Field Trips

Come along and join us for an enjoyable trip. You do not have to be an expert as everyone has varying degrees of knowledge and interests. Bring along a packed lunch if you plan to stay for the day, a drink, suitable clothing and footwear (check with the leader to find out if wellies will be needed).

Coach Trips

Unless stated otherwise you do not need to book for most field trips and there is no charge. One exception is the coach trip. For coach trips please email Pascale Genevois to book a seat.

Indoor Meetings (Sep-April)

Our talks are free to members and non members alike, but donations are accepted for refreshments. Unless otherwise stated all indoor meetings are held at the Cardinal Bourne Hall in Priory Street, Colchester [see map] and usually start at 8.00pm. The Hall is situated at the East Hill end of Priory Street with car parking almost opposite by the Roman Wall at the cost of £2.


Please remember there are special events such as the Christmas Social in December & AGM in January each year which start earlier. Don’t get caught out!

  • Wed, Feb 17
    Online event - Limited tickets
    The Oak Papers - In conversation with James Canton
    An evening in the company of James Canton talking about his BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, The Oak Papers and the significance of the Honywood Oak.
    In YOUR garden
    The Great CNHS Spring Garden Survey
    Your chance to put YOUR GARDEN on the map. See below to send us your records from earlier in the year.
  • Tue, Jan 19
    Online event - Limited tickets
    Taming the Flood - The Essex Beaver Project
    Darren Tansley, mammal ecologist on the Essex Beaver Project, explains how these amazing rodents have triggered a biodiversity explosion while protecting the citizens of Finchingfield from flooding.
  • Tue, Dec 08
    Online event - Limited tickets
    Inside Out of Flies - Dr Erica McAlister
    Everything from a fly's antenna, through to its abdomen and lots of knobbly bits in between plus 33% off "The Inside Out of Flies"!
  • Tue, Nov 17
    Online Event - Limited tickets
    Averting the Insect Apocalypse - Dave Goulson
    In association with Colchester Sixth Form College, best-selling author Dave Goulson explains why insects are disappearing fast and how turning our gardens into oases for life & changing how we grow food could help.
  • Wed, Sep 23
    CNHS Committee ZOOM meeting
    CNHS Committee Meeting
    A closed Zoom Meeting for our Committee Members
  • Tue, Feb 25
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    Nature through a Viewfinder - Roger Hance
    Roger is a well known local wildlife photographer whose images tonight will include birds, mammals, butterflies, reptiles and wild flowers.
  • Tue, Jan 28
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    CNHS AGM - Starts early at 7.30pm!
    Learn what has been happening in the world of wildlife around Colchester in 2019 as well as other Society news and updates.
  • Sun, Jan 26
    Essex Wildlife Trust Abberton Reservoir
    Mid Winter Bird Walk
    Join Dougal Urquhart for a mid winter visit to Abberton in search of winter wildfowl such as smew and goosander, hopefully some Bewick’s swans too.
  • Sat, Dec 07
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    CNHS Members’ Christmas Social evening - Starts early at 7.30pm!
    A donation of £4 is requested, which includes excellent food and a glass of wine or a soft drink. The company comes free as does the stimulating conversation! The evening ends around 10pm.
  • Tue, Nov 26
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    TALK - Kazakhstan: Where East meets West
    Join Sean Minns for an exploration of the stunning wildlife of the eighth largest country in the world.
  • Sat, Nov 23
    Chanterelle area of Highwoods CP
    Fungi Walk at High Woods Country Park
    Family friendly walk with Fungi Recorder Sarah Manning in the vicinity of the Chanterelle car park area of High Woods Country Park discovering the fascinating mushrooms and toadstools that grow there.
  • Sat, Nov 16
    Hazeleigh Wood
    Fungi Walk, Hazeleigh Wood
    Sarah Manning will once again lead a fungi walk around this wood that was mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
  • Sat, Nov 09
    Highwoods Country Park
    Fungi Walk at High Woods Country Park, Colchester
    Booking Essential - Join fungi expert Sarah Manning on this stroll around the woods in the vicinity of the park Visitor Centre discovering the fascinating mushrooms and toadstools that grow here.
  • Sat, Nov 02
    RSPB Stour Estuary Nature Reserve
    Fungi Walk at Stour Wood, Wrabness
    The first of a number of fungi walks to be led by the Society’s Fungi Recorder, Sarah Manning, taking in a range of habitats on this important Nature Reserve.
  • Tue, Oct 29
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    TALK - Save Our Swifts
    Swifts are in dramatic decline. What are the issues and how can we help?
  • Wed, Oct 16
    Essex Wildlife Trust Fingringhoe Wick
    Nature Reserve Visit - Essex WT Fingringhoe Wick
    Join Russell Leavett for wildlife watching over the lunchtime high tide period in Margaret Hide, in the heart of the recently created intertidal area adjacent to the River Colne Estuary
  • Tue, Sep 24
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    TALK - The work of the Environment Agency Fisheries and Biodiversity team
