Celebrations & Events


Picture: Keith Marston

‘Environmental Change on the Isle of Wight: past, present & future’

A big thank you to everybody that has tuned-into any of our special Centenary conference webinars over the past couple of weeks, and of course to our brilliant speakers.

We had a fantastic numbers, far exceeding our expectations and far greater than if the conference had actually gone ahead as planned last year!

With no less than 13 speakers over the 4 nights; 6 of those Keynote speakers supported by local experts – many of which were members of the IW Natural History & Archaeological Society – there was something for everyone exploring topics such as climate change, habitats, species, geology, underwater archaeology and much, much more.

All 4 webinars have now been uploaded to our new You Tube Channel here and we’re also busy obtaining answers to any questions that were unanswered during the live sessions due to time constraints – more details coming soon.

Thanks so much for making it such a memorable birthday celebration and for you interest in the work of the IW Natural History & Archaeological Society!

Climatic Change: Past, Present and Future – Monday 29th March 2021

Species Invasions: history and horizon scanning – Wednesday 31st March 2021

Habitats & Species 1 – Monday 5th April 2021

Habitats & Species 2 – Wednesday 7th April 2021

The provisional programme can be viewed here

Speakers’ abstracts are available here


‘A Life in Nature’ – The Society Supports the Quay Arts Open Biennial


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The Society recently took part in the Quay Arts Open Biennial exhibition ‘A Life in Nature’ – showcasing artwork by 40 Artists and exhibiting specially commissioned artwork, specimens and artefacts with Natural History links.

The selected pieces on show were representative of The Society’s activities over the 100 years to the present describing how we used to work, collect and catalogue and methods of recording now and how that data is used.

Specimens were  loaned from Cothey Stores where Heritage Services, IW Council are custodians of some of The Society’s historic specimens. Also on display was an exquisite watercolour sketch of birds’ eggs. This is item of ‘Darwinalia’ with an Island connection is currently thought to be the only surviving example from the original suite of paintings made by Harriet Darwin-Fox. The sketch was kindly loaned from Carisbrooke Castle Museum.

Also for the exhibition, RHS Botanical Artist and Island Resident – Vanda Anderson created a stunning watercolour painting of our special plant Wood Calamint and gifted it to The Society for our Centenary.


Centenary Launch celebrates the founding of our Society


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Pictures by Cat James / Matthew Chatfield / David Bone

The IWNHAS received a letter of good wishes from Buckingham Palace to mark 100 years of study and conservation of the Isle of Wight’s natural and archaeological heritage. 

Over 80 members and supporters of The Society gathered at Caffe Isola in Newport recently to celebrate exactly a century since the society was formed in November 1919.

A letter from the Queen was read out by President-elect, Matthew Chatfield, in which Her Majesty sent her “warm good wishes to all those who will be present as you celebrate this most significant milestone.”

Ellie Beaman created a spectacular cake covered in edible archaeological artefacts and natural history for the event, including a Glanville Fritillary butterfly and the tiny Starlet Sea Anemone which takes its name from the Isle of Wight: Nematostella vectensis.

The cake was cut by the society’s oldest member, Bill Shepard, 98, along with the youngest member, Natalie Bone, 18.

Well-known local naturalist Bill first joined the society in 1955, having been born just 2 years after the organisation was founded. Natalie, an experienced bird-ringer, has been a member of the society since she was 6-years-old.

With food and drink provided by Caffe Isola, the evening continued with a speech from society president Dr Paul Bingham, presentations about the origins of the Society, some entertaining historical anecdotes, and extracts from local newspapers illustrating life on the Isle of Wight in 1919.

The society’s General Secretary Dr Colin Pope said:

“We were delighted and very proud to receive the royal letter, which made the evening an even more memorable start to what is set to be an exciting year of activity for our centenary.

“The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society has been studying and conserving the Island’s wildlife, geology and archaeology for a long time, and we hope to be doing it for at least another hundred years!”