Natural History Programme - 2017

Programme for 2017

        Hello Everyone

          Spring is not too far away , and even now its possible to see a fair amount of activity out there in the countryside. Daffodil bulbs are already showing and squirrels are busy finding their hidden nuts---look for scrapes under the trees especially the Oak. Now is a good time to compare buds from different trees---you can identify trees by their buds --the shape, the size and how they are set on the branch.

      The first meeting of the year will be on Thursday, 23rd February at Wilton Avenue Community Centre ( Willow Court) , . Starting 10.30. I have completed most of the programme for the coming year but I need your input  for some items  and you will then be able to see the completed programme after the meeting. If there are any places from past years you would like to visit again then let me know at the meeting.

      So , between now and the 23rd get busy with your camera and carry it with you all year--you never know when you might take a winning shot!

       See you soon.  Visitors and new members are very welcome , there is plenty of room in the countryside for everyone.

    Best Wishes for a very good Natural History Year



Febuary 25th

              Fantastic turn out for the meeting last Thursday, even though Doris was doing her best to keep everyone in doors. As promised , the following is the programme for the coming year.


           Natural History Programme   2017


23rd February    Indoor meeting   Willow Court.  10.30. 12.30

23rd  March .     Hartlebury Common. Meet 10.30 at Wilden Top for a Spring Walk.

20th April.          Upton Warren Wetland Reserve .  Group A-J  Meet Moors Carpark 10.30

27th April.            Upton Warren Wetland Reserve. Group K-Z  Moors Car Park 10.30.

18th May             Elan Valley Visitor's Centre and the Red Kite Feeding Station, Gigrin Farm.   Details later.      £18

Wednesday 24th May   Visit to the Saltwells and Doultons Pit Nature Reserve with the Geology Group. Meeting at the Rose Theatre carpark at 1.30pm. 


22nd June          Severn Valley Country Park. Meet !0.30

17th  August        Dingle , Lake, and Bog at Dudmaston Hall . Meet at 11.00.


21th September    Slimbridge  Wildfowl and Wetland Trust.  Coach. Details later.

19th October         Fungal Foray.


23rd November    Indoor meeting at Willow Court. 10.30-12.30.


If there are any queries please let me know. Directions and parking information will be on the web before the meeting.

For the Hartlebury Meeting   take the road from Stourport to Hartlebury and soon after the Severn Manor Hotel on the left, Wildon Top is on the right. Free.


Tuesday 18th April

          The next meeting is for Group A --to Upton Warren Wetland Reserve. Please bring birdbooks and binocs.Meet at the Moors Carpark at 10.30am

on Thursday 20th April.

Directions---From the first island in Bromgrove take the A38 to Worcester and after passing Chichesters Caravans on the right take the narrow tarmaced lane on the left (50yds ).Follow it down to the carpark.

    There are lots of birds about so a visit is well worth while.

The date has changed for the visit to Sandwells and Doulton Pit Nature reserve. Please look at the Programme. More details later.

    On 18th May we go to Elan Valley in the morning and then to the feeding of the Kites at Gigrin Farm in the afternoon.This was a very good day out last time and I would encourage you to come if possible--------the coach needs a few more people and if any of you who are coming know of a friend (U3A Member ) who may like a day out perhaps you could  encourage them to join us.

On the 18th we meet at Brintons Park, Sutton Rd at 9am.  Return 6pm.

 See you soon.



   May 6th

  A reminder------on Wednesday 24 th May, those who would like to, can join up with the Geology Group for a visit to Saltwells and the Doultons Pit Nature reserve. This will be lead by a ranger whom , I hope will be telling us about how  habitats are linked to the rocks beneath our feet. I hope he will make it interesting and maybe amusing. I would like to see a few of us there and if you can make it we will meet at the Rose Theatre at 1.30---car sharing. Good footwear needed.

I'm going away on the 11th May for five days , back on the 16th May . If you have any queries about Elan Valley visit two days later leave them until I come back.


 Just a thought about the Elan Valley Trip there is a very good cafe selling hot and cold snacks and meals  at the visitors centre or picnics are an option for outside. It often rains in Wales so waterproofs and strong boots / shoes are advised.

Sunday 21st May

       Hope you all enjoyed your day out at Elan Valley and the Red Kites, the latter putting on a fantastic display.

