Forthcoming Meetings

IWNHAS meeting

IWNHAS meeting

Welcome to our Autumn/Winter programme – September 2019 to February 2020

All members are very welcome to join any Section meeting. If you wish to become a regular participant in any Section, please give your name and contact details to the Section Leader, who could then inform you of any activities which do not appear in the published programme. In the event of bad weather, please check with the Section Leader before setting out. See your printed programme for section leaders’ names and telephone numbers.

Visitors are welcome to attend up to 2 meetings in a year and are requested to introduce themselves to the leader at the start of the meeting. We hope that this will encourage them to join us. There may be a few meetings that have to be restricted to members only, for various reasons. This will be indicated in the programme.

Health & Safety advice:

On outdoor activities, please wear stout waterproof footwear, and clothing that protects against scratches and bruises.
Everyone who takes part in our activities does so at their own risk.


Important Announcements


PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE  before attending any meeting listed in the printed programme, as meetings may have to be cancelled or postponed, due to bad weather, illness or other unforeseen circumstances. Section Leaders will do their best to update the website, but in the event of a severe weather forecast, widespread flooding, etc., you are also advised to telephone the Leader of each meeting on the day, before you set out, to find out whether the meeting is to be held, postponed or cancelled.



The Archaeology Group meets informally on most Wednesday mornings, details of meeting times and venues are available on the website . For those who do not have access to the Web, and wish to join in these activities, please contact Delian, Tel 853292.



August – Dates to be arranged

Rare plant monitoring. The botany group monitors the populations of various rare plants and the dates selected for these visits depend on the season. If you would like to help, please register your interest with Anne Marston, Tel 527857.

Looking at the Countryside

Saturday 3 August at 10.00 hrs

Meet outside Gatcombe Church SZ494852. Some steep climbs with information about the History, Archaeology and Geology of the area. About 4 Miles. Leader: Steve Hutt, Tel 840237.


Saturday 17 August at 09.30 hrs

Mottistone Down – Meet at the National Trust Jubilee car park at the top of Lynch Lane SZ 420845 for a walk on the down to the Longstone and return up Strawberry Lane to the car park. There should be returning migrants. Leader: Jackie Hart, Tel 612677.


Saturday 17 August at 13.00 hrs

Rew Down – a chance to record species on this steeply sloping downland reserve, managed by Gift to Nature. Some parking in Steephill Down Road, but be careful not to obstruct entrances to property. Meet at west end of road SZ 554776. Leader: Richard Smout, Tel 527477.


Calling Geological Section Members and other interested parties. Could anyone who collected clay samples for pottery, please let me have locality and name of bed (e.g. Atherfield clay). Our venue for making pots or whatever is to be at Dinosaur Isle, time and date to be advised. Steve Hutt, Tel 840237.

Wolverton Manor Garden Fair

Saturday 31 August & Sunday 1 September

10.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs

Wolverton Manor Garden Fair, Shorwell. We will be exhibiting at the Fair on both days. Please come and say hello to our volunteers at our stand and view our displays.


Looking at the Countryside

Wednesday 4 September at 10.00 hrs

Compton Bay. Meet at National Trust car park (charges apply to non-members) SZ370851. A walk along the coast and up along downland ridge, returning via Compton Farm. Fine views, butterflies, birdlife and flowers. A repeat of last year’s walk which was poorly attended due to bad weather. Leader: Colin Pope, Tel 611591.


Saturday 7 September at 14.00 hrs

Shide Chalk Pit. A meeting to record the autumn chalk grassland flora of this site which is both SSSI and Local Nature Reserve. Please bring identification book, pencil and hand lens if you have one. Park at Gift to Nature office SZ504882 which is accessed from Shide Road behind National Tyres depot, but please do not arrive before 13.45 hrs as the gate has to be opened. If travelling by bus, Southern Vectis routes 2 and 3 stop near the junction of Shide Rd and St George’s Way. If you intend to walk directly to the chalk pit, the entrance is at SZ506883 on Burnt House Lane.

General Meeting

Saturday 14 September at 14.00 hrs

West Medina Mills. A visit to the “Mummies’ Caves” archaeological excavations, the subject of a fascinating talk by Dr Ruth Waller, consultant archaeologist, to our society last March. Come and see what the team of volunteers, led by Ruth, uncovered last year at the former cement works. Park at the roadside at the end of Stag Lane, off Horsebridge Hill. The site is just to the right of the Vestas factory, with its own entrance gate. SZ503917.


Saturday 21 September 13:00 hrs

Castle Copse in East Cowes SZ506957 which is a Gift to Nature site. Park in Sylvan Avenue. Leader: Selena Bone, Tel 298073.


