Welcome to the Wharfedale Naturalists’ Society



Available to watch now:

Professional marine ecologist, Jack Lucas talks to us about the wonderful world of charismatic marine megafauna of the UK: https://youtu.be/1Ii-phdo_RI?si=clthBi2tszLuMT2N

A wonderful presentation from Doug Kennedy, campaigner on environmental issues, wildlife photographer and recorder, photographer and author. Doug talks about our rare chalk streams which characterise some of England’s most lovely countryside, but which are under threat: https://youtu.be/IJXrEc1mu0c?si=3p8_y-osg3Q-ERhi

Jackie Harris of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust tells us about saving wetlands for people and wildlife: https://youtu.be/Z-LuP8-4nPY

The work of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust: https://youtu.be/dJ8Lr7YFvEg

Samantha Franks, Senior Research Ecologist at the BTO: ‘Curlews at a Crossroads: Reasons for their Decline and Hope for their Conservation’. https://youtu.be/qaTYa5fI-Uo

The Nature of Lockdown in Burley in Wharfedale (Part 3). Learn more about the wildlife of Burley in Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, observed during Lockdown. Presented by Wharfedale Naturalist, Anne Riley: https://youtu.be/kJaYwxJCnQM

Balancing the Needs of Food, Farming & Nature. Chris Clark and Brian Scanlon of Nethergill Associates talk to us about balancing the needs of food, farming & Nature: https://youtu.be/V9GusFHtBRg

British Mountain Plants. Emeritus Professor John Birks talks to us about British Mountain Plants, their history, status and future: https://youtu.be/FWUM2lVedAs

Wildfowl and Wader Migration: Exploiting the Freezer Niche: https://youtu.be/7Dq8XO-97JI

Climate Change: how serious it it and what can we do? https://youtu.be/Zbl5X_kx358

Swifts and Us: The Life of the Birds that Sleep in the Sky: https://youtu.be/DaicSRVN3-w

The Twelve Plants of Christmas with Ian Brand: https://youtu.be/_mivldZZRCI

The Return of the White-tailed Eagle. Dr Tim Mackrill, Ornithologist with the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, tell us about the re-introduction of the White-tailed Eagle to England: https://youtu.be/oX4XsfzjMxo

If you go down to the woods today. Richard Greenwood introduces us to his photography in the boreal forest of Finland: https://youtu.be/339rgHSys5M

Wildlife of the Shetland Isles – Steve Race. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/OknQ1r1SCz4

Art, science & politics in nature conservation – Rachael Bice – Chief Executive Officer, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/nYW0JKZ7ZzU

‘Ilkley Tree Trail’ – Sue Stevens. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/wlJU8L0XUG0

‘Aldo Leopold – His Life, Work and Legacy’ – Jim Butterfield. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/2C4PFRUR1IY

Ilkley Tree Trail

Ilkley Tree Trail starts in the Ilkley central car park and visits 34 trees in the centre of town. It is about a mile long and takes around an hour.  It was developed with the help of WNS botany group and funded by Ilkley U3A. The illustrated booklet describing the trail is available free of charge in the Grove bookshop or you can download it from https://ilkleytrees.org.uk/treetrails/

Past WNS Zoom Meetings 2020 – 2021

6th October – The first presentation will feature Graham Standring of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who will be speaking about the management of YWT nature reserves in the Yorkshire Dales.

20th October – Sara King of Rewilding Britain “Biodiversity impacts of beaver and pine marten reintroductions” Now available to listen to at: https://www.yorkshirerewildingnetwork.org.uk/presentations/

3rd November – Stef Pearse – on the subject of spiders. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/9n3zEyLtYnA

17th November – Ian Brand “Botanical Medicine – from poisonous plants to today’s medicines”. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/dR0sO5rt85A

8th December – Joint event with Climate Action Ilkley and the Ilkley Clean River Group: “Water in the Dales: are we keeping up with climate change?” by Rick Battarbee, Addingham resident and Emeritus Professor at University College London. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/rxFMccpm4Cg and via the front page of climateactionilkley.org.uk 

12th January – Anne Riley: ‘The Nature of Lockdown in Burley in Wharfedale’. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/AEASh4-QQTk

26th January – Linda Jenkinson: ‘Swifts‘. Now available to listen to at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGBhSnyQAM4

9th February: David White & Rob Jaques (BTO): 25 Years of Garden BirdWatch’ Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/B3Kico_xOXU

23rd February: George McGavin – ‘Bugs Britannica’

9th March: Recorders Evening – ‘Butterflies and Birds’. Available to watch at: https://youtu.be/jT5ss9Yn8mA

23rd March: AGM and ‘How to be an Effective Recorder’. Available to watch at: https://youtu.be/e9x4Rq6mmvo

6th April – Anne Riley: ‘The Nature of Lockdown in Burley in Wharfedale (Part Two)’. Now available to listen to at: https://youtu.be/dH5VG2zO_6s

20th April – Matt Whittle and Greg Slack (South Yorkshire Bat Group). Bats. Now available to watch at: https://youtu.be/EYG7YQokUC0

A Flower for Wharfedale

The search for our own floral emblem. For more info click HERE.

Funds for Conservation Projects available

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Every year the Wharfedale Nats like to support a number of worthwhile conservation projects in and around the Wharfedale area. For example, the Society has helped towards the costs of servicing equipment used by the Hay Time Project. If you have a conservation project, that would benefit from a small contribution by the Society, please contact our Secretary.

Gallows Hill Latest


A message from a recent visitor:

I took a trip down there myself and the following were seen/heard in just over half an hour. Bullfinch, chaffinch, blue/great/ long tailed tits, blackbird, song thrush, mistle thrush, jackdaw, rook, crow, chiff chaff, greater spotted woody, wood pidgeon.

A nice spot. My first visit and I didn’t know where the car park was.
For other “first timers” take the pool road out of Otley. Go past the cemetery on the left. There’s an entrance to the new housing development after about another 200 yards. Turn left into this new development and there is a track on the right that leads down to the Gallows Hill car park. Enjoy!


More information about the site can be found here and, if you wish to become involved, Friends of Gallows Hill run a series of events and work parties throughout the year.
Details of events are available via the Gallows Hill Facebook group: Friends of Gallows Hill