Bath Natural History Society
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).
On a bitterly cold winter’s day, twenty members met to explore this small Local Nature Reserve in Twerton, which includes woodland, grassland and a small stretch of the Newton Brook and was designated in 2006 as an “urban fringe” LNR. After admiring the frosted...
The fossil cast of the dinosaur Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni provided an interesting backdrop and contrast of scale as we set up for our workshop on ‘Bryophyte Ecology’ which was attended by 20 Bath Nats members and visitors. For this workshop we started with the premise...
We gathered above Pulteney Weir on an unseasonably mild morning for a stroll around the southern margins of the city. By the time we set off there were twenty-three of us and soon we were all clustered around a tree beside the riverside walk whose trunk was covered in...
Fifteen of us, including one non-member, gathered on a very windy but sunny morning in the RSPB reserve of Greylake car park off the A371. We were surrounded at one point by a very large flock of Lapwing and Golden Plover, clearly disturbed by a bird of prey. It was...
A group of 17 of us gathered in the car park of the American Museum on a brilliantly sunny, mild morning, and were met by the Head Gardener, Andrew Cannell, who provided us with some helpful background information and advice. Most of us, apart from a small group of...
On the brilliantly bright and crisp morning of Wednesday 31st October a group of around 17 members met in the classroom at Friary, Hinton Charterhouse, by kind invitation of Penny and Richard Williamson, and were treated first of all to coffee and biscuits while...
A group of four revisited Primrose Hill to repeat the biodiversity measurements begun in 2012. It was an autumn day after a dry summer which will have not helped the growth of our target organisms. There were many visitors to the site (plus dogs). We found that there...
A group of nine of us gathered under the magnificent veteran oak trees outside East Woodlands Church on a morning that began coolly but became increasingly warm and sunny towards lunchtime. As in 2017, and despite the hot, dry early-mid-Summer weather, we had...
Leader: Lucy Delve Eleven members gathered in the Caen Hill Locks car park in glorious sunshine; the leader had high hopes of finding Scarce Chaser dragonflies, and lots more besides. The first dragonfly species seen was a male Emperor hawking over and the side pound...
Expectations were high in the weeks leading up to this trip to the chalk hillside of Pewsey, as the trip last spring was awesome....but as 15 of us assembled in the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust car park at the base of the Downs, we were not too confident of a good day!...
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BATH NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY
Registered Charity No. 1107468