Saturday 28 September at 09.30 hrs

Newtown. Meet at the National Trust visitor centre car park SZ424905 for a walk in the area. Small parking fee applies. We should see gulls, waders, ducks and geese. Leader: Nicky Falconar (Jackie Hart, Tel 612677).


Saturday 28 September at 14.00 hrs

Golden Hill Country Park. Our annual meeting to look for galls and leaf miners on the Gift to Nature site at Golden Hill Country Park, under the guidance of Dr David Biggs. No experience needed, just sharp eyes and curiosity. Enter from main road at SZ337882 and follow track to car parking at SZ337879.

Fungus Foray

Sunday 29 September at 10.00 hrs

Firestone Copse. Meet in the main car park off Firestone Copse Road SZ558910. Leader: Jackie Hart, Tel: 612677.


Fungus Foray

Sunday 6 October at 10.00 hrs

Parkhurst Forest. Turn off Forest Road for main car park at SZ479900. Leader: Colin Pope, Tel 611591.


Saturday 12 October at 09.30 hrs

West High Down. Meet at the National Trust Chalk Pit car park above the High Down Inn, Totland SZ324855 for a downland walk. Some stiles and steep in places. Migrants. Leader: Jackie Hart, Tel 612677.


Saturday 12 October at 14.00 hrs

Churchill’s Farm: From the Bronze Age to the Early Medieval. An interim report on the results from the work of the Archaeology Group at Churchill’s. David Marshall will discuss initial findings and possible interpretations and will place this significant site within a wider island context. Venue: St. Lawrence Village Hall.


Sunday 13 October 13:00 hrs

Whippingham. A walk along the cycle path SZ524914. Park in the road by the Crematorium. Leader: Selena Bone, Tel 298073.

Looking At The Countryside

Wednesday 16 October at 10.00 hrs

Golden Hill Fort Nature Reserve, SZ337879. Meet in the main car park in front of the Fort, where the Gift to Nature Warden, Nick Webb, will give us a brief talk about the work that has been carried out, followed by a guided tour or the option to wander about by ourselves. Leader: Nick Webb, Tel 201564.

General Meeting

Annual Fungus Foray

Saturday 19 October from 10.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs

This year’s annual foray will be in the grounds of Osborne House, with Alan Outen, our regular visiting fungal expert. The grounds have proved to be very productive in the past. Park at the visitor car park at Osborne House. We need to gather at the entrance to the Reception building for 10.00 hrs where we will be met by the manager who will welcome us and ensure we can enter the grounds free of charge as a group. If you arrive late it may not be possible to get in without paying. We hope to be joined by some members of the Hampshire Fungus Recording Group.


Fungus Foray

Saturday 2 November at 10.00 hrs

Jersey Camp, Porchfield. A visit to the Newtown Ranges to explore Lock’s Copse. Turn west off Locks Green at SZ444907 by the sign for Jersey Camp and then turn right and park near the Range office. Leader: David Biggs, Tel 292595.

Inaugural Centenary Meeting

Friday 8 November from 19.00 hrs to 21.00 hrs

Celebrate one hundred years since the Society was established by spending a pleasant evening at Caffe Isola and hear about some of the early luminaries who ensured our Society would get off to a good start. For details, including how to obtain (free) tickets, please see the Bulletin. Venue: Caffe Isola, 85A St James Street, Newport, PO30 1LG, SZ499889.

Fungus Foray

Saturday 9 November at 10.00 hrs

Golden Hill Country Park. Our first visit to this site to look for fungi. Golden Hill celebrates 50 years as a Country Park next year. Park in gravel car park through the industrial estate from the Colwell Road, near entrance to the fort SZ338878. Leader: Colin Pope, Tel 611591.

Looking At The Countryside

Thursday 14 November at 10.30 hrs

Arreton Down. Meet by the White Lion pub, park in the village car park, SZ534867. A walk to enjoy the landscapes of the eastern chalk ridges of the IW, and observations on landscape and land use changes over the centuries. A steep climb at the start. Leader: Richard Grogan, Tel 823855.


Sunday 17 November at 09.30 hrs

Yarmouth. Meet at the beginning of the cycle path in Thorley Road SZ363895 for a walk in the area. We should see ducks, geese, gulls and waders. Leader: Jim Baldwin, Tel 721137.


