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Sycamore leaf gall in Danby

Sycamore leaf gall in Danby

Galls of the mite, Aceria cephaloneus, on leaves of sycamore, seen in Danby on 14 June 2017, but common throughout our area [photo David Minter].

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.


New Club Local History Recorder. Christiane Kroebel has very kindly agreed to become the Club's new Local History Recorder. She will combine that activity with her existing rôle as Archaeology Recorder. Thank you, Christiane!

Club Positions Vacant. 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

Outdoor Meetings & Workshops Programme for 2017. Click here for full downloadable programme.

Outdoor meeting. YNU VC62 Recording Meeting. Leaders. YNU. Location. Saltburn. Meet in the car park on Saltburn Bank [NZ668215]. Date. Saturday 22 July 2017. Time. See Notes. Notes. For further information, see the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union website [www.ynu.org.uk].

Less Mobile Group. Hinderwell. Leader. Mike Yates. Location. Hinderwell. Arrange transport/pick up through Mike or Laura. Date. Tuesday 25 July 2017. Time. 14.00. Notes. St Hilda's Well and Scarecrow Week. A Less Mobile Group outing. Booking essential. Contact. Laura Smith [telephone number on printed programme].

Pannet Day. Leader. Alan Ritson. Location. Pannet Park, Whitby. Date. Wednesday 26 July 2017. Time. 11.00. Notes. Family fun in Pannett Park, organized by Friends of Pannett Park. The Club will have a stand, and will run a quiz and a nature walk. Contact. Alan Ritson [insects<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. In the footsteps of artist J. Ulric Walmsley. Leaders. Jane Ellis & George Featherstone. Location. Meet in Robin Hood's Bay at the 'bus stop on Thorpe Lane [NZ951053]. Date. Saturday 29 July 2017. Time. 11.00. Notes. A circular walk from Robin Hood's Bay to Boggle Hole, taking in points where Ulric painted the landscape. The walk will include steep steps and a beach walk, so stout footware is advised. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. Butterflies, dragonflies and flowers at Scaling Dam. Leaders. Wendy English & Graham Featherstone. Location. Meet in the car park at the east end of Scaling Dam off the A171 [NZ755128]. Date. Sunday 6 August 2017. Time. 11.00. Notes. Northumbrian Water has granted access to a wildflower meadow and pond near the car park. We will explore this area and the reservoir margin. Bring a packed lunch, and stout footwear. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Young Naturalists Treasure Seekers. Leader. Wendy English. Location. Whitby Holiday Park, Saltwick Bay. Date. Wednesday 9 August 2017. Time. 10.30. Notes. A team challenge for Junior Members and their friends, with help from Whitby Naturalists. Follow clues and photograph treasures. Bring your smart 'phone or digital camera. Prizes. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Entry £1 each. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk]. Please help publicize the event by downloading and distributing flyers and posters.

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].