Category Archives: Events

Wandlebury Visit

On Thursday evening (July 28) we are visiting Wandlebury to see the flora of some of the new land that Cambridge Past, Present & Future have recently purchased. 

Meet at 6:30 pm by the cycle stands in the car park.  To get to Wandlebury from Cambridge, keep going along Hills Road, past Addenbrooke’s and along the Babraham Road.  You then get one of the steeper hills to climb in the area.  Once over the top descend a bit and the car park entrance is on the left.  Car parking charges apply, but cycle parking is free.  We will be joined by a former warden. 

All welcome.

Summer excursions

As well as the monthly field studies visits to sites in central Cambridge, Jonathan has arranged a couple of evening visits.

On Thursday June 30 we will visit Magog Down and on Thursday, July 28 the destination will be Wandlebury.

The Magog Trust bought 66 hectares of arable land near Wandlebury in 1969 and have been converting it back to chalk grassland and enhancing it for nature conservation ever since.

Wandlebury Country Park is owned and managed by Cambridge Past Present and Future. It includes an Iron Age hillfort and the stables from an 18th century mansion.

Both sites provide many opportunities for walks and are rich in wildlife, with areas of chalk grassland, woodland and other habitats.

Jonathan will send details of these meetings nearer the time to those on the CNHS mailing lists .

Landscape heritage walk in Cambridge

On Wednesday 8th June at 2 pm, as part of the Cambridge Nature Festival, the Cambridgeshire Geological Society has arranged a walk from Castle Hill to the Sedgwick Museum. There is no charge, and everyone is welcome, but numbers limited so you need to book by contacting them.

This guided walk (3 miles easy walking, taking about 1.5 – 2 hours) starts high up on Castle Hill. It takes, you down through the heart of old Cambridge and traditional riverside grazing ‘fenland’, past historic buildings to finish at the world-famous Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.

More information on this walk and the Fen Edge Trail series of (about 48) walks in Cambridgeshire is on the Fen Edge Trail website.

The archives of CNHS

On Wednesday 11th May, the Society for the History of Natural History are holding an online meeting: Pioneer Naturalists: Champions of Conservation and Environmental Engagement The afternoon event consists of seven talks, one of which is The Archives of the Cambridge Natural History Society.

Some of the early minute books in the CNHS archives.

In her presentation, Monica Frisch will talk about the CNHS archives, which date back to the Society’s formation, as Cambridge Entomological Society in 1857. These contain a wealth of information about the Society, its history, its activities and the many naturalists who were involved with it. Many were pioneers in their fields and many were prominent naturalists.

See the SHNH programme for details of the other talks and how to register, which is free.

Butterflies Through Time

A new exhibition at the Museum of Zoology is using UK butterfly specimens from their collections to showcase the natural world and environmental change. It highlights the research that conservationists today are undertaking to reverse long-term declines.

For more information and to see details on every species – please take a look at Butterflies Through Time.

Associated with the exhibition is a series of online talks. Dates are in the Diary and see the Museum’s blog for more information.

The exhibition runs until 18th September and admission is free.

Museum opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm and Sunday from 12pm to 4:30pm (last entry time 4.15pm).  Please check the website regularly as this is subject to change at short notice. Closed on Mondays.


Fragile Planet – Watercolour Journeys into Wild Places

15 Feb 2022 – 14 Apr 2022

The Robert Cripps Gallery, Magdalene College New Library.

10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 16:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Closed Friday. Last admission is 11:30 and 15:30 respectively. NB: The exhibition will close at 12 noon on 14 April 2022.

Fragile Planet is a major exhibition of watercolours by Cornwall’s world-renowned wilderness artist, Tony Foster.

A stark picture of the environmental risks now being faced around the world, Fragile Planet – Watercolour Journeys into Wild Places, highlights the precariousness of the world’s wildernesses and endangered environments, many of which Tony has visited and painted over the past 30 years. Sadly, some no longer exist, while others have been dramatically altered by the twin perils of climate change and human intervention.

More details

MIGRATION, an all-site exhibition by artist printmaker Julian Meredith

Monday 7 March to Tuesday 24 May 2022

Monday to Thursday 10am – 3pm. Admission free.

