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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.


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.

Conservation work. Great British beach clean. Leader. Wendy English. Location. Saltwick Bay. Meet at top of path to beach (limited parking) [NZ915118]. Date. Sunday 17 September 2017. Time. 10.00. Notes. Conservation work, organized jointly with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. All rubbish is analysed, to get information for marine conservation. Bring protective gloves. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. Circular historic landscape walk. Leaders. Noël Barrett & Steve Hunneysett. Location. Meet at Mickleby Village Hall, 37 The Lane [NZ802130]. Date. Saturday 23 September 2017. Time. 13.00. Notes. Circular historic landscape walk from Mickleby to Ugthorpe. There will probably be a pub stop in Ugthorpe. Contact. Christiane Kroebel [archaeology<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. National Fungus Day foray. Leader. David Minter. Location. To be announced. Date. Sunday 8 October 2017. Time. 10.30. Notes. A gentle walk through mixed habitats, looking at autumn-fruiting fungi. Bring picnic and, if you have one, a hand-lens. Contact. David Minter [fungi<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Conservation work. Upgang Ravine. Leader. Wendy English. Location. To be announced. Date. To be announced. Time. To be announced. 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. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Workshop. Molecular techniques. Please note that this workshop has been postponed because of a delay in obtaining the necessary DNA amplification kits. When that problem has been resolved, a new date will be set for the workshop, and it will be advertized again on this website.

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].