GNS Field Meetings

The field meetings, unless stated below, will last about two hours and will be of general interest, including birds, botany, geology… whatever turns up. Stout footwear essential, and remember your hand-lens and binoculars. Post codes are sometimes provided to help satnav users get roughly to the right location, but please bear in mind that for rural locations these will only be approximate and you will still need to find the exact location from the grid reference.


Sunday 25 March.11.00 to mid-afternoon. Cyril Hart Arboretum, Forest of Dean. A joint meeting for GNS and Bristol Naturalists’ Society members on the identification of conifers. Meet in the car park just south of Speech House Hotel (GL16 7EL) on the road to New Fancy viewpoint at SO621118. Bring lunch and suitable footwear, and your favourite tree book. The conifers key in Poland & Clement’s Vegetative Key to the British Flora will be used throughout the meeting – please bring a copy or contact clivemlovatt@gmail.com in advance for a pdf copy of the relevant 9 pages. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Saturday 14 April. 10.00-12.00. Arle Grove. A small, former coppiced woodland donated to the GWT in 2009. Good ground flora and invertebrates. Recording meeting. Meet at the entrance to the wood, SO995217. Parking is along the roadside by the reserve, but is limited. Leader Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Sunday 15 April. 11.00 to mid-afternoon. Plant Group: Redbrook, Forest of Dean. The monad SO5408 is probably the most under-recorded in the Forest of Dean, with only 4 records on the County Recorder’s database, all made in 1999. Most of the square falls within the Highbury Wood National Nature Reserve. Meet at the Redbrook Pay and Display Car Park, SO536100. There is information at www.naturalengland.org, where there is a link to Highbury Wood. Bring lunch and suitable footwear. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Thursday 26th April. 11.00 to mid afternoon. Tetbury area. A Pot Luck meeting to enhance recording of urban and rural spring plants in the area. Meet in the Rail Yard car park off the Cirencester Road (Satnav GL8 8EP, ST893932). Bring lunch and suitable footwear. Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Saturday 28 April. 10.30-13.00. Lower Woods. A chance to walk around the woods with Mike Martin, who has researched and chronicled the wood for many years. Meet at Lower Woods Lodge Car Park, ST746881. The entrance to Lower Woods reserve is off the minor road from Wickwar to Hawkesbury Upton. Follow the rough track south from Inglestone Farm (ST749885) for about 500 m. Stout footwear (wellingtons) is advised. Leader Mike Martin. For queries contact Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Sunday 6 May. 10.00-12.00. Jubilee Grounds and Hornhill Bank, Stanway. Hornhill Bank is a mature beech wood and Jubilee Grounds has been a wood pasture for about 10 years. An opportunity to record from a site not recently visited. Meet and park at Parks Farm, SP081316. Potentially muddy and steep in places. Leader Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Thursday 17th May. 11.00 to mid afternoon. Rockhampton, Berkeley. Walking down green lanes, footpaths, droves, and country roads, we will investigate a relict marshy spot, some rhines and ditches, and hopefully see Myosurus minimus, Mousetail, in flower. Meet at in the village common Cricket Club car park (Satnav GL13 9DT, ST652935). Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Friday 18 May. 14.00-1600. Prestbury Hill Butterfly Reserve. An afternoon meeting to search for the Duke of Burgundy and watch the behaviour of this uncommon butterfly. Meet at the Bill Smyllie Reserve, just before the beech plantation. We may move onto the Masts Reserve later. Parking at SO993242 along the road to the radio masts. Leader Trish Atkinson of Butterfly Conservation. Tel 01242 512584 or 07866 822254.

Wednesday 23 May. Evening meeting 18.30. Chaceley Meadow and Poolhay Meadow. This is an opportunity to look at two small floodplain meadows reserves. At Chaceley Meadow, the Floodplain Meadows Ambassador Alisa Swanson will explain the monitoring and management of the reserve. Poolhay Meadow, SO829308, a Worcester Wildlife Trust reserve, is a 5-minute drive away. Meet at Chaceley Meadow, SO857306. Parking is near the church or on the side of the lane. The meadow is on the SE side of the road from Tirley just after the church. Leaders Alisa Swanson/Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Tuesday 29 May. 11.00 to mid-afternoon. Plant Group: Severn Ham, Tewkesbury. Oeanthe silaifolia, narrow-leaved water-dropwort should be in flower. We will also take a close look at the willows and follow up some old records for Eleocharis acicularis, needle spike–rush. Meet at the bridge over the Mill Avon at SO889325. You will need time to walk from one of the town’s numerous pay and display car parks. Bring lunch and suitable footwear. For pdf leaflets visit www.visittewkesbury.info/media/1760/hamnatureleaflet.pdf and www.visittewkesbury.info/media/1759/hamnatureleaflet2.pdf. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Wednesday 6 June. Evening meeting 18.30 Cowfield Marsh, Tewkesbury. SO912344. A developing wetland site which is beginning to attract some interesting birdlife. Leader Rob Lewis. Details to be finalised, please contact Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Tuesday 12 June. 11.00 to mid-afternoon. Plant Group. Cleeve Common, Golf Club. Hopefully we will see Botrychium lunaria, moonwort, and chase up old records for Dactylorhyza maculata, heath spotted-orchid and the almost mythical Attenaria dioica, mountain everlasting. Meet in The Quarry Car Park (not the Golf Club car park), SO989271. Bring lunch and suitable footwear. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Thursday 21st June. 11.00 to mid afternoon. Westbury-on-Severn. We will start with a visit to the National Trust’s Westbury Court Gardens (entrance fee or NT membership required). This is a unique and delightful restored Dutch Water Garden.  From there we will walk to the riverside, and if there is time, move on to less well-recorded places in the afternoon. Meet at the pay-entrance to the gardens. Parking in the NT car park adjacent, or in the A48 layby in front of the gardens (Satnav GL14 1PD, SO718139). Bring lunch and suitable footwear. Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Saturday 23 June. 10.30-15.00. Cleeve Common, Golf Club. A chance to take a longer look at the wildlife particularly of the quarries on Cleeve in the morning, and continue after lunch to some of the other areas of interest. There are some steep slopes on Cleeve; please come prepared as the meeting will involve walking. Meet at The Quarry car park, SO989271 near the Golf Club. Leader Ellie Phillips, Cleeve Conservation Officer 07701 084367.

