- To promote an interest in the natural world, inform and generally raise awareness of all forms of wildlife, especially those sharing our local environment
- To advise, monitor and undertake tasks locally which relate to increasing biodiversity and nature conservation. The Society also manages on behalf of Spelthorne Council the Ash Link Local Nature Reserve, which comprises Nutty Wood, Splash Meadow and Pond
- To study and record wild animals, birds, insects, plants and fungus within the local area
We welcome new members – why not come and listen to a lecture this winter or join us on a walk?
A well attended Natural History course taught by Dr Phillip Cribb of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and run by the Workers Education Association in Ashford ran for three years from 1973 until 1976. At the final class, he announced that his commitments at Kew, where he was due to lead an expedition to Tanzania, meant that he could not continue to teach the following course. Following this announcement, the course participants adjourned to a local hostelry to celebrate the end of the course and, in discussions, decided that they would like to continue to meet regularly as a Natural History Society. Phil agreed to chair the nascent society and to use his contacts to invite lecturers on various botanical and zoological subjects.
The first meeting in Sunbury Library at the Cross drew over 60 participants and a small committee was elected to run the Society.
Over 40 years later, the Society continues to flourish with organised walks and guest events. Several of the original members are still in the society and regularly attend meetings.
Over the years, many of the country’s leading naturalists have spoken to the Society, including several successive Directors of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Roy Lancaster and Matthew Biggs from the BBC, Chris Grey-Wilson of the Alpine Garden Society, William Stearn and Sandy Knapp of the Natural History Museum and many others.
In addition to the guided walks and guest speakers, the Society has an active conservation role
- It works closely with Spelthorne Borough Council to maintain for biodiversity its open spaces and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), such as Staines Moor, Shortwood Common and Dumsey Meadow.
- It runs a Biodiversity database and mapping programmes, which are supported by the local Council, that record the Borough’s wildlife.
- The Society also manages the Ash Link Nature Reserve for the Council.
President: Dr Philip Cribb
Chair: John Maxen
Hon. Secretary: Gordon Freeman
Treasurer: Peter Clifford
Membership Sec: Pat Sloan
Conservation Leader: Irving Lord
Events Organiser: Marion Rider