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.

Advice and Guidance for Field Meetings

Health and Safety is of paramount importance. This document is essential reading and includes notes for organisers, notes for participants, and emergency contact numbers: Health and Safety for GNS Field Meetings (PDF).


Sunday 19th January. 09.30–12.30. Ripple. This is the meeting which had to be cancelled in December because of the flooding. A foray (just) into south Worcestershire on the east bank of the Severn, on either side of the M50, to look at two former gravel pits which hold water all the year round. The pits often attract birds from all over north Gloucestershire and south Worcestershire, when other areas are dry. Should be good numbers of geese, ducks and other wintering waterbirds at this time of year.

How to get there: either take the A38 northwards out of Tewkesbury, or take the M5 northward, then west along the M50, leaving at Junction 1 and joining the northward A38. Take the A38 towards Worcester for about a mile, then follow signposts on the left to Ripple; go through Ripple to Uckinghall, and in the middle of Uckinghall village follow the signpost to the river. Follow a slightly rough track, then park by the Uckinghall Fishing Lakes at SO864376. From there we shall follow the public footpath down the Severn bank and under the M50 to look at the two lakes. Leader Mike Smart 01452 421131.

All February: The second part of this year’s Gloucestershire Winter Bird Survey, a long-term study that aims to pick up changes in common bird numbers over time; consequently suitable for fledgling birders and embryo wildlife surveyors. For details contact glosbirdsurvey@btinternet.com

Sunday 16th February. 09.30. Withington Woods. Winter birds in a large expanse of mixed Cotswold woodland with the infant River Coln and surrounding farmland. Likely to be muddy. Park at the Mill Inn (which does good lunches) SP033154. Leader Andy Lewis 07789 430441.

Saturday 14th March. 10.30–12.00. New Fancy View, Forest of Dean. Based at the view point to look for goshawks and other raptors. Other possible species include siskin and redpoll. Meet in the car park SO627095. Leader Andrew Bluett 01452 610085.

Saturday 21st March. 10.00–12.00. Newent. A morning meeting on how to use the iNaturalist phone app for identification and recording. This is a relatively simple app which uses photographs from a phone to identify specimens. Park and meet in the Newent Town Car Park, SO722260, behind The Good News Centre. There is a small charge for parking. Leaders Mervyn Greening/Des Marshall 07968 419813.

Please check here for additional meetings or last-minute changes, or contact Des Marshall, 01242 245143.


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. They are free to members. These are normally at Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester, GL7 1JR. The hall is next to Holy Trinity Church and access to the Hall car park is from Trinity Road. The hall is open from 7.00pm, meetings start at 7.30pm. See below for map and directions.

Some meetings are held at the Parish Rooms in Gosditch Street, Cirencester, GL7 2AG, close to the junction with Coxwell Street, as shown on the map. Parking is available in the Abbey Car Park off Dugdale Road, GL7 2DA – you can then walk through from Dugdale Road to Gosditch and Dollar Streets.   The hall is open from 7.00pm, meetings start at 7.30pm.

Route to Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester from Bristol or Gloucester
Route to Watermoor Church Hall, Cirencester from Tetbury or Stroud

2020 Meetings at Watermoor Church Hall

Friday 10th January. Andrew Bluett.
A Different View of our World: a look at the world we live in and on from a very different viewpoint and considering the effects of change.

Friday 14th February. Mervyn Greening.
Orchids in Gloucestershire: a botanical safari.

Friday 13th March.
Annual Business Meeting, Members Night, Photographic and Artistic Competitons. Also Cheese and Wine party. Please note the Business Meeting only takes up around 20 minutes.

Friday 3rd April. Oliver Smart.
Butterfly Britain: A photographic record of all the British species of Butterfly.


GNS Annual General Meeting

The Society’s 2020 Annual General Meeting will be held at the Gala Club, Fairmile Gardens, Longford, Gloucester GL2 9EB at 7.30pm on Friday 6th March 2020. The guest speaker will be Julian Hector, Head of the BBC Natural History Unit. The title of the talk will be “Big Natural History Television and the Conservation of the Natural World”. Julian heads up the BBC Studios Natural History Unit, a department of nearly 300 staff making best in the world content for BBC channels, digital platforms and broadcasters around the world. Julian has worked for the NHU for over 25 years with an executive producer portfolio across radio, TV and digital. Under his leadership the NHU has delivered Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, Dynasties, Springwatch, Blue Planet Live, Seven Worlds One Planet and other cutting edge series such as Earth from Space and Animals with Cameras.


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 http://www.deanfungusgroup.com/ 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
Maps and illustrations of Gloucestershire lichens are online at http://gloslichens.potsherd.net

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 Iliff, 01242 674398, davidiliff@talk21.com 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.