Past Wildlife Site Visits and Talks

Working from most recent programmes backward.

You can find accounts of some of our wildlife site visits on our page Field Club Visits to the Wild Side.

Summer Wildlife Site Visits Programme 2023




Saturday 22nd April 2023

Lichen Crawl at Errwood Hall

Steve Price

Monday 15th May 2023 

Guided walk at RSPB Coombes Valley

Jane Tattersall and Kate Hamey RSPB

Saturday 27th May 2023

Guided walk at High Rake

Mark Cocker

Saturday 3rd June 2023

Making Nature Count (Introduction to recording methods) at the Schoolroom, Pooles Cavern carpark, Buxton

BFC Records Group

Saturday 10th June 2023

Bioblitz at Hogshaw

BFC Records Group

Saturday 24th June 2023

50th Anniversary Walk: Monsal Dale and Brushfield

Rosemary Furness

Thursday 6th July 2023

Victory Lime Tip and Quarry, Doveholes

Survey against BFC July 1970 list of wildflowers

BFC Recording Group

Autumn-Winter programme 2022-23



Subject and summary

Friday 14th October 2022

Penny Anderson

The Peak District’s Peatland Story – development, damage and restoration

Video recording available to BFC members now

Penny Anderson is a professional ecologist who has spent her working life based in the Peak District. She established her ecological consultancy, Penny Anderson Associates in 1972, which is still going strong based in Buxton. Penny has surveyed and explored large parts of the Peak District, producing management and restoration plans for all kinds of habitats. She developed a particular expertise in moorland restoration, starting with the National Park’s Moorland Restoration and Management Project which began in 1979. She co-authored ‘The Wildflowers and Other Plants of the Peak District’ with Dave Shimwell in 1981 and her New Naturalist volume on the Peak District was published in 2021. Penny is supposed to be retired but seems to be just as busy carrying out botanical surveys and being involved in local projects.

Saturday 29th October 2022

Jane Sweetman

Soil Matters

Video recording available to BFC members now

This down-to-earth talk is about the invisible world beneath our feet and its role in feeding the world above ground. Jane’s presentation aims to grow understanding of our soil, its fundamental importance, and how we can nurture its vitality. She introduces some of the characters in the soil story and how the underground plot unfolds as they play their ecological parts, bringing soil science to life. Practical points include how soil becomes rich and fertile, or otherwise, and what we can do to care for our soil and all that it sustains. 

Jane Sweetman MSc is a sociable grower with over 35 years’ experience of training vegetable growers, and teaches Sustainable Horticulture for Bicton College, Devon. As well as running the family veg-garden at home in Somerset, she is one of the grower-directors at Plotgate Community Farm, probably the largest hand-cultivated market garden in the UK. She manages the farm’s plant-raising and educational activities. She loves to help connect people with the natural world and each other, and is currently chair of Wilderwoods Forest School, an educational charity providing outdoor learning opportunities for all ages.

Saturday 12th November 2022

Gerald Price


The Evolution of UK Woodland: human intervention and the impact on the natural world

Video recording available for BFC members now.

The talk tracks the part woodland has played in society from the Saxon period up until today. Through ‘allotted’ rights and customs, the turbulence of the Norman Conquest, planned, sophisticated woodland management during the Middle Ages, partial abandonment of woodland practices through the Industrial Revolution and unsustainable raids for timber for wooden warships and  pit props especially in support of WW1 – reducing woodland land cover to just 5%. The creation of the Forestry Commission in 1919 was an early corrective action, but throughout this time wildlife had to fit in as best it could; many species were lost or became endangered, others adapted. By the 1970’s an understanding of ecology emerged along with a realisation that rectification was urgently needed. Since then, through the work of Wildlife Trusts and especially the Woodland Trust our woodland cover has slowly improved in both quantity and quality, but we still have a long way to go.  

Gerald Price has been a volunteer speaker for over 20 years, is a walk leader and runs a woodland Work Group in the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood  – the largest single wood in the National Forest. Having worked in IT operations for many years (an indoor life where everything changed every few years) the outdoor world where management plans run for 10 years- plus appeals, as does the role of invertebrates in our woods and all of the ‘messy stuff’ both under and above ground. 

Saturday 26th November 2022

Byron Machin

Peak District Wildflowers

A truly specialist talk looking at the fascinating rare wildflowers of the Peak District, bolstered by stunning photography, award winning research and a lifetime of experience in England’s most sublime National Park.
Byron Machin is a keen botanist and entomologist, documentary maker, writer, professional lecturer and high school geography teacher from the Staffordshire Moorlands. Born in Leek, he has had a passion for all aspects of landscape history since he was a young boy. This talk reflects this and the interests that he has been researching for many years. Byron’s publications include an eight-year research project on the butterflies of the Peak District, and a fascinating four part, eight hour documentary series on the history, wildlife, folklore and landscape of the Peak District.
This talk was not recorded, at Byron’s request, but you can find the rich host of Byron’s videos on the natural history, history and geology of the Peak District on his YouTube channel at Byron Machin – YouTube, which we can whole heartedly recommend.

