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!

  • Fungi Walk Wivenhoe Woods - Booking essential
    Sun, 31 Oct
    Wivenhoe Woods (W3W young.trials.toxic)
    Join fungi expert Sarah Manning on this stroll around the woods discovering the fascinating mushrooms and toadstools that grow here.
  • Fungi walk at Highwoods Country Park - Booking essential
    Sat, 13 Nov
    Highwoods CP Chanterelle Car Park
    Join fungi expert Sarah Manning on this stroll around the woods in the vicinity of the Chanterelle car park area of High Woods Country Park discovering the fascinating mushrooms and toadstools that grow here.
  • Adventures into the Amazon talk - Christine Lavelle
    Tue, 30 Nov
    Quaker Meeting House - Parnell Room
    Join Christine as she talks about her journey through Iquitos in Peru to visit the Amazon rainforest.
  • The CNHS Christmas Social
    Sat, 11 Dec
    St Botolph's Church Hall
    Paused due to the pandemic we are delighted that the Christmas Social is back and at a new venue! With food, drink, raffle and dutch aution - a great way to meet fellow CHNS members.
  • Winter bird walk Abberton Rerservoir
    Sun, 23 Jan
    EWT Abberton Nature Discovery Centre
    Join Dougal Urquhart for a mid-winter visit to Abberton reservoir in search of winter wildfowl such as smew and goosander, hopefully some Bewick’s swans too. For more details and booking contact Dougal on 07494 866157.
    Tue, 25 Jan
    Quaker Meeting House - Parnell Room
    Your chance to hear what members of the Society have been up to during the past year including reports on plants, birds, mammals and a range of insects.
  • Wildlife Walk Heybridge Gravel Pits
    Sat, 05 Feb
    Heybridge (W3W croak.socket.destroyer)
    Wildlife Walk at Heybridge Gravel Pit with Simon Wood and Carla Davis. Contact Carla on 07832 286153 for booking and further information, weather dependant. We would hope to see many wintering waders and wildfowl.
  • Wildlife Walk East Bridge to the Hythe, Colchester
    Sat, 19 Mar
    East Bridge (W3W fried.august.deck)
    Led by Sven Wair - please book on 07504 095352. At this time of year, we will probably have close views of wintering Teal on the river, and possibly some waders and Grey Wagtails, or even a Kingfisher.
  • Not just a Field Guide to the Essex Coast - Dr Chris Gibson
    Tue, 29 Mar
    Quaker Meeting House - Parnell Room
    For Chris Gibson, lockdown has meant progressing something he has always wanted to do – writing a book to help put the Essex Coast on the map. Expect a fabulous talk from a wonderful speaker.
  • Member's Annual Presentation Event 2022
    Tue, 26 Apr
    Quaker Meeting House - Parnell Room
    You are invited to present a short illustrated presentation on any wildlife subject of your choice but it is essential that you book a slot with Dougal Urquhart on 07494 866157 or
  • Stag beetle ecology
    Tue, 26 Oct
    Quaker Meeting House - Parnell Room
    A species very dear to our hearts being the emblem of CNHS. Learn more about the fascinating lifecycles of these increasingly rare but spectacular beetles.
  • Fungus Foray at Humberlands, Parrington’s Farm, Harwich Road, Lawford
    Sat, 23 Oct
    Humberlands (W3W hazy.microfilm.vets)
    Join fungi expert Sarah Manning for a walk around this interesting site with a wide variety of habitats. Booking essential on or 01206 394184.
  • Fungi walk at Highwoods Country Park - Booking essential
    Sat, 16 Oct
    Highwoods Country Park Visitor Centre
    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.
  • Bats of Essex talk
    Tue, 28 Sept
    Quaker Meeting House - Parnell Room
    A member of the Essex Bat Group will talk about the various species of bat found in Essex and some of the projects and findings they've delivered.
  • Wivenhoe Woods Bat Evening
    Fri, 27 Aug
    Car Park, Rosabelle Ave
    Booking is Essential on 01206 853588 Adults £5.50, children, Essex Bat Group and CNHS members free
  • High Woods Country Park Bat Evening
    Sat, 21 Aug
    Highwoods Country Park
    Meet the Ranger and join the led walk around the Country Park identifying bats using electronic bat detectors. BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
  • Bats and moths evening
    Wed, 18 Aug
    Humberlands (laughs.soap.feathers)
    Bat detecting to start and a moth trapping for those who wish to stay later. BOOKING ESSENTIAL Email (for those without email facilities phone 01206 394184 and leave a message)
  • Daws Hall Reserve Wildflower and Nature Walk
    Sat, 07 Aug
    Daws Hall Reserve Wildflower and Nature Walk
    Join Stephen Clarkson, CNHS Botanical Recorder, for a walk through this delightful nature reserve

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.