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Club draws attention to plastic marine pollution at Sandsend

Graham Oliver at Sandsend

Graham Oliver speaks to 'That's North Yorkshire TV' about the Sandsend plastic marine pollution [above].
Close up of some of the plastic filaments [below]

Close up of some of the plastic filaments

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 2018. Now in its sixth 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 2018. E-mail your entries to photocompetition2018 <at> whitbynaturalists.co.uk.

Forthcoming Events

Outdoor Meetings & Workshops Programme for 2018. Click here for full downloadable programme.

YNU VC62 Recording Meeting. Leader. Organized by the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union. Location. Sutton Bank. Meet at the National Park Visitor Centre [SE515831]. Date. Saturday 18 August 2018. Time. 10.00. Notes. Club Members welcome. Contact. YNU [www.ynu.org.uk].

Bat Walk. Leader. Wendy English. Location. Loftus. Meet in Loftus Market Place [NZ723183]. Date. Wednesday 5 September 2018. Time. 19.45. Notes. Bring a torch. The beck close to Loftus centre is used by bats, particularly Daubenton's. Cleveland Bat Group are loaning bat detectors, so everyone will have a chance to listen to bat calls. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Owl pellet analysis workshop. Leaders. Organized by the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. Location. Margrove Heritage Centre, Margrove Park [postcode TS123BZ]. Date. Thursday 6 September 2018. Time. 10.00-15.30. Notes. Club Members welcome. Booking is essential. Join Kenny Crooks, Mammal Officer, for an opportunity to learn how to dissect barn owl pellets. Owl pellets are the indigestible remains of the owl's food, which have been regurgitated. The pellets have all been collected in East Cleveland, so will provide us with lots of information about our small mammals and the regional barn owl diet. In this workshop, you will get the chance to learn a little about barn owls, have a go at dissecting pellets and identifying any remains that you find. No previous experience or knowledge is required. Attendees are asked to help with on-going barn owl pellet analysis as part of the Barn Owl Nest Box Network project. The event is free but lunch is not provided. Please bring a packed lunch. Places are limited (max. 10). The Nest Box Network Project is supported by funding from Northumbrian Water's Branch Out Scheme and National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Contact. Kenny Crooks [info<at>teeswildlife.org - Tel. 01287 636382].

Bioblitz. Leaders. Organized by CoCoast and the YNU. Location. Boggle Hole. Meet in the car park on Bridge Holm Lane [NZ952037]. Date. Sunday 9 September 2018. Time. 09.00. Notes. Club Members welcome. Contact. Jane Pottas [seashore<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Great British beach clean. Leaders. Organized in association with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Location. Saltwick Bay. Meet at top of path to beach [NZ915108]. Date. Sunday 16 September 2018. Time. 10.00. Notes. Limited parking. Bring protective gloves. All rubbish is analysed to inform marine conservation. Contacts. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Pebbles on the beach. Leader. Tony Kearsley. Location. Boggle Hole. Meet at Boggle Hole slipway [NZ955040]. Date. Thursday 27 September 2018. Time. 10.45. Notes. Explore the origins and journeys made by a sample of the pebbles found on the beach at Boggle Hole. Coffee in the YHA café afterwards. Contact. Wendy English [plants<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Rose coloured starling Pastor roseus on bird feeder

Rose coloured starling on bird feeder

Not the best of photos, but a record of this beautiful rare bird turning up for half an hour on a feeder in the Club Chairman's front garden, 30 May 2018 [photo David Minter].