Sunday 8 July. 11.00 to mid-afternoon. Plant Group. Awres Glow, Forest of Dean. Awres Glow boasts a rich assemblage of acid-loving plants. There is a good range of rushes and we shall pay special attention to their identification. Meet at New Fancy View Point car park, SO628095. Bring lunch and suitable footwear. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Saturday 14th July. 11.00 to mid afternoon. Ravensgate Hill, Seven Springs, Cheltenham. A Pot Luck recording meeting of an under-recorded area close to Lineover Wood, with open access calcareous grassland and views over Cheltenham.  Meet at far end of layby/truck stop at start of A436 NE-bound from Seven Springs roundabouts, south of Cheltenham (SO969172, Satnav GL53 9NG will get you to the A436 on the other side of the roundabouts). Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Early July. Evenings. Forest of Dean. A series of meetings to look for nightjars. Details to follow: please check the website.

Thursday 2 August. 10.00-13.00. Cleeve Hill Radio Masts. A general interest meeting on the less-frequented, eastern part of Cleeve Common. Wall-top bryophytes, dew pond, acid exposures, permanent heather enclosure, re-seeded areas, butterflies and birds. Meet at the Radio Masts, SO994247. Leader Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Sunday 5 August. 11 to mid-afternoon. Plant Group. Staunton Meend, Forest of Dean. A recording meeting at the request of John Flynn, following the removal of scrub. Park in Staunton village. Meet at the lane leading to the Meend at SO546126. Bring lunch and suitable footwear. http//stauntoncolefordpc.org.uk/staunton-meend for information. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Tuesday 7 August. Plant Group. An evening meeting at 18.30. Stinchcombe Hill.. The classification of roses has been updated recently with many new names introduced. We shall be getting to grips with these, using Roger Maskew’s recently published key, BSBI News No. 135, April 2017. Meet at the car park at the edge of the golf course, ST744983. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Thursday 30th August. 11.00 to mid afternoon. Stroudwater Canal. A Pot Luck recording meeting on the boundary between VC 33 and VC34 at Stroud. Meet in the layby at Blunder Lock on the S side of the A436 just after the roundabout (with services) half a mile SE of the M5 Junction 13 (SO78610604). Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Thursday 20th September. 10.30 to mid afternoon  Urban Gloucester. A Pot Luck recording meeting, focussing on non-native species. Meet by the roundabout in the Waterwells Park and Ride on Telford Way, just off the A38 at Quedgely (Satnav GL2 2AB SO809131). Half an hour by bus to town centre, hence earlier start. Bring lunch and suitable footwear. Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.


GNS Indoor Meetings at Cirencester

The series of indoor winter talks takes place on the second Friday in the month from October through to April at Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester, GL7 1JR. The hall is open from 7pm for 7.30pm start. Free to members. See below for directions.


Friday 9th March. Indoor Meeting at Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester. Annual Business Meeting and Members Night Photographic and artistic competitions. Bring along your photographs, projected images (digital files) or wildlife related artwork of any sort. 7.00 for a 7.30pm start.

Friday  April 13th    David Simcox
The History of the Large Blue in the Cotswolds and the re-introduction.


GNS Annual General Meeting

The Society’s 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held at the Gala Club, Fairmile Gardens, Longford, Gloucester GL2 9EB at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 16 March 2018.

After the AGM Dr Andrew Stringer of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will give a talk on ‘Should pine martens be reintroduced to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley?’.


Directions to Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester

Map showing Holy Trinity Church, to which Watermoor Church Hall is attached
Route to Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester from Bristol or Gloucester
Route to Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester from Tetbury or Stroud


Other Meetings

Members may like to know of the following field meetings.

Amphibians and Reptiles

Events and surveys across the county. Contact David Dewsbury for details. Phone 01594 832068, mobile 07786 543961, email david.dewsbury@btinternet.com

Dean Fungus Group

The Dean Fungus Group runs forays throughout the year. Contact Keith or Valerie Davies for information on 01452 760278 or email email keith.val@hotmail.com

GNS Lichen Group

The Lichen Group meets once a month during the warmer months. New people, including beginners, always welcome. Lichen meetings begin at 11am and generally go on until about 4pm, though you are encouraged to stay for just as long as you wish. All you need is a x10 hand lens, and a picnic if you intend staying after lunch. To join the mailing list, email Juliet Bailey, glos.lichens@gmail.com

Gloucestershire Invertebrate Group

The GIG has field meetings mainly at weekends from April to October. GNS members are welcome to come along and see what they do. Contact David Scott-Langley (01285 659631) for further advice. Look out for Invertebrate meetings during National Insect Week.

Gloucestershire Botanical Group

Contact Mark and Clare Kitchen for information. Phone 01453 810958, mobile on the day 07783 448203, email clareandmarkplants@yahoo.co.uk

All meetings are for botanical recording and will not have had a visit beforehand so the excitement of what we find is for all participants. We will identify as many plants as possible so suitable for learners and more experienced botanists. As well as the plants we are searching for we will record all we see.

Gloucestershire Bryophyte Group

The Gloucestershire Bryophyte Group meets monthly from October to April; see the British Bryological Society website for details.