    Ben Norrington (Environment Agency) with an overview of research findings, species monitoring, and habitat improvements for the fresh water and estuarine environment in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
  • Wed, Sep 04
    Irvine Road Community Orchard
    Wildlife Recording at Irvine Road Community Orchard
    Join CNHS as we start important recording on this Community managed Orchard, a valuable habitat in steep decline in Essex.
  • Sun, Sep 01
    Highwoods Country Park
    Highwoods Autumn Wildlife App Launch
    Download the app onto your phone to discover fascinating facts about the wildlife of the Country Park as you follow the one mile interactive trail.
  • Sun, Sep 01
    Lexden Springs Local Nature Reserve
    Lexden Springs Wildlife Walk
    A hidden gem for wildlife; fantastic for insects and butterflies and hosting some nationally rare wildflowers.
  • Fri, Aug 23
    Mersea Road Cemetery
    Colchester Cemetery & Bourne Valley Bat Evening
    Meet the Ranger and join the led walk around the Cemetery identifying bats using electronic bat detectors.
  • Wed, Aug 21
    James Carter Road
    Westlands Country Park Wildlife Walk
    Come and see how this site has developed into a wildlife haven; a far cry from its former refuse site beginnings.
  • Sat, Aug 17
    Westlands Country Park
    Westlands Country Park Bat Evening
    Meet the Ranger and join the led walk around the Country Park identifying bats using electronic bat detectors. BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
  • Fri, Aug 09
    Highwoods Country Park
    High Woods Country Park Bat Evening
    Meet the Ranger and join the led walk around the Country Park identifying bats using electronic bat detectors. BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
  • Sun, Aug 04
    Lexden Park Local Nature Reserve
    Lexden Park Wildlife Walk
    The site is small but includes a wildflower meadow, ancient woodland and lake to explore. Join the Ranger to discover more.
  • Sat, Aug 03
    Colne Point NR
    WALK - Colne Point to Seawick
    Following on from Tim Gardiner’s talk to the Society about the ecology of seawalls Ted Benton and Sven Wair will jointly lead an exploration of the seawall between these two sites.
  • Sun, Jul 21
    Hilly Fields Local Nature Reserve
    WALK - Hilly Fields Local Nature Reserve Summer Insects and Butterflies
    Join the ranger looking for butterfly and day-flying moth species as well as other grassland, heathland and tree insects, dragonflies and damselflies.
  • Mon, Jul 15
    Tiptree Heath
    WALK - Tiptree Heath - Flora of a Lowland Heath
    Tiptree Heath is a small fragment of what was once a much larger area of heathland that stretched from Maldon - Messing. For such a small area it holds a rich flora typical of lowland heath.
  • Sun, Jun 30
    Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum
    Butterfly walk at Marks Hall
    Our annual mid-summer visit to Marks Hall to monitor butterflies and other wildlife in the company of Ted Benton.
  • Sat, Jun 08
    Highwoods Country Park
    High Woods Summer Wildlife App Launch
    Download the app onto your phone and join in on a one mile interactive wildlife experience.
  • Sat, Jun 01
    Salary Brook LNR
    Salary Brook Wild Walk
    Join CNHS President Ted Benton looking at plants, birds, insects and other wildlife.
  • Sun, May 26
    Gosbecks Archeological Park
    Gosbecks Archeological Park Wildlife Walk
    A chance to hear skylark singing, whitethroat and meadow pipit.
  • Sun, May 19
    Hazeleigh Wood
    WALK - Spring wildlife of Hazeleigh Wood (£2)
    This ancient wood is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Tea and coffee provided.
  • Sat, May 11
    Chalkney Woods Car Park
    Walk through Chalkney Wood
    Enjoy the bluebells, early purple orchids and herb Paris, whist listening to spring songsters.
  • Wed, May 08
    Highwoods Country Park Visitors Centre
    Highwoods Bluebell Walk
    A fabulous walk in Highwoods Country Park in the company of Ranger Sonya Lindsell.
  • Tue, Apr 30
    Cardinal Bourne Hall
    Member's presentations - videos, slides and photos
    With Simon Taylor, the Essex Field Club County recorder for molluscs.

Your health and safety

As part of our insurance requirements we do occasionally have to review our procedures at events to ensure that we not only look after our members, but ensure that the committee and walk leaders are not left open to malicious prosecution for accidents that can occasionally occur. The committee is now required to provide Risk Assessments as part of that insurance. This should not affect anyone coming out with us or attending an event, but you may be asked to listen to a short safety talk before setting off. A common sense approach to safety is encouraged to avoid the need for more prescriptive health and safety regulations that could affect our ability to do the activities we have enjoyed since the Society was formed in 1953.


First aiders

Some of us are already trained as first aiders by the organisations for which we work, however it is not a requirement for CNHS to provide a qualified first aider for walks. Despite this, the committee feels it would be sensible to provide a portable first aid kit so all walk leaders will carry  one with them.  Members are still advised to take sensible precautions to ensure their own safety when attending organised events.


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