The club was founded in 1967 to give local people, who have a general interest in natural history, the opportunity of furthering and sharing their knowledge. It aspires to stimulate interest in the natural environment among members, with young people especially in mind. The club also acts as a hub for exchange of information relating to all areas of natural history, and it contributes to the county biological records.
The club has served its purpose well, providing illustrated talks, and field trips to areas of interest for natural history and conservation, both locally and further afield. We are fortunate to have among our members several experts in specific areas of natural history who are willing to share their knowledge at meetings in the winter and on summer field trips that they also often lead.
There are six winter indoor meetings in the Burgage Hall, held on the third Friday of the month at 7.30pm. There are around 11 outdoor meetings between April and October, mostly half days on Saturdays, but some evening outings mid-week, longer day trips and one weekend away. Examples of recent trips are to Highnam Wood to hear nightingales, moth trapping to the Malverns, measuring veteran trees and residential trips to Braunton Burrows, in North Devon, and Dungeness. A fungus foray signals the end of the summer programme.
There is a small conservation party which works at sites of special value in the area. Volunteers are always welcome to join in. Work is currently ongoing in Queens Wood Dymock to coppice overgrown glades and encourage a more diverse flora and fauna. This ancient woodland site is Forestry Commission land with public access. The work is helping to re-instate native woodland with open areas such as coppice coups, permanent clearings and natural boggy areas. There are now nature reserves at the site with wild daffodils, orchids and many unusual moths and invertebrates.
For the last 10 years a survey group has carried out an indepth survey of sites of interest near the town recording all the plants and animals throughout the year and has produced an annual report which has contributed to the biological records for the county and helped guide the management of the area. Sites surveyed have included, Frith Wood, Hope End Estate, Old Country Farm, Coneygree Wood and the Town Trail.