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Tidal surge brings spectacular seas

Tidal surge brings spectacular seas

A strong tidal surge which flooded parts of the town also brought in huge waves which battered the piers.

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. First, 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 positions: Amphibians & Reptiles Recorder; Geology Recorder; Membership Secretary; 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.

Forthcoming Events

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

Lecture. Whitby between the wars. Speaker: Colin Wilkinson. Saturday 21 January 2017.

Lecture. Climate change and rocky shores. Speaker: Sue Hull (University of Hull). Saturday 28 January 2017.

AGM and judging of the Photographic Competition Saturday 4 February 2017.

Lecture. To be announced. Saturday 11 February 2017.

Lecture. Aspects of mammal recognition and recording. Speaker: Jeremy Snape (Whitby Naturalists). Saturday 18 February 2017.

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

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.