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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.


Membership Secretary Needed. Health problems have very unfortunately made it necessary for our very recently appointed Membership Secretary to resign. A volunteer is urgently sought from the Club's membership to fill this key position. Anyone willing to do this job should please contact the Club's Secretary as soon as possible.

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].

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.

Forthcoming Events

Outdoor Meetings & Workshops Programme for 2017. Click here for full downloadable programme.

Outdoor meeting. Bird song identification. Leader. Graham Oliver. Location. Scaling Dam. Meet in car park (Yacht Club end) [NZ740126]. Date. Wednesday 12 April 2017. Time. 09.00. Notes. Short level walk on the moor and through woodland, then viewing from bird hide. Binoculars useful. Contact. Graham Oliver [g.h.oliver<at>btinternet.com].

Outdoor meeting. Small mammal trapping. Leader. Bill Blake (National Trust Ranger). Location. Ravenscar. Meet Raven Hall Road [NZ980014]. Date. Saturday 22 April 2017. Time. 07.00. Notes. Bill will set live traps the night before, and we will observe the results. Contact. Jeremy Snape [mammals<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. Spring fungus foray. Leader. David Minter. Location. May Beck. Meet May Beck car park [NZ893024]. Date. Thursday 27 April 2017. Time. 10.00. Notes. Specimens will be examined with microscopes afterwards in Whitby. Booking essential. Contact. David Minter [fungi<at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Less Mobile Group. Grosmont. Leader. Mike Yates. Location. Grosmont. Arrange transport/pick up through Mike or Laura. Date. Tuesday 2 May 2017. Time. 14.00. Notes. Wild flowers and history of the village. A Less Mobile Group outing. Booking essential. Contact. Laura Smith [telephone number on printed programme] & Mike Yates [localhistory;at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. Pebbles on the beach. Leader. Tony Kearsley. Location. Robin Hood’s Bay. Meet at the Old Coastguard Station [NZ954048]. Date. Thursday 11 May 2017. Time. 10.30. Notes. Explore the origins and journeys made by pebbles found on the beach near Robin Hood’s Bay. Contact. Wendy English [plants;at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Workshop. Hoverflies. Leader. Joan Childs. Location. Whitby Museum, Pannett Park. Date. Tuesday 16 May 2017. Time. 10.00. Notes. Full day hoverfly workshop in Whitby Museum/Pannett Park with Joan Childs. A talk on hoverfly identification, followed by field work in Pannett Park. Tea and coffee will be available, but bring a packed lunch. Limited places. Booking essential. Contact. Alan Ritson [insects;at>whitbynaturalists.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. Natural history walk. Leader. Marian Brockway. Location. Falling Foss. Meet at Falling Foss car park [NZ889036]. Date. Sunday 21 May 2017. Time. 10.00. Notes. The walk will finish at the Tearoom. Contact. Marian Brockway [m.d.brockway;at>yahoo.co.uk].

Outdoor meeting. Turtle doves at dawn. Leaders. John McEachen & Graham Oliver. Location. Meeting point details to be circulated nearer the time, or contact John. Date. 24 May 2017. Time. To be announced. Notes. Listening for turtle doves and other species, followed by a visit to the Raptor Viewpoint. Contact. John McEachen [birds;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.