteries in the Ouseburn valley, the company always associated with the area, and indeed Newcastle, is Maling. The pottery moved here from Sunderland in about 1815 and this walk visits the three sites that Maling occupied in the area. The walk finishes at what was claimed to be the largest pottery in the world when it was built and where many of the original buildings still stand. We will be invited into a studio occupied by a modern day potter where we will be able to see examples of items made and used by workers at Maling’s. The walk will be led by an acknowledged expert in Maling pottery. The studio visit involves climbing one flight of stairs.


7th August: Where have all the pubs gone? The 1st edition of the Ordnance Survey map of the lower Ouseburn Valley, surveyed in 1859, shows at least 38 public houses, serving the needs of residents and workers in the area. They were an important part of the social and recreational life of the valley as, indeed, they still are today. This walk will take us round the sites of some of them and, you never know, we might just finish up in one!



The walks are on mainly level ground except where stated, but are sometimes on public road so caution must be observed.

No charges are made for the walks although donations towards deferring the Group’s expenses are always welcome.

All walks take place on Tuesday evenings and begin at 7:00pm outside the Ship Inn except where noted.

Accompanied children are welcome, but parents or guardians must take responsibility for the safety of any children they bring with them.

Car parking is available in the arches under Byker Bridge and a dedicated parking area near the bottom of Stepney Bank.

This link is to the NewcastleGateshead walks PDF


There are several routes through the Valley, some more well known than others and if you are thinking "Why walk through the Ouseburn?"

Check Out these Photos, then come and see the original



You may have seen the walks brochure called “The Lower Ouseburn Valley and Jesmond Vale” which was produced as part of the “Exploring Hadrian’s Way” series of guides available from tourist information offices.


Lower Ouseburn Valley Walks PDF



The full link can be found at the bottom of this page



The Ouseburn Heritage group have several "Heritage Walks" which are a must, to get on their mailing list email




The self-contained nature of the valley lends itself to a number of interesting circular walks, so you can always return to your start point. The best place to begin your walk is outside the Ship Inn underneath Byker Bridge. There’s ample parking in the arches of the bridge and a new car park has been provided on Stepney Bank.


If you’re not a driver then you’ll want to know that the top of Stepney Bank is well served by buses, ask to be off at St Dominic’s which is just on the Newcastle end of Byker Bridge.


The Ouseburn Trust Heritage Group is drawing up a self-guide brochure to assist in this. We hope to have this ready by Summer 2006 – so watch this space for details.


The 2006 season of public walks and tours organised by the Ouseburn Heritage Group has now finished. Never fear, our season of public taks at the Cumberland begins on September 18th.


A number of people have been asking about Mike Greatbatch's River Ouseburn walks. Mike's now got a programme agreed and here it is.


Mike will be providing hand outs on the walks, so it will help him if he knows how many definite visitors to expect. Please give him a bell if you’re keen to come along on (0191) 275 5601


Please remember that you don’t need to come on all of the walks, you can pick the ones that you want. It’ll obviously help Mike if you can contact him in advance and let him know which ones you’ll be on so that he can ensure that he’s got enough copies of maps, document, photographs and such like. This doesn’t stop you just turning up to any of the walks.


Please add your favorite walks on this page

You will need to have the password to edit, either Email me with a section you would like to include or I can give you the password and you can do it yourself!


Moderator -Alex Finnegan metacypher@yahoo.co.uk


City Council guide


Ouseburn Valley Walks PDF

This is now online at http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/wwwfileroot/regen/plantrans/The_Lower_Ouseburn_Valley.pdf


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