• Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society



Email: Bath NATS



Bath Natural History Society


Indoor Meetings Programme: October 2019 – April 2020 ********AGM - Saturday 4th January 2020****** 2pm for 2.15pm in the Elwin Room, at the BRLSI 
Including presentation by Josh Harris on Wildlife Photography Josh is a young wildlife photographer who has developed new techniques in under-water and bird photography which we are sure will provide great entertainment as well as some remarkable images.

Evening Meetings at the BRLSI. Doors open at 7 pm for 7.30 pm start

Monday 7th October 2019: David Goode: ‘The Ecology and Conservation of Bogs’

As the senior peatland officer with the Nature Conservancy Council, David was responsible for carrying out a review of peatland habitats throughout the UK leading to the designation and protection of numerous sites as National Nature Reserves or Sites of Special Scientific Interest. He describes some of the key ecological features of these rather special ecosystems and some of the problems encountered in ensuring their conservation, including the future of one of our greatest assets, the Flow Country, now proposed as a World Heritage Site.

Tuesday 5th November 2019: David Robertson and Stewart Owen: ‘The Bath Swifts Survey’

David and Stewart will not only talk about current progress with the RSPB survey of swifts breeding in Bath, but will also provide insights into the strange life history and habits of this remarkable species. Positive action to increase the number of nest sites by providing artificial nest boxes will be discussed, along with efforts to influence local planning policies to encourage swifts in new buildings.

Monday 2nd December 2019: Matthew Oates: ‘The Purple Emperor’

Matthew is one of our best known butterfly experts in the UK. Having worked with the National Trust for many years he is now writing a definitive work on perhaps our most dramatic butterfly, the Purple Emperor. What is its current status? Will the wilding project at Knepp provide the basis for future conservation policies?

We are in for a treat. 

Tuesday 4th February 2020: Ed Drewett: ‘Urban Peregrines’

Ed Drewitt is a professional naturalist who has been studying urban peregrines for over 20 years. He will provide an update on colonization of towns and cities together with details of adaptive behaviour that allows these birds to prosper in the urban environment. He is author of “Urban Peregrines” published in 2014, in which he drew heavily on his research on Peregrine Falcons in Bath.

Monday 2nd March 2020: Dr George Peterken: ‘The Cultural Ecology of Meadows’

George Peterken is one of our most respected ecologists in the UK. He was for many years Head of Woodland Ecology with the Nature Conservancy Council, and after retirement turned his attention to Meadows, publishing a book by that name in 2013. He has a wealth of knowledge on the cultural history and ecology of meadows which he will impart through some beautiful images.

Tuesday 7th April 2019: Dr Dan Field: ‘Evolution of Birds and Flight’

Dr Dan Field is a University Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge Birds are the most diverse group of terrestrial vertebrate animals, boasting nearly 11,000 living species. But how did this awe inspiring diversity arise? Dan will discuss recent advances in our understanding of how, where, and when birds arose, and will show how high resolution 3D imaging is changing our understanding of when key avian features, like the toothless beak, came to be. He will also discuss the origin of sophisticated powered flight, showing new evidence that it may have arisen later than has been conventionally assumed. 
Afternoon Workshops

Wednesday 13th November 2019: ‘Twig Life’

Alan Rayner and Rob Randall (United Reform Church, Grove St) 2-4 pm Attached and fallen twigs and small branches of trees are mini-ecosystems in themselves. They support fascinating communities of small plants, animals, fungi and lichens, which contribute in varied and sometimes surprising ways to the life and times of the trees and woodlands they inhabit. Autumn is a good time of year in which to familiarise ourselves with these communities. During this workshop Alan and Rob will show how to find and identify some of the organisms involved. You are also invited to bring some samples of your own to examine.

Saturday 18th January 2020: ‘Bog Life’

David Goode (Lonsdale Room, BRLSI, Queen’s Square) 2.00 for 2.15 pm start, finishing by 4.30 pm

The living skin of an actively growing bog is composed of a variety of bog mosses (Sphagnum species) each of which grows in a specific micro-habitat. You will learn how to recognise some of the commonest species of bog moss by their colour, structure and microscopic features. Examples will be available for examination by hand lens, or binocular microscope (provided). Bring a x20 lens if you have one. We shall also see some of the many life-forms that inhabit Sphagnum leaves, possibly including ‘water bears’.

Wednesday 11 March 2020: ‘Bird Song Identification’

Lucy Delve (United Reform Church, Grove St) 2-4pm Lucy is well known to many of our members for her advanced skill in listening out for and identifying bird calls and songs. In this workshop she will help us to develop this skill for ourselves, which can so much add to our enjoyment of the outdoors and enhance our wildlife recording activities. Please bring notebook and pen along with the field guide (if any) that you use for bird identification.


Indoor Meetings Programme: April – September 2016




Evening Meetings at the BRLSI. Doors open at 7 pm for 7.30 pm start



Tuesday 5 th April 2016 – Dr David Goode – Wildlife of the Camargue


David Goode, a member of the Society, will be known to many as an urban specialist, but here he returns to an earlier life as a wetland ecologist to tell us about the wonders of the Camargue based on a visit he made last year. Not just the famous black bulls and white horses but a wealth of birds, plants and insects that make this one of the most exciting nature reserves in Europe. His talk will be illustrated with photos of everything from little bitterns and lesser kestrels to great white egrets and a multitude of greater flamingos.


Tuesday 6 th September 2016 – Marion Rayner – The Natural History of Smallcombe Cemetery

Marion will present the results of biodiversity surveys made by members of Bath Nats at Smallcombe Cemetery, in support of the Heritage Lottery Funded Restoration project there.



Daytime Summer Workshop in The Percy Hall, United Reform Church, Grove Street from 2pm to 4pm


Tuesday 21 st June: Grasses: Rob Randall


Rob will guide us through the different genera of grasses and the parts used in their identification. Please bring fresh specimens and a hand lens at least 8x or 10x. Hubbard's 'Grasses' is the recommended field guide. This Penguin paperback is still in print and is often available in charity shops. The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland have recently published a more exhaustive field guide.


Weather permitting, following the workshop there will be an optional visit to Bathwick Meadows to see grasses in the field!


Bath Natural History Society - NATS

  • Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society