THE Wharfedale Naturalists Society (WNS) has just published its winter programme which includes a wide variety of meetings and events designed to appeal to every natural history interest.

The Society is now into its 72nd year having been founded in 1945. With a membership of some 450, WNS is understood to be one of the largest wholly voluntary natural history societies in the UK.

The aims of the Society are to promote an interest in natural history through recording activities and other measures, and to support nature conservation in Wharfedale including the provision of small grants to relevant projects. Throughout the UK, including Wharfedale, wildlife is in trouble and the Society is therefore determined to do its best to ‘make a difference’ however small.

The winter programme features bird outings, microscope evenings, a fungus foray and other one-off events. The mainstay of the season however is the programme of regular natural history-themed talks which take place at Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley on a twice-monthly evening basis between September and March. Topics scheduled for this winter include the RSPB Leighton Moss Bird Reserve, Wildlife of Antarctica, Climate Change, Yorkshire Coast Nature, Rewilding, Red Squirrels and Birds of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Ecuador.

Membership of WNS costs £12.50 per annum which gives ready access to some 50 free events through the year. The first evening meeting of the winter programme takes place on September 12 at 7.30pm at Christchurch and will feature a talk on ‘Back to the Future with Beavers in Britain’, by Rosie Holdsworth – an acknowledged expert on this topic. Visitors are welcome for a fee of £2.50 and full membership is available at the door. Information on future meetings will feature regularly in the Ilkley Gazette/Wharfedale Observer.

If you would like to know more please visit our website or ring Peter Riley, President, on 862916.