Lunch. History talk. Helping out in the Dene. You know it makes sense!

Fancy spending a bit of time in the great outdoors? Then join us on our Community Volunteer Day on Sunday 19th January. Activities will include litter picking, path clearing and ivy removal. Afterwards we’ll stick around for a shared lunch, and a history talk, too! Activities will take place from 10.30 – 12pm, with lunch from 12 – 12.30, followed by the short history talk given by Volunteers Rangers who are passionate about the Dene.

Please contact the Visitor Centre for more information. Tel: 0191 2812082.

If you are not able to help with the clean-up tasks but would like to bring some food along for a shared lunch and stay for the history talk, please get in touch. All welcome. Under-18s must be accompanied.

Next stop, Hollywood!

Fifteen Jesmond Dene volunteers attended a free film-making course at the end of 2012 and produced two video shorts that were loaded to YouTube in March. The course, held over eight Sundays, was led by Andrew Coats and Michelle Fox of Duffel Films of Heaton. The budding film-makers had to pitch their ideas to each other before a secret ballot whittled down the concepts to the films that would be produced. The volunteers split into two groups to make the films. Dene Dog’s Day is an excursion into the Dene seen through the eyes of an excited dog. This Dene is a more arty production, using interviews with members of the public and featuring specially-commissioned music.

As well as being available on YouTube, the films can also be seen in the Millfield House visitor centre. The volunteers will be producing more films about Jesmond Dene thanks to the purchase of a video camera and a Mac laptop for editing. The equipment was purchased thanks to a contribution from the Friends of Jesmond Dene.

Wanna be the Simon King of Jesmond Dene?

BBC TV cameras are often down in the Dene filming the abundant flora and fauna, with the resulting footage appearing on programmes such as Springwatch. If you want to be the next Simon King, wildlife film maker extraordinaire, you ought to grab this chance of a free film-making course. Jesmond Dene ranger Michael Hancock has secured a limited number of places on a professional film making course and by the end of the course – with all equipment provided – you’ll have shot two, 5-minute films starring the wildlife of Jesmond Dene.

Alternatively the films could be about Jesmond Dene’s history, or today’s volunteering efforts, or anything really. The films will be shown on a loop in the visitor centre and will also be loaded to YouTube for the world to see.

The training will cover the theory of planning a film and conducting interviews (or recording wildlife sounds) as well as the technical aspects of using cameras, and editing. Taking place over ten days – on weekends – the courses will start in mid-October and will be hosted in the visitor centre. 8-10 places are up for grabs. The training will be conducted by Duffel Films of Heaton.

Tel: 0191 2812082


Introductory Weekend (2 days)
• Introduction to documentary film material
• Camera operation; automatic and manual settings
• Shots, sequences and composition
• Logging shots
• Directing and interview techniques
• Sound recording
• Basic introduction to editing with Final Cut

Pre-Production Weekend (2 days)
• Devising, and sharing ideas – considering a brief
• Scripting ideas
• Shot lists
• Equipment, logistics
• Scheduling
• Testing ideas

Filming (2 days filming carried out within a two-week period by each group)
• Filming of shots
• Recording sound
• Interviews where appropriate

Edit weekend (2 days) – rough edit
• Capturing and digitising footage
• Offline editing; construction of film on the timeline

Edit – finishing off (1 day)
• Sound balance (correcting levels)
• Colour grade (matching shots with each other and balancing colours)
• Adding credits and logos to the film
• Exporting finished film files for online platforms and DVDs