A Northumberland charity is holding a series of activities until December 2021 to mark its 50th anniversary.

Launched in 1971 from a Portakabin behind Newcastle’s Hancock Museum, the Northumberland Wildlife Trust is now one of the largest conservation charities in the region and has logged over one million volunteering hours.

The first event to mark the anniversary is on Thursday May 6. Northumberland Wildlife Trust – 50 and Fabulous will be held online and attendees able to find out more about wildlife in the region, how the trust is engaging with young people, and the Catch my Drift project. The one-and-a-half hour event will close with a question and answer session with Mike Pratt and Duncan Hutt, the Trust Director of Conservation.

During its 50 year history, the Trust has won nine awards. It has also played a key role in the compiling a list of rare and threatened species for the Red Data Book of Northumberland to form the basis of the Northumberland Biodiversity Action Plan, as well as successful projects such as Restoring Ratty to repopulate Kielder Water and Forest Park with water voles.

The charity counts opening the Hauxley Wildlife Discovery in 2017 as one of its biggest achievements, having transformed the former opencast site to an internationally recognised area for birds.

Mike Pratt, chief executive said: “As an organisation we have achieved so much over the past half century, helping wildlife in all its wonder and beauty, much of which wouldn’t have been achieved without the people who have funded, worked or volunteered tirelessly for us and with us.”

He continued: “There is still so much to do, and we must do even bigger and better things if our planet is to survive. Our aim is to spend the next 50 years continuing to be nature’s local voice but only louder and more forceful ensuring earth is wildlife rich for the future.”

The Wildlife Trust counts TV stars Bill Oddie OBE and Chris Packham OBE as its patrons, while its president Conrad Dickinson raised a black and white badger flag at the South Pole with none other than Prince Harry in 2013.