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 27th January 10.30 – 12.30. Woorgreens and Crabtree Hill – Winter Birds.
Possible Great Grey Shrike, Crossbill, Siskin & Redpoll – Meet in the car park at SO 6238 1245, leader Andrew Bluett, 07584 689090.

Saturday 2nd February 09.30 – 12.00. Rodley, Nr Westbury On Severn.
Dependent upon water levels, a walk along the banks of the Sever and Upper & Lower Dumball. Take the Rodley turning off the A48, drive through the village and meet near Blue Boys Farm at SO 744 109. Leader Mike Smart, 07816 140 513.

Sunday 10th February 09.30 – 12.30. Chedworth GWT Reserve and part of the Upper Coln Valley.
Woodland Birds, possible Hawfinch, Crossbill and large raptors. Parking – drive right up to the Roman Villa (not open) – meet at SP 054 134, Leader Andy Lewis, 07789 430441.

February 2019 – Winter Bird surveys.
The winter surveys now enter their 5th year – counting and recording birds in a random 1 Km square; if you have participated before, you will be contacted shortly, if not and you would like to take part, please contact Andy Lewis, 07789 430441.

Sunday 10th March. 09.30 – 12.30. Chalford/Cowcombe.
A walk along part of the canal,  River Frome and the wooded valley sides.  Dippers and  Kingfishers may be seen in the area, and woodland birds on  the other part of the walk.  Park in the lay-by on the A419 by the roundabout opposite Aston Downs gliding  club  SO910 019.  Leader Martin Wright, 07881  855749.

Sunday 7th April. 09:00 – 12:00. Sherborne Water Meadows.
Woodland, wood-pasture and wet grassland with drainage ditches, leading down to the River Windrush.  This is the estate that featured in the recent Springwatch series.  Park at the National Trust’s Northfield Barn car-park  SP176 154. Leaders Anna Field/Andy Lewis, 07789 430441.

Saturday 20th April.  Bentham and Brockworth.
A visit to a species-rich brownfield site with rough grassland and ponds, followed by general recording in under-recorded squares nearby at Brockworth.   Meet at 11.00am by the Greek Orthodox church at SO914161 (Satnav GL3 4UD).  Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Saturday 4th May.  08:00 – 11:00. Cotswold Water Park.
An early(ish) start for birdsong – the more common songbirds plus a chance of Nightingales.  Also general waterbirds.  Meet at Neigh Bridge country park (pay and display) SU018946. Leader Nigel Birch, 0778 993 2371.

Tuesday 14th May.  Staunton Meend.
A return visit to look for spring species on this local nature reserve.  A recording meeting, at the request of John Flynn, following the removal of scrub. Park in Staunton Village. Meet at 11am at the lane leading to the Meend at SO546126.  Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958. http://stauntoncolefordpc.org.uk/staunton-meend.

Friday 24th May. Highbury Wood NNR, Redbrook.
Last years meeting was abandoned due to heavy rain so we are making a second visit to record the spring flowers of the NNR.   Meet at 11.00am at the Redbrook Pay and Display Car Park SO536100.   Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.  You can find information at www.naturalengland.org  where there is a link to Highbury Wood.  Bring lunch and suitable footwear.

Thursday 6th June.  Bull Banks, near Miserden.
Bull Banks, about 10km NW of Cirencester, lies either side of the cross-valley road between Winstone and Miserden and appears to be significantly under-recorded.  Meet at 11am.  Limited parking on roadside where footpaths meet the road at GR SO954082, Satnav GL6 7JB.  The south-facing side is well-grazed, with springs, but the other side is under-grazed and thickly-grassed.  Long-stalked Yellow-sedge Carex lepidocarpa has been recently re-recorded there but Downy-fruited Sedge, Carex filiformis, Flat-sedge Blysmus compressus, Marsh Arrowgrass, Triglochin palustris, Lesser Spearwort, Ranunculus flammula and an unidentified charophyte (not Chara sp.) all found late in 2018 appear to be new site records, and other uncommon or declining plants may well be found there.  Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Sunday 9th June  09:00 – 12:00. Open Farm Sunday, Guiting Manor Estate.
A farm trust that is managed very much with conservation in mind.  Farmland birds on the arable land, Redstarts in the wooded valley and Hobbies in the surrounding hills.  Follow any car-park signs, and meet in the yard off the road north-west from Guiting Power at SP090251.  Leader Andy Lewis, 07789 430441.  General details: https://farmsunday.org/