Saturday 23 November at 14.00 hrs

New Venue – Dinosaur Isle, Sandown. A talk by Paul Bingham on aspects of mammalian histology (study of body tissue under the microscope) will be followed by a discussion about mobile phone cameras and their potential for Natural History and Archaeology. Attendees will be invited to circulate around a number of microscopes and observe such features as white blood cell nuclei, Hassall’s corpuscles, and kidney glomeruli (demonstrators will be on hand). Please bring your mobile phone if you have one as there will be a competition for the best photographs taken on the day through one of the microscopes on display. Leader: Paul Bingham, Tel 526049.

Fungus Foray

Sunday 24 November at 10.00 hrs

Ryde Cemetery. The cemetery grasslands can be good for grassland fungi if conditions are right. Meet at the entrance to Ryde Cemetery off West Street, Ryde SZ589920. Parking in nearby streets. Leader: Jackie Hart, Tel 612677.

Open Exhibition 2019 ‘A Life in Nature’

Saturday 30 November to 1 February

Quay Arts Biennial Open Exhibition 2019 celebrates wildlife and geology and includes specially curated objects and artefacts from our Society, celebrating 100 years, and innovative bio-engineers Artecology. More information available using the following link Drop in anytime to look at the display of artwork and artefacts. Venue: Quay Arts, 15 Sea Street, Newport, PO30 5BD, SZ501894.


Saturday 30 November at 14.00 hrs

The Viking Spirit: an Introduction to Norse Myth and Religion. An illustrated talk by Alan Phillips on Norse beliefs, practices and deities, featuring the berserk warriors, the nine worlds, temple rituals and ship burials. Venue: St. Lawrence Village Hall.


Looking At The Countryside

Friday 6 December at 10.30 hrs

Newport Quay SZ502893. A shortened version of last year’s walk including some local history, followed by soup and a roll and a quiz at Quay Arts Centre. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Some members may wish to join us just for the lunch, if so meet at the Quay Art Centre at 12.00 noon. Leader: Mary Edmunds, Tel 532055.


Saturday 7 December at 09.30 hrs

Seaview. Meet at the west end of Bluett Avenue SZ626917 for a walk in the area. We should see divers, ducks, grebes and gulls. Leader: Jackie Hart, Tel 612677.

General Meeting

Saturday 14 December from 14.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs

Debbie Tann, CEO Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will talk about the HIWWT Wilder Project, a Wildlife Trust project to put wildlife back on the map and set up Nature Recovery Networks to protect existing wildlife sites and map out where wildlife ought to be. A copy of a discussion paper can be downloaded at . Venue: Arreton Community Centre, SZ536865.


Late December/early January

New Year Plant Hunt. In the last few years, British and Irish plant-hunters have been encouraged to get out over the holiday in their local area and record which wild or naturalised plants are in flower over the New Year. The survey is a three-hour period over the New Year; the precise date period will be announced by the BSBI on their website in December – so choose your own location and time or watch the IWNHAS website for details of the botany group combined expedition nearer the time.


New Year Party

Saturday 11 January from 14.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs

An informal meeting. Watch or take part in party games and a quiz. After an ‘American’ buffet tea there will be a session of voluntary barn dances to tape music, with the President as caller. For the buffet, pizza slices will be provided. Other food contributions are most welcome. Venue: Arreton Community Centre, SZ536865.

Looking At The Countryside

Wednesday 15 January at 10.00 hrs

Godshill. Meet at the car park SZ530817 for a repeat of last January’s walk, when it poured with rain. Four miles, countryside, local history, some archaeology. Could be muddy, some stiles. Leader: Jill Green, Tel 863763 or 07876291385.


Saturday 18 January at 10.00 hrs

Identifying trees and shrubs from their twigs. Identification of native trees and shrubs in Millennium Wood on the edge of Seaclose playing fields and the opportunity to look at the trees in Seaclose Arboretum. Meet in the car park near the tennis courts at Seaclose Park, SZ505899.


Sunday 19 January at 09.30 hrs

Binfield to the Folly. Park in the car park by the Marina on east bank of River Medina SZ511919, for a walk along the river bank to the Folly and then return. We should see waders, ducks and geese. Leader: David Biggs, Tel 292595.


Saturday 25 January at 14.00 hrs

The Anglo-Saxon Runes. A presentation by Alan Phillips looking at Runic symbols and their meanings in the context of the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Icelandic rune poems. A follow-up to the talk on Norse myth in November. Venue: St. Lawrence Village Hall.


Recorders’ Conference

Saturday 1 February 14.00 hrs – 16.30 hrs

Once again our popular Recorders’ Conference will be held at Arreton Community Centre SZ536865 and is open to everyone with an interest in recording wildlife on the Island. There will be a variety of interesting presentations and an opportunity to catch up with fellow enthusiasts over tea and cake during the interval. Parking at the hall; there is additional parking at the primary school across the road. The programme will be on the website and sent round to members nearer the time.


