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Kids exploring with a microscope at the Club's stand during birthday celebrations for the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough

Kids exploring with a microscope at the Club's stand during birthday celebrations for the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough

Kids exploring with a microscope at the Club's stand during birthday celebrations for the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough.

About the Club

Welcome to the homepage of the Whitby Naturalists' Club, which celebrated its centenary in 2013. The purposes of the Club are to study, promote interest in and conserve natural history, local history and archaeology, particularly in relation to the Whitby area. Membership is open to anyone with a genuine interest in these topics, and new members are very welcome [how to join]. Existing members range in skill and experience from interested beginners to specialists in their chosen field. Club Special Interest Groups cover amphibia & reptiles, archaeology, birds, freshwater fish, fungi, geology, insects (Lepidoptera), insects (other), local history, mammals, microbes & protists, other invertebrates, plants, sea & shore life, and weather. The Club has a President, Executive Officers and an Executive Committee appointed in accordance with its Rules (downloadable PDF file). It produces an annual report, maintains a library of books, maps, films and tapes, and organizes the following activities:


Environmental conservation. The Club's Conservation Subcommittee provides its focal point for issues relating to environmental conservation.


Exhibition of specimens. From time to time, the Club organizes displays at local village shows and similar events. For the Club's centenary, there was a display of artefacts and publications relating to the Club itself over the one hundred years of its existence, and a full-scale exhibition devoted to the Fungi. At the start of a new centenary for the Club, there are plans for another exhibition.


Field meetings and visits to places of interest. Field meetings and visits to places of interest are organized, often in connexion with themes of the lecture programme. Most field meetings occur in spring, summer and autumn.


Lectures. Between October and late February with a break in December, there is a programme of illustrated lectures every Saturday afternoon in the Normanby Room at the Whitby Museum in Pannett Park. Meetings start at 2.0 pm and normally finish at about 3.30 pm. Each Special Interest Group is covered, and lectures are given by members and external specialists. Visitors to these meetings are welcome (a contribution of £2 is invited).


Recording. The Club has an active programme of recording natural history, local history and archaeology, particularly of the Whitby area. Observations relating to these topics can be submitted to the relevant Special Interest Group [how to submit records]. Selected records are published in the Club's Annual Report. Recorders responsible for biological records collectively form the Recorders' Subcommittee.


Workshops. One- and two-day workshops are organized from time to time on a range of naturalist themes. Details of each workshop are posted on the Programme page at least 4 weeks prior to it taking place.

The Club is also affiliated to a range of other associations and societies. Information about those affiliations is shown on the Library page of this website.


Club Positions Vacant. The Club's Recorder for Microbes & Protists has stood down. The Club's Fungi Recorder is covering these groups until a replacement can be found. If you are interested in being Recorder for these organisms, please contact the Club's Secretary. The Club is still looking for a Press & Publicity Officer. Anyone willing to help should contact the Club's Secretary.

Club Comments on Raithwaite Planning Proposal. Scarborough Council invited comments on a planning application proposing the development of a holiday village at Raithwaite near Whitby. A large part of the proposed development would be on ancient woodland. The Chair of the Club's Conservation Subcommittee has submitted a document containing the Club's views on this proposal [view submission].

Photographic Competition 2017. Now in its fifth year. Two main prizes: for best photograph overall, and for best photograph by a Junior Member. Click here for the competition rules. The closing date is 31 December 2017. E-mail your entries to photocompetition2017 <at> whitbynaturalists.co.uk.

Forthcoming Events

Winter Programme for 2017-2018. Click here for full downloadable programme.

Lecture. Land of iron. Speaker: Tom Mutton (NYMNP). Saturday 21 October 2017.

Conservation work. Upgang Ravine. Leader. Wendy English. Location. Meet at the sea end of the ravine. Date. Thursday 26 October. Time. 10.00 a.m. Notes. Cutting and raking the grassland over the past 4 years has resulted in clear improvement of the special flora and insects of this bank.k. The results have been very rewarding, with the rarer species thriving, and plants such as early purple orchids appearing in the cleared margins. Please bring tools (rake, shears, pruners) and gardening gloves. Refreshments are also recommended. The bank is steep and uneven, so bring suitable footwear. Cars can be parked at the end of Upgang Lane [NZ883119] or brought into the Ravine using the access road by the golf course on Sandsend Road down the Cleveland Way. It would be useful to know if you plan to come, and what tools you can bring. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

No lecture on Goth Weekend. Please note, there will be no lecture on 28 October 2017 because of Goth Weekend.

Lecture. Dinosaur deaths, human disease and the risk management of cyanobacteria in our water resources. Speaker: Geoff Codd (University of Dundee). Saturday 4 November 2017.

Lecture. Education or entertainment? The role of Whitby Museum. Speaker: Roger Osborne (High Tide Publishing). Saturday 11 November 2017.

Lecture. The curious issue of the female dragon. Speaker: Malcolm Arnold (University of Hull). Saturday 18 November 2017.

Lecture. Our restless earth - faults and folds in the field. Speaker: Tim Burnhill (Whitby Naturalists). Saturday 25 November 2017.

Hyphomycetous fungus on cadaver of a harvestman

Hyphomycetous fungus on cadaver of a harvestman

There are many species of fungi which live on dead harvestmen and spiders, this one, not yet identified, was seen on 4 May 2017 in a garden storage area in Esk Terrace [photo David Minter].