Julian Meredith is an artist printmaker and beekeeper. His art rails against the loss of habitat and the extinction of familiar creatures. His subject matter is fish, birds, animals and insects, their relationship to their environment and to us. The title of this exhibition – MIGRATION – represents a natural phenomena which is an endless source of fascination for Meredith. But it is also a timely warning of the consequences of  climate change which could lead to the greatest waves of global migration and remapping of populations that the world has ever seen. 

More details

CNHS talks in March

There are four online talks in the March programme. All start at 7:30 p.m. and last about an hour. Members will be emailed the Zoom link and login details nearer the time. To be added the mailing list for events: email webmaster [at] To become a member: see details here.

Thursday 3 March Lower Wood Duncan Mackay, voluntary warden for this Wildlife Trust reserve to the south-east of Cambridge, will talk about the habitats in this fragment of ancient woodland, its fauna and flora and its management.

Lower Wood © Duncan Mackay

Thursday 10 March Measuring and monitoring surface melting
on an Antarctic ice shelf
Rebecca Dell, a glaciologist at the Scott Polar Institute who has recently returned from a trip to Antarctica, will talk about her visit and her experience of working there and her research on ice shelf (in)stability.

Photo © Rebecca Dell

Thursday 17 March How many butterflies are there in the Western Palaearctic? Martin Davies will talk about his lifelong obsession with butterflies. From his first butterfly book to the wonderful handbooks available today, the beauty and diversity of butterfly species has never ceased to amaze him. We may think we know how many butterfly species there are in Europe but how has our understanding of this improved over the years? Lots of wonderful places and species are featured in this wide-ranging detective story, from the Atlantic to theAltai and the Arctic to the Atlas.

Hakkari Emperor Euapatura mirza. Hakkari Valley, Van, SE Turkey. A Western Palaearctic endemic butterfly species. © Martin Davies

Thursday 24 March Fenland flora Owen Mountford has been studying the flora of the Fenland region for over fifty years and will provide an overview of the Fenland Flora project, in which Jonathan Graham and he have been surveying the entire Fenland since about 2005. The project is now reaching completion, and this talk will outline the results, drawing especially on the findings from Cambridgeshire.

Nene Washes looking towards St Marys Church Photo © Jonathan Graham


Thursday 24th February 2022

Our next talk will be given by Brian Eversham, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire

In the talk, which will start punctually at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday 24th February, Brian will start with the battle to save Britain’s largest lowland peatbogs, Thorne and Hatfield Moors. He will cover the range of peatland wildlife, from birds to insects to flowers to fungi, their habitats, and the progress in restoring peatlands across Britain in the last 20 years.

Thorne Moors bog pool (with cottongrass) © Brian Eversham

The talk will be ONLINE via Zoom.

Members will be emailed login details nearer the time.

To be added the mailing list for events: email webmaster [at] To become a member: see details on the website membership page.

Insect photography

Thursday 10th February 2022

Ann Miles, who trained as a biologist, will talk about photographing insects, a lifelong passion. She will demonstrate their beauty, their sometimes bizarre appearances and their fascinating behaviours.

White Dead Nettle beetles (c) Ann Miles

ONLINE via Zoom. Members will be emailed login details nearer the time. To be added the mailing list for events: email webmaster [at] To become a member: see details on the website membership page.


The Cambridge Natural History Society programme of talks starts on Thursday 27th January, at 7:30 p.m.

Jonathan Shanklin, astronomer, meteorologist, naturalist and past president of Cambridge Natural History Society, will offer a choice of talks. The audience will choose at the start of the meeting. The options are

The Natural History of Comets” (pretty much what it says in the title, but with brief excursions into the ozone hole and climate change)

Marvel at the Moon” (a tour of some of the things seen in the night sky with simple equipment, bringing in some links with natural history, with a brief excursion again) OR

An astronomer in Antarctica” (mostly ozone hole and climate change, with a bit of natural history and atmospheric phenomena). 

The talk will be presented online via Zoom, and CNHS members and those on the mailing list have been sent the Zoom link, which is specific to this meeting.

You will join the meeting in a waiting room and will be let in at 7:30 p.m.  Your video and audio will be off when you join.  You will be able to use chat to ask questions at the end of the talk, or you can raise a virtual hand from “reactions”. 

The event will be recorded and Society members who cannot join the event on Thursday will then be sent a link to allow them to hear it at their leisure.  If you are not a member this is a good reason to join.  Details of how to join the Society are at