Saturday 7th January 2023

Tony Pioli

Alpine Exposure: A study f the Alpine landscape, its flora, fauna and mountain villages, in the Austrian Tyrol, Dolomites and French Alps

Tony is self-taught, award-winning photographer, and a longstanding member of the Club. He has travelled far and wide visiting many countries and continents in order to portray not only the underlying beauty of the natural world, but also to produce images of the more interesting aspects of the world around us, through the lens of his camera. 

Saturday 4th February 2023 (Zoom meeting)

Community of Arran Seabed Trust

Protecting and Restoring Sealife around Arrn and the Clyde

Thursday 23rd February 2023                                (Zoom meeting)

Mags Crittenden

The Life and Times of Bryophytes: a natural history

Bryophytes (Mosses and Liverworts) are traditionally seen as a difficult group of plants to identify as they are small, have no flowers, and can look quite similar. They are abundant, if sometimes obscure, in many habitats and some of them are excellent ecological indicators. This well-presented and extremely informative talk provides an introduction to this diverse group based on common species and includes the threats to Bryophytes, their ecological impact such as peat formation, their economic and medicinal benefits as well as their role as pollution indicators.

Mags Crittenden is a bryologist and Bryophyte Recorder for Nottinghamshire, and the Education and Training Officer for the British Bryological Society.

Saturday 4th March 2023

Bruce Kendrick

An Eye for Birds (A joint meeting with Derbyshire Ornithological Society)

As a ten-year-old, Bruce Kendrick contracted TB and was bedridden for six months in an isolated sanatorium, deep in the Cheshire countryside where his love of birdwatching developed. On leaving hospital, he shared his passion with three schoolmates and over the next five years this small band of birders explored wildlife locations on and nearby the Wirral. At 16 they spent part of their summer on Bardsey, a remote island off North Wales as part of a small, professional team of naturalists where he was fascinated by nature first-hand and begins to grasp the basics of the science of evolution.

This is an inspiring call to arms for anyone who values the world outside their door, and a ‘rites of passage’ story of one lad’s journey through early formative teenage years between 1957 to 1962 when birdwatching sat easily in his life alongside football, girls, radical politics and rock bands. It’s the sixties on Merseyside. ‘An Eye for Birds’ traces the boy’s expanding world of nature and then, in later life, his reflections on those times. A passion for nature has stayed with him throughout his life and as an adult, he explores the way views are formed and become a base reference to work out how to deal with life’s ups and downs. On revisiting all his old haunts each visit triggers further questions, reflections and musings. How does nature manage, over all those years, to continue to inspire and stimulate him? What does it mean to be part of nature? How does nature manage to heal?

Saturday 18th March 2023  + AGM

Alex Hyde

Europe’s Wild Places

Alex Hyde is a professional natural history photographer. From the depths of a Slovenian cave system to the giddy heights of alpine peaks in Austria, Alex will introduce you to a wide array of animals and plants that can be found across Europe’s varied and exciting landscapes. The evening will include wildlife and landscape images with a particular emphasis on macro photography to reveal details of insects, alpine plants and much more besides. There will be plenty of time given over to discuss the techniques and equipment behind the photographs.

Summer Wildlife Site Visits programme 2022

Click the button for a copy of our Outdoor Schedule for Summer 2022.

Autumn-Winter programme 2021-22

All the 2021 talks were on Zoom for members (live-streamed on the Club’s Youtube channel for non-members). Videos of these talks are publicly available on our Youtube channel.




16th Oct 2021

Hugh Warwick

Hedgehogs – what are they and why should we care?

30th Oct 2021

Steve Price

Tea and Tigers – Wildlife in Village India and Nepal

13th Nov 2021

Andrew Joly

Pollinating the Peak

27th Nov 2021

Sara Frost

St Kilda

8th Jan 2022

James Lowen

Much Ado About Mothing (See James’ book of the same title)

22nd Jan 2022

Kate Lemon/DWT

Reintroduction of Beavers at Willington Wetlands

5th Feb 2022

Karen Lloyd

Abundance: Nature in Recovery (published 2.9.21)

19th Feb 2022

Jane Sweetman

Worms and Soils

5th Mar 2022 Joint meeting with DOS*

Mary Colwell

Based on her most recent book Beak, Tooth and Claw: Living with Predators in Britain

19th Mar 2022

Sian Tower

Plus AGM

A chance to share our encounters with the natural world, facilitated by Sian Tower writer and Education Manager for Writing East Midlands

Summer Wildlife Site Visits programme 2021

Saturday 3rd July: Wildflower Meadows 

Saturday 17th July: Hay Dale 

Saturday 31st July: Serpentine Walks, Buxton – Surveying/recording 

Saturday 14th August: Waterswallows 

Sunday 22nd August: Bonsall Moor and Cascade Gardens 

Saturday October 16th: Fungus walk, Buxton