About us

Society Aims

The Bristol Naturalists’ Society exists to stimulate a greater awareness of natural history and geology in the Bristol area. It is a thriving and friendly Society with something of interest for everybody, young or old, professional or amateur. It is actively involved in a long term programme of education, research and conservation. Each year its talks, trips and publications are enjoyed by hundreds of people wanting to find out more about our Natural World.

The Bristol Naturalists’ Society was founded in 1862. It has always had close links with Bristol University and Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and became a charity in 1972 (charity no: 235494).

Past presidents have included many eminent naturalists, scientists and geologists including William Sanders (first President, 1862 – 1875) and Prof. C Lloyd Morgan.

The first lady President, Miss Ida Roper was elected in 1913. In the last century members of the Society published detailed summaries of the geology of the region and its plant life, its birds, its insects, and the wildlife of the shores and estuaries. In the present century it has monitored the continuing changes in these.


The Bristol Naturalists’ Society hosts a large number of indoor and outdoor meetings throughout the year at which many eminent Naturalists and Geologists speak. These regularly attract large audiences and are free to members.

Each Society Section (Botany, Geology, Invertebrates, Mammals and Ornithology) have a varied and interesting programme of activities. The Society also has a General Section aimed at members with wide natural history interests.

This information is made available to all members in a monthly bulletin that is both delivered to their door and posted on this web site.


The activities of the Society are coordinated by an elected Council which oversees the day-to-day running of the Society, including the booking of speakers and field trips, the dissemination of Society news and information through the monthly bulletin, the Proceedings and the Avon Bird Report, the running of the library and the administration of grants.

Council members are also responsible for managing the Society funds under close scrutiny of the Charity Commission. Annual subscriptions are the Societies biggest income and Council take extreme care that this money is spent wisely to benefit the Society and its members. All Council members are volunteers and give their time for free.

Members of Council 2014-2015

President: Dr David Hill

Chairman: Mr Roger Steer
Hon. Secretary: Ms Lesley Cox
Hon. Treasurer: Mr Steve Fay
Membership Secretary: Mrs Margaret Fay
Proceedings Editor: Mr Richard Bland
Bulletin Editor: Mr David Davies
Hon. Archivist: Dr Clive Lovatt
Librarian: Mr Jim Webster
Auditor: Vacancy
Publicity: Vacancy
Circulation Secretary: Mr DWB Frost
Webmaster: Mr Mark Pajak

Representing each Section:
Botany: Dr Clive Lovatt
Geology: Mr R Ashley
Invertebrate: Mr M Pajak
Ornithology: Mr G Morriss

Mammals: Vacant

Ordinary members:
Mr RJ Barnett
Mr T Corner
Mr MS Johnson
Ms M Leivers
Mr R Muston

Mr Tony Smith

Other contact details:

Grant applications: Grant application form 2015

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