Have you got a 'NEWS' item or a date for an 'EVENT' coming up? Don't hold back - email the details now, along with any photographs/images, to

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The Yorkshire Naturalists' Union will be exhibiting at the Leeds Birdfair at Rodley Nature Reserve on Saturday 24th June 2017.  This event, now in its second year, aims to celebrate the wildlife and green spaces of Leeds.  We are looking for one or two volunteers to join us and help man the stand and talk to people about the YNU.  We took part in the first Leeds Birdfair last June, it was a very enjoyable day and resulted in new members joining the YNU. If you could help out for a few hours, we'd love to hear from you!  For more information contact John Bowers or Jill Warwick (contact details in the YNU membership card).

(2nd February 2017)

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This monthly article written by Richard Baines (Yorkshire Coast Nature Wildlife Guide) is a detailed summary of scarce and rare wildlife seen by anyone in the area, an opportunity to pick out patterns of emergence or migration and a small gallery of some of the best photos from the month. If you have any unusual sightings please email them for inclusion to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

January 2017

Birds were top of the news this month. A significant influx of Glaucous Gulls occurred after the storm surge. Star rare bird was the Pine Bunting at Dunnington near York. It was also a great time for seeing White-fronted Geese and Tundra Bean Geese as they arrived in unusually high numbers across the region from the east. Click on this link for the full article and photos. 

Photos clockwise from top left: Iceland Gull by Steve Race; Pine Bunt by Chris Gomersall; Smew by Alan Whitehead; Glaucous Gull in the storm at Filey by Mark Pearson

At the YNU Natural Sciences Forum meeting held on Saturday 5th November at Fountains Abbey in Ripon, we had a presentation about the Nidderdale AONB Wild Watch project by Kelly Harmar, AONB Biodiversity Project Officer.  The Wild Watch is a Heritage Lottery funded project of national importance which will radically improve the ecological evidence base in Nidderdale AONB and pioneer a new way of delvering conservation action at a landscape scale.  The project is led by a partnership of Nidderdale AONB, the University of Leeds and the North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre.  YNU members are asked to support the project by assisting with surveys, verifying species records and helping volunteers to develop species identification and survey skills.  Training and equipment will be provided and survey expenses will be covered.  The YNU welcomes the opportunity to support this project.  For more information, please download the presentation and information sheets about the Wild Watch project.  To get involved, please contact Kelly Harmar at 01423 712950 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

9th November 2016


Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union Conference 2016 – Names, Knowledge and Natural History

The Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union conference was held on the 19th March 2016 at the National Science Learning Centre, University of York.  The conference theme was ‘Names, knowledge and natural history – the importance of modern taxonomy to the amateur naturalist’

Many thanks to all our speakers, exhibitors and delegates for making the event such a success!  Presentations from the 2016 conference can be downloaded here.

Geoff Oxford, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union: Introduction to the morning session

Susan Chambers, National Museums Scotland: Why do species names change and why does it take so long?

Lori Lawson Handley, University of Hull: How will the molecular revolution change biological recording?

Tim Rich, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland:  On being difficult...

Chris Cooney, University of Sheffield:  Leveraging the power of museum collections

Terry Crawford, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union: Introduction to the afternoon session

David Earl, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union: Rubus studies in Yorkshire

Bill Ely, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union: Making use of names...or not.

Paula Lightfoot, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union: The UK Species Inventory

Alison Dyke, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York: People and names

Roy Crossley, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union: What's in a name?  An old entomologist reflects.

Brian Goodwin, Conchological Society of Britain and Ireland:  From Aa to Zyzzyxdonta - taxonomy can be fun!!


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YNU members Richard and Jim Middleton have created an excellent website which brings together biographical data for selected British naturalists.  They recently added an excellent new feature: a linked index of naturalists' biographies.  This takes advantage of the YNU's recent initiative to make back issues of The Naturalist dating back to 1864 freely available online via the Biodiversity Heritage Library.  Richard and Jim started by adding links to obituaries in The Naturalist, and have since gone on to add other journals such as The Entomologist, IBIS and The Journal of Botany.

You can view their ever-growing list here:

We are very grateful to Richard and Jim for creating this very useful resource, and the links make fascinating reading!

(29th September 2016)