BATH NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY – Registered Charity No. 1107468
Welcome to our new Bath Nats website from the President Professor David Goode
Do come and join us in “Exploring Nature within and around Bath!”
Whether you are visiting this site as an onlooker, member or prospective member of our Society, we hope you will enjoy and be excited by the descriptions and illustrations of our diverse interests, activities and expertise. We are a relatively small Natural History Society, which relies on the enthusiasm, voluntary efforts and skills of its membership, so newcomers – of all ages and from all kinds of background are always very welcome.
We think that ‘natural history’ is important for everyone, not just a select few. The natural world is made up of many different kinds of animals and plants, and it takes all kinds of people to appreciate them, from different points of view and in different ways. So, if you find pleasure in exploring any aspect of nature, especially in the Bath area, perhaps you would like to join us as a really great way to share and learn more.
Since I came to live in Bath I have found that the city and its surroundings support a great variety of wildlife. Among my particular favorites are meadows full of orchids around the skyline walk; a huge colony of ivy mining bees that have recently colonized sandy banks near the Pavilion Restaurant in Victoria Park; a night time roost of up to 300 pied wagtails in the solitary tree in Southgate shopping centre; and perhaps best of all the pair of Peregrine Falcons that nest on the spire of St John’s church in the city centre. Unseen by many people, they are for me an important link with the natural world that can bring enjoyment, stimulation and a sense of wonder.
By joining in with us, you too might be surprised and inspired by the variety of life that can be found almost anywhere in and around Bath, with a little knowledge of where to look, how to look and what to look for. Over the past few years some of our members have regularly visited the tiny cemetery at Smallcombe to find out what lives there. The results have been astonishing. So far they’ve seen over 700 species including 55 kinds of moths, many other insects, over 44 common bird species, around 144 kinds of flowering plants including some quite rare species, and over 100 species of lichens. All this occurs within a short walk from the city centre. The canal too is rich in species. Around 15 dragonfly species can be seen along the towpath between Bath and Bradford on Avon. Kingfishers can frequently be seen and if you are lucky you might even see an otter on the canal or along the River Avon. Delightful mosses, liverworts, lichens and all manner of ‘creepy crawlies’ abound on and in our stone walls and in our local woodlands – not to mention fungi, a passion for some of our members. Fungal forays are remarkably popular. We are also discovering, by light trapping (and releasing), the wide range of moth species which inhabit Bath’s urban and sub-urban areas, including some of the strikingly beautiful hawk moths.
We are especially keen to work in partnership with other local educational groups and organizations who share our interest in and concern for the natural world, and to find ways of reaching out to members of the wider public, including young people and families. When you join us, you don’t just get a chance to attend our own varied programme of outdoor and indoor meetings, and receive our Magazine, Newsletter and other publications – you also get to know about what our partners and friends are doing and how to join in with them.
You are very welcome!
Objectives and Contribution
The main purpose of Bath Natural History Society, as described in our Constitution, is to study and enjoy all aspects of the natural world and to furnish detailed records of species distribution and numbers within the Bath area to the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC). These data are then available for access by a variety of agencies and can be used to assist in the development of a wildlife conservation strategy as well as being of value in determining the natural richness of sites when under consideration for development.
• Field trips – usually two or more per month.
• Indoor meetings – monthly from September through to April.
• Survey work – site visits to record specific wildlife groups.
• Members’ slides and social evenings.
• Education – providing lecturers to speak to external organisations.
• Wildlife identification.
• Meetings to enable the public to participate in Nats’ activities.
If this sounds interesting to you, come and join us!
Take a walk with BathNats
When it’s not possible to join a field trip, explore nature round Bath with a self-guided walk. Lucy Starling is your guide.
How To Join Bath Nats
A programme of our field trips is available to all members.
The annual subscription is as follows:
• Single membership…….. £8.00
• Family membership….. £12.00
• Student membership….. £4.00
You can download an application form to join us here
Admission for indoor meetings is £2 for members and £4 for visitors.
Admission to the social evening and to the AGM is free.
‘Study Groups’ (SGs) are intended to augment the main Field Programme by enabling members of the Society to enhance their knowledge and confidence in studying particular aspects of natural history and to encourage recording.
Their meetings are arranged and notified separately to their members by their respective leaders, as and when appropriate. Members who wish to join an SG are asked to contact the leader(s) of that group.
Current SGs are as follows: Moths (Paul Wilkins, Peter Shirley and Geoff Hiscocks); Biodiversity (Alan Feest and Alan Rayner).
Nature round Bath
Learn more about the natural history of Bath in the first of a series of studies, including extracts from the Bath Natural History Society Magazine.
Photograph above: Conifer Blueing Bracket (Postia caesia) © Helena Crouch Leaders Alan Rayner & Helena Crouch Four members met on a sunny but chilly autumn morning following a long warm dry spell ended by heavy rain in the 2-3 days previously. We were anxious...
Leader Tom Rogers The day began with persistent rain as six NATS members joined the leader on a walk of approximately 5 miles. We started walking back along the road towards Great Elm. After about 150 yds we left the road & entered the Wadbury valley to walk...
Leader David Goode Fourteen members and friends gathered in the car park at the Wildfowl and Wetland Centre on a rather overcast morning, where we were welcomed by the incessant note of a migrant chiffchaff and the distant call of a greenshank . We made our way...
Above: Greater Dodder (Cuscuta europaea) © David Hall Leader: Helena CrouchOn a scorching hot day, nine members met in a residential road near a large industrial estate at the edge of Bristol, to explore Eastwood Farm Local Nature Reserve. The reserve, a former dairy...
Leader Felicity Gilmour A day that had started bright and sunny turned overcast by the time 12 Nats members met at Bradford-on-Avon station. This had the fortunate advantage of bringing the Swifts down low, and screaming parties soared above us as we started our walk...
Leader Phillip Delve Black Dog is an extensive woodland, between Westbury and Frome, owned by the Longleat Estate and bisected by the A36 dual carriageway. From Black Dog Farm, where we left half our cars, 15 of us, sharing lifts in the other cars, transferred 400m...
Leader: Glen Maddison. Finally, after what seemed like months of cold, great, breezy conditions, the weather finally changed, and we were treated to a lovely, very warm though slightly breezy day. I met 6 others, at the base of Roundhill, and proceeded up the...
Leader: Lucy Starling Members joined the leader at Sapperton Church for a walk down through the fields to the Daneway Banks Reserve. The reserve is being managed to conserve the Large Blue butterfly, which had become extinct in this country. It was successfully...
Leader: Lucy Starling This was advertised to members in early May as an additional meeting following the rescheduling of my Ham Wall Bird Song field workshop (2) from Saturday 8 May to Friday 7 May due to adverse weather forecast for that weekend. As Carole C and I...
BathNats President David Goode wrote a guest column in the June 2021 issue of Bath Magazine in which he looks back at our modern-day connection with the environment, assesses how nature in recent years has become more centre stage, and explains why this is meaningful...
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BATH NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY
Registered Charity No. 1107468