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!

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.
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"!
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.
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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