Facebook link   Twitter link

  Login / Register / Forum guide

Buckthorn for Brimstones: a new Club project

Brimstone butterfly

The Club has a new project: Buckthorn for Brimstones.

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.

Photographic Competition 2019. Now in its seventh 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 2019. E-mail your entries to photocompetition_2019 <at> whitbynaturalists.co.uk.

Forthcoming Events

Workshops and Outdoor Activities Programme for 2019. Click here for full downloadable programme.

Mosses workshop. Leader. Alan Ritson. Location. Sleights Village Hall. Date. Saturday 13 April 2019. Time. 10.00. The morning will be spent in the small room at the back of Sleights Village Hall, with an introduction to mosses and studying samples. After lunch, we will foray for mosses around Sleights village. Notes. Tea & coffee available. Bring a packed lunch. Booking essential. £2 charge to cover cost of hall. Contact: Alan Ritson [insects<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Seashore. Leader. CoCoast/Yorkshire Naturalists' Union. Location. Boggle Hole. Meet in the car park on Bridge Holm Lane [NZ952037]. Date. Saturday 20 April 2019. Time. 09.30. Notes. An event organized by CoCoast/YNU. Club Members welcome. Contact. Jane Pottas [seashore<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Spring fungus foray. Leader. David Minter. Location. Private woodland near Grosmont. Date. Saturday 4 April 2019. Time. 10.00. Notes. Parking near woodland is very limited, so transport will be arranged after booking, when numbers of participants are known. Morning: foraying. Afternoon: optional study of collections using microscopes in Whitby. Booking essential. Contact. David Minter [fungi<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Less Mobile Group. The bard of Lealholm. Leader. Mike Yates. Location. Lealholm. Arrange transport/pick up through Laura or Mike. Date. Tuesday 7 May 2019. Time. 14.00. Notes. An outing in celebration of local poet, John Castillo (1792-1845). Contact. Laura Smith [telephone number on printed programme] & Mike Yates [telephone number on printed programme].

Bioblitz. Leaders. Wendy English, Graham Featherstone & Jeremy Snape. Location. Airy Hill School, Whitby [YO21 1PZ]. Dates. Friday 10 May and Saturday 11 May 2019. Times. To be announced. Notes. We will assist school teacher Paul Armstrong in a nocturnal survey on Friday evening for bats, small terrestrial mammals and moths, and daytime events on Saturday. This event will also be open for pupils of the school and their families. Contact. Wendy English [wendy.english<at>btopenworld.com].

Local history and bluebells. Leader. Marshall Best. Location. A walk of over 4 miles from Loftus Town Hall, through Loftus Woods to Middle Gill, where we will have a picnic lunch. Afternoon viewing the old mill ponds, finishing at Mill House, where Mr & Mrs Himsworth will tell us about the mill history, and show us the remaining wheel and machinery. Meet at Loftus Town Hall [NZ723183]. Date. Tuesday 14 May. Times. 10.30. Notes. Those wishing to view the mill only can join the party by being at Loftus Town Hall at 14.00. Free parking on North Road (opposite Post Office). Contact. Wendy English [wendy.english<at>btopenworld.com].

Wildlife survey. Leaders. Wendy English, Graham Featherstone, John McEachen & Jeremy Snape. Location. May Beck. Meet at May Beck car park [NZ892024] Dates. Friday 17 May and Saturday 18 May 2019. Times. To be announced. Notes. This is the Forestry Commission's centenary year, and the theme of their celebration is the "Big Forest Find". Our open event will include moth trapping, bat detecting, small mammal trapping and bird ringing in the evening and early morning with Club Recorders. Contact. Wendy English [wendy.english<at>btopenworld.com].

Seashore. Leader. CoCoast/Yorkshire Naturalists' Union. Location. Sandsend. Meet in the pay & display car park near Wiit's End [NZ860129]. Date. Sunday 19 May 2019. Time. 09.30. Notes. An event organized by CoCoast/YNU. Club Members welcome. Contact. Jane Pottas [seashore<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Nature up close workshop. Leaders. Various Club Members. Location. Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Grape Lane, Whitby. Date. Tuesday 28 May. Time. Drop in anytime from 11.00 to 16.00. Notes. A workshop for kids exploring how scientists on Captain Cook's expeditions might have seen nature with today's equipment. Organized jointly with the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Contact. David Minter [fungi<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Less Mobile Group. Flowers of Ellerburn Bank. Leader. Mike Yates. Location. Ellerburn Bank. Arrange transport/pick up through Laura or Mike. Date. Tuesday 4 June 2019. Time. 14.00. Contact. Laura Smith [telephone number on printed programme] & Mike Yates [telephone number on printed programme].

Plants and butterflies at Yatts. Leaders. Wendy English & Graham Featherstone. Location. Meet Ruddings Road [SE813886]. Date. Sunday 9 June 2019. Time. 11.00. Notes. A return to this flower-rich valley to catch the orchids and earlier butterflies. Contact. Wendy English [wendy.english<at>btopenworld.com].

Flowers and butterflies at Wharram Quarry, and Wharram Percy mediaeval village. Leader. Wendy English. Location. Morning: a visit to Wharram Quarry Nature Reserve (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust), a former limestone quarry well known for its butterflies and flora, including the Yorkshire broomrape. Afternoon: visit to the abandoned mediaeval village. Date. Thursday 13 June 2019. Time. 11.00. Booking essential to co-ordinate transport to and between sites. Contact. Wendy English [wendy.english<at>btopenworld.com].

Club social event. Organizer. Wendy Holliday. Location. Ruswarp. Parking area opposite the livestock market [NZ886088]. Wendy's house is 50 m up the road at Oakley Garth, Sneaton Lane, YO22 5HN, behind the National Park Sign. Date. Sunday 16 June 2019. Time. 14.00. Notes. Wendy Holliday invites Club Members and guests to view her garden, wildflower meadow and wildlife pond, and to enjoy cake and a cup of tea while raising Club funds. There will be a plant stall. Contact. Wendy Holliday [wendy-holliday<at>outlook.com].

Turtle doves and raptors in Broxa Forest. Leaders. John McEachen & Graham Oliver. Location. Meet Reasty Bank car park [SE965944]. Date. Tuesday 18 June 2019. Time. 07.00. Notes. A walk to listen for turtle doves, taking in Barns Cliff End, one of Mick Carroll's favourite raptor viewpoints. Contact. John McEachen [birds<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Small mammal trapping in Rosedale. Leader. Jeremy Snape. Location. To be announced. Dates. Wednesday 19 June and Thursday 20 June 2019. Times. To be announced. Notes. A precursor to the National Park Rosedale Wildlife Week (23-29 June). Contact. Jeremy Snape [jeremy_snape<at>hotmail.com].

Labeled lichens on the Chairman's car, 23 February 2019

Labeled lichens on the Chairmans car, 23 February 2019

When lichenologist Dr Rebecca Yahr came to speak at the Club,
the Chairman used the opportunity to get the lichens growing on his car identified.