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Jane Ellis wins overall prize in Club's 2016 Photographic Competition

Jane Ellis wins overall prize in Club's 2016 Photographic Competition

The winning photograph, showing Members at the Club's Sphagnum workshop on 30 April 2016, taken by Jane Ellis.

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 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].

Amphibians & Reptiles Recorder Appointed. The Committee is delighted to welcome Harriet Wood as our new Amphibians & Reptiles Recorder.

Geology Recorder Appointed. The Committee is delighted to welcome Timothy Burnhill as our new Geology Recorder.

Club Position Vacant. Thanks to those who have come forward to fill several vacant positions within the Club. Volunteers are still sought from among the Club membership to fill the following position: Press & Publicity Officer. Anyone willing to help should contact the Club's Secretary.

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.

Congratulations to Daniel Hatchwell
junior prize winner in Club's 2016 Photographic Competition

Junior entry wins prize in Club's 2016 Photographic Competition

Daniel Hatchwell, who submitted the winning junior entry for the Club's 2016 Photographic Competition, receives his book-token prize and a handshake from Club Chairman, David Minter.

Forthcoming Events

Lecture Programme for 2016-2017. Click here for full downloadable programme.

Lecture. Fungal illustration. Speaker: David Minter (Whitby Naturalists). Saturday 25 February 2017.

Snowdrop walk. Leaders. Alan Ritson & Wendy English. Place. Mulgrave Woods. Date Sunday 26 February 2017. Please note that this event, previously planned for 22 March, has been rescheduled to 26 February because snowdrops are flowering very early this year. As Marian Brockway is unable to make the new date, Alan Ritson and Wendy English have kindly agreed to lead the meeting. Meet 10.10 a.m. at the Lodge [NZ855130, part way up Lythe Bank], where the walk begins. Getting there by 'bus: Arriva X4 'bus leaves Whitby 'bus station at 9.43 a.m. Get off in Lythe. Getting there by car: you can park in the Sandsend car park at the bottom of Lythe Bank [NZ860129, free at this time of year], and then take the Arriva X4 'bus from outside the car park at 9.53 a.m. up to Lythe. After alighting from the 'bus, walk down to the Lodge. The walk is all on good paths, with a few steps to negotiate, and will finish in Sandsend. In addition to enjoying the snowdrops, participants should, if possible, bring binoculars to view woodland birds. Alan Ritson will help to identify interesting trees encountered during the walk.

Annual Lunch. The Club's late winter social event. Organizer: Laura Smith. Venue: The Stables. Date Friday 3 March 2017. Tickets £20 available from Laura Smith at regular Club meetings. Laura has the menu and you can select your starters, main course and pudding when you buy your ticket. Donations of raffle prizes to Laura Smith.

Lecture. The jewel of York - conservation of the tansy beetle. Speaker: Geoff Oxford (University of York). Saturday 4 March 2017.

Keynote lecture. Insects on trees - harmless co-evolution or a one-way war? Speaker: Martin Speight (University of Oxford). Saturday 11 March 2017 [for the Keynote lecture, the Club invites those attending to donate £1 in addition to the normal suggested donation].