  Next month there is a change of date from the 15th June to the following Thursday,22nd June. at the Severn Valley Country Park at 10.30 am.While there I will tell you about Slimbridge, the September visit.

     Hope to see some of you on Wednesday afternoon.

    See you soon




      June 17th

Its a beautiful morning ---go outside and enjoy it!

Next meeting is on Thursday 22nd June at the Severn Valley Country Park meeting at 10.30am.Parking fee is from £1 to £2.50 depending on how long you want to stay.Plenty parking at the Visitors Centre. We enjoyed walking the walk yesterday---there is plenty to see including numerous orchids and other lovely summer wild flowers and grasses of all species.Butterflies and insects galore and a large pond where you can try your hand at pond dipping ( I will take some equipment ).It is a short walk with a very small incline at the start. Coffee and cakes at the end of the walk at the centre.I think you will enjoy this walk!

      Unfortunately we will not be able to do the walk at Dudmaston in July, but I hope to move it to the August Meeting . Will tell you later.

Slimbridge----Thursday 21st September.There are only 20 names on the list at the moment (list from the first meeting in the year) so there is plenty of room. This is a great day out which I am sure you will enjoy. I will open it to the U3A if there are not enough members of the NH group able to come. The price to include Entry and coach will be £18pp to reach me as soon as possible.

 Thats it for the moment , Hope to see you on Thursday

 Regards      Gill


22nd June

      Had a lovely walk this morning from the visitor centre  at the Country Park.A field of many wild flowers including numerous orchids the two main species being the Common Orchid and the Early Purple Orchid. Great pond dipping, have you ever seen a large dragonfly nymph catch a smaller one of the same species, fight with it and then eat it ?  Quite exciting---if you like that kind of thing!  We also saw a mass of tiny froglets , many butterflies and a hornet. So really a very good morning.

   I will not be here for the next meeting on Thursday 20th July. Is there anyone who would like to take over and take the group for a short jaunt somewhere of their own liking to 'see what you can see '.  Have a go ! Let me know  if interested.

      If you want to send a cheque for Slimbridge !!!!!     My address is

    3, Middleton Road, Kidder. DY11 5EZ.  Cheques made out to ---Wyre Forest and District U3A.




   Friday 14th July

  The meeting on Thursday 20th July has been cancelled as we have to go to Worcester and so the next meeting will be on Thursday  17th August when , maybe we will go to Dudmaston. Watch this space !

So far I have received only one persons £18 for the visit to Slimbridge. As there will be some spaces on the coach I am going to open the visit  to all members  of the U3A.

  Hope to see you all soon.




Wednesday 13th September

    Hi everyone

                 I have been very remiss just lately     Cannot believe i did not put any thing on the web for the August walk at Dudmaston.Turned out to be a good walk on a fine day.Had a good turnout of 17 so I must have told some of you about the walk.

   Now, a week tomorrow we will be coming to the end of our vist to Slimbridge. I hope we have a fine day but be prepared for anything . There is a very good restaurant but a picnic may be better as you may not want to return to the restaurant and break your tour of the site Or have some lunch before you set out !.

    See you at Brintons park on the 21st ready to leave as close to 9.00 as possible . Any problems ring me on K630123.


Sat 7th October

   Hello everyone

          I hope those who went  enjoyed the day out to Slimbridge eventhough it was a bit wet to begin with . It seems a long time ago now .

  Fungal Foray  Thursday 19th October. The flat side of Kinver edge  still seems the best place to go to see a variety of fungi, so for those who would like to hunt the fungi meet in the usual place  Sandy Lane , just pass the Maize maze in Blakeshall at 10.30am.

  How many have been busy with cameras! If you have some photos of Fauna , Flora and landscapes etc then we would love to see them Let me know if you are willing to show them to the group at the last meeting  on Thursday 23rd, November in Willow Court  at 10.30. Put them on a memory stick and Mick will try and sort out the prejector!

  See you soon



25th October

      Hello everyone.

                  Great morning looking for fungi last Thursday.Good turnout even in the pouring rain and we found a good amount of fungi.Thank you very much for joining me.

   I have cancelled the walk in Pipers wood on Thursday 16th of November due to a painful knee and so the next meeting will be on Thursday 23rd November , the indoor meeting at 10.30.

 Hope to see you all then.