Saturday 8 February 13.30 hrs – 15.45 hours

Indoor Meeting. Our annual indoor meeting is at Arreton Community Centre (please note change of venue), reviewing last year’s finds and monitoring projects and looking at plans for the coming recording season. Please bring photographs or pressed specimens of unusual plants for the exhibition during the tea interval.

Looking At The Countryside

Tuesday 11 February at 10.00 hrs

Appley, Puckpool and Springvale. Meet at Appley car park Ryde, SZ606923. A stroll through the parkland & coastline of East Ryde, enjoying the evidence of villas and other residences, and their legacy in terms of schools, parkland and open spaces. Leader: Richard Smout, Tel 527477.


Saturday 15 February at 10.00 hrs

Wood Calamint lay-by clearance. Come and enjoy good company while assisting with the conservation of one of the Island’s specialities. Gardening gloves and hand tools would be useful. Meet along Rowridge Lane; further details at indoor meeting. Parking is limited so please arrange to share vehicles if possible.


Saturday 15 February at 14.00 hrs

The Bronze Age. A continuation of the “In the Beginning” series of Archaeological talks by Delian Backhouse-Fry covering the last 900,000 years of human occupation of these Isles. Venue : St. Lawrence Village Hall.

General Meeting

Saturday 22 February at 14.00 hrs

More Than Catherine. The role of women in the early years of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society. With the notable exception of Catherine Morey, the early years of the Society can seem to be dominated by men. Does a closer analysis of the Society’s early years, using sources such as the Proceedings, confirm this? Who were some of the early female members and what do we know about their contribution to the growth of the organisation? This talk focusses on those who became members during the lifetime of Catherine Morey, in the years up to 1943. Speaker: Richard Smout. Venue: Arreton Community Centre, SZ536865.


Saturday 29 February at 09.30 hrs

Shalfleet. Meet in the lay-by by the church SZ413893, for a walk to the Quay. We should see waders, ducks, geese and finches. Leader: Jim Baldwin, Tel 721137.


(Subject to change)


Looking At The Countryside

Tuesday 10 March at 10.30 hrs

St Catherine’s Down. Meet at Blackgang Viewpoint car park SZ491767. A walk around St. Catherine’s Down and the ‘wide combe’ of Wydcombe valley, looking at landscape and management features both historic and natural. Steep in parts, may be muddy. Leader: Tony Tutton, Tel 0799915853.

General Meeting

Saturday 14 March at 14.00 hrs

Hedgehogs. Everything you want to know about these fascinating animals, a talk by Save Our Hedgehogs Isle of Wight. Find out where to find them on the Island and what you can do to help protect them. Squirrels – Return of the Reds, a progress report on their welfare from the Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust. Venue: Arreton Community Centre.


Sunday 15 March at 09.30 hrs

St Helen’s. Meet near the letter box by Selwyn Court in Latimer Road (you should be able to park in the road) SZ630888. We will be walking in the vicinity of Bembridge Harbour and should see waders, ducks and gulls. Leader: Toni Goodley, Tel 652702.


Saturday 21 March at 10.00 hrs

Ryde Canoe Lake. We hope to find a good range of attractive but small early flowering sand dune plants and some showy naturalised bulbs. Meet at western end of canoe lake SZ600927. Parking in nearby streets.


Saturday 21 March at 14.00 hrs

The Iron Age: a talk by Delian Backhouse Fry. Venue: St. Lawrence Village Hall.


Saturday 28 March 13.45 hrs for 14.00 hrs start

All our members are invited to attend the AGM to hear about the Society’s activities and finances during the past year and to vote for our officers and committees. We look forward to meeting you and having a chat, and we will try to answer any questions. Contributions of sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, crisps, nuts, fruit etc. for the buffet tea would be much appreciated. Venue: Arreton Community Centre SZ536865.



April / May: date to be arranged

A day visit to Hengistbury Head and The Red House Museum, Christchurch. To be kept informed of plans for this please contact Helen Jackson, e-mail

Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society.

100th Anniversary Conference

Saturday 4 April

Environmental Change on the Isle of Wight; Past, Present and Future. Venue: Riverside Centre, Newport.

Full details of this meeting and other meetings to celebrate our 100th year will be in our next programme. They include: a joint meeting with the Historical Association on Wednesday 27 May, a trip to the Natural History Museum London on Wednesday 3 June, a joint meeting with the Hampshire Field Club on Saturday 26 September and a closing dinner at the Isle of Wight College on Friday 6 November