Sunday 16th June.  Wapley Bushes, Yate.
Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve has two species-rich meadows, one with a solitary bush of Spiny Restharrow, Ononis spinosa and marshy ground at the bottom by the railway with Carnation Sedge Carex panicea seen recently, and Sneezewort, Achillea ptarmica not recently re-found.  The upper field has Adder’s-tongue, Ophioglossum vulgatum and there is also some old woodland, and by the railway there are a few interesting aliens.  Meet at 2.30pm at GR ST71068069.  Close to a Zebra Crossing on Shire Way go through a reserve gateway with display board.  Parking on Shire Way or in Cherington (Satnav BS37 8UT).  A joint meeting with the Bristol Naturalists’ Society.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Friday 21st June. Robinswood Hill.
A meeting to examine a meadow at the request of Ian Elphick, Countryside Ranger, and other sites on the hill.  Meet at 11.00am at the visitor Centre car park SO837158. Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 10958. Bring lunch and suitable footwear

Wednesday 10th July.  May Hill.
Meeting to review the water buttercups on the hill and resolve which of Ranunculus omiophyllous and R.hederaceus are present   We also hope to see some of the special plants that grow on the hill.  Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Meet at 11.00am.  Park in roadside pull in at SO704225.  Leaders Clare and Mark Kitchen 01453 810958.

Thursday 8th August.  A perambulation of Minchinhampton Common.
A walk around the edges of the common paying particular attention to the springs, marshes, damp hollows and ponds, and to garden escapes and throw-outs.  Meet at 11am in the parking area immediately East of the covered reservoir on Culver Hill, which leads across the common to Amberley (GR SO855012; Satnav GL5 5AF for the Amberley Inn will put you on the right road).  Lunch can be taken at the Amberley Inn.  Flat-sedge, Blysmus compressus, to be looked for.  New Zealand Pigmyweed Crassula helmsii will be seen.  Bring refreshments and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Thursday 19th September.  Urban Gloucester.
A Pot Luck recording meeting, second attempt as last years’ planned meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather.  Meet at 11am by the entrance of the Waterwells Park and Ride on Telford Way, just off the A38 at Quedgely (Satnav GL2 2AB SO809131).   To our surprise, the car park hosts Cut-leaved Dead-nettle, Lamium hybridum.  There is a monad not recently recorded close by (for the morning) and we should be able to move towards town in the afternoon.  Bring lunch and suitable footwear.  Leader Clive Lovatt clivemlovatt@gmail.com 07851 433 920.

Sunday 13th October.  Thames and Severn Canal, Stroud to Thrupp.
A walk along the canal towpath south of Stroud, primarily for aquatics and casuals from seed-mixes and dredgings.  Park in the London Road Council carpark behind the London Hotel – free on Sunday (GR SO852049, Satnav GL5 2AJ).  Meet at 2.00pm or at 1.00 for lunch.  Afterwards, indoor identification of gatherings at the leader’s new home.  Horned Pondweed, Zannichellia palustris and a couple of charophytes should be found, together with Whorled Water-milfoil, Myriophyllum verticillatum.  Bring 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. 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


Friday 8th February. Andrew Bluett: Aliens – Wildlife that should not be here?
This meeting is at the Parish Rooms in Gosditch Street – see details and map above.

Friday 8th March. Annual Business Meeting, Members Night, Photographic and Artistic Competitions
Also Cheese and Wine party. Note – the business meeting takes only 20 minutes, not long enough to get boring and is outweighed by the interesting stuff afterwards!
This meeting is at the Parish Rooms in Gosditch Street – see details and map above.

Friday 12th April. Sue Smith and Sue Dodd: Not so common on the commons.
A look at the rarer plants on the limestone grassland commons of Gloucestershire.
This meeting is at Watermoor Church Hall.


GNS Annual General Meeting

The Society’s 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held at the Gala Club, Fairmile Gardens, Longford, Gloucester GL2 9EB at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 22nd March 2019. Full programme and guest speaker to be announced later.


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 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.