Welcome to the Milton Keynes Natural History Society

We are a friendly, diverse group with about 100 members at present. The Society has been active in Milton Keynes since 1968 and we welcome new members.

In normal years, we run a full programme of weekly events. In summer, we meet on a Tuesday evening for outdoor walk/nature rambles, and in the winter months for indoor talks in the Cruck Barn at Bradwell Abbey. These events are open to all members and you are very welcome to come along to a few events before joining. However, this year is not a normal year.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the Society has reluctantly decided to cancel its regular outdoor led walks for the rest of the summer. Read more on the Programme page for alternative ways of enjoying local wildlife walks, including descriptions of the walks we could in normal circumstances have undertaken, prepared by the planned walk leaders. There are currently 5 walk descriptions available:
1. North Loughton Valley Park (Joe Clinch)
2. Newton Leys Lakes (Colin Docketty)
3. Olney meadows in July (Julie Lane)
4. Rectory Woods and Marston Thrift Wood, Cranfield (Mike LeRoy)
5. Summer Leys Nature Reserve, Wollaston (Joe Clinch)

The Society has also taken the decision to hold meetings in the next few months virtually, using the Zoom digital platorm. There is more information about this on the Programme page, with a Zoom Support page where you can find guidance on accessing and using Zoom. Some taster sessions are available on Tuesdays in August, including a virtual walk around College Lake with Sue Hetherington, before the first Autumn meeting on 1st September. Again details are found through links on the Programme page.

About the website

We have recently made some changes to the website, in particular a new page for Members’ News. We will keep the Society News page for news relating to the running of the society such as committee announcements, changes to the website, etc. (This includes a request from Martin Kincaid for your sightings of hedgehogs in your garden.)

So the Members’ News page will be where you will find well-illustrated articles which members have submitted to share with others about what’s happening in our local area. Recent articles include:

  • A report from Gordon Redford of his moth records in July in Little Linford Nature Reserve (his May and June  reports are also available)
  • News from Harry Appleyard of his sighting of a Lesser Emperor dragonfly in Tattenhoe Park – a new species for Milton Keynes
  • Andy Harding’s unexpected success luring Clearwing moths
  • An item from Sue Hetherington about inviting nature in to her new garden.
  • An encounter with stag-beetles near Totternhoe, with stunning photos, from Matt Andrews
  • News of a new wildflower habitat at Stanton Low, and an entertaining account of cuckoo ringing at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, from Martin Kincaid
  • An update on John Prince’s work on Dormice in Little Linford Wood, with an appeal to anyone who’d like to get involved.
  • A short piece on Andy Harding’s fascinating observation of a Buff Tip moth in his garden.
  • Amazing photos of the inhabitants of Simon Bunker’s new pond.
  • News of bees’ fondness for Ann and Mark Strutton’s Cotoneaster.
  • A video report of meadow saxifrage in Stony Stratford Nature Reserve, by Jenny Mercer.

Plus earlier reports of Spring under lockdown in Tattenhoe, Olney river meadows, Newport Pagnell’s Bury Field and the countryside around Gawcott (nr Buckingham), through the contributions from members Harry Appleyard, Julie Lane, Ann Jones and Sue Hetherington.

And the July 2020 edition of the new Magpie Digest can be found here.

Get involved

Your own articles, thoughts, photos and recordings will be very welcome, as well as your feedback on the website. Just send them in to: webeditor@mknhs.org.uk.

We would also love to use your photos on the site. There is a dedicated menu called Gallery where we have included the shortlisted entries in the annual photography competition and there is an album called Members Photos just waiting for your masterpieces. We would also love to use the photos throughout the site to illustrate different aspect of wildlife in our area.

We hope you enjoy using the Society’s new website and we look forward to receiving your comments, articles and photos so that we can have a dynamic and exciting site that we can all contribute to and enjoy.