NNNS 150 Years ago.


  • 1859 Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was published.
  • 1861 Rubidium discovered by Bunsen and Kirchoff
  • 1867 Lister’s antiseptic method published in “The Lancet”
  • 1869 Founding of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalist’s Society

Over one and a half centuries ago, in 1869, a group of Norfolk people decided they would regularly meet under the name “The Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society”. Their purpose was recorded in their first “Transactions” as –

  1. The practical study of Natural Science.
  2. The protection … of indigenous species … the circulation of information which may dispel prejudices …
  3. The discouragement of the practice of destroying the rarer species of birds that occasionally visit the County, and of exterminating rare plants in their native localities.
  4. The record of facts and traditions … animals and plants …to prevent the extermination of existing species…
  5. The publication of Papers on Natural History … such as relate to the County of Norfolk.
  6. Meetings for reading and discussion … exhibition of specimens … Field-meetings … to extend the study of Natural Science…

President: Simon Barnes

The Society is pleased to announce that Simon Barnes, the celebrated author, commentator and columnist, has agreed to be our president in this our celebratory year.

How Hill Celebration Day

Members and others are invited to attend a celebratory lunch at the How Hill nature reserve on 8th June. There will be walks planned on the day when we hope to record Swallowtail Butterflies. The Swallowtail features on the logo of the Society. A Norfolk Wherry will be moored up and in attendance on the day for all to inspect and the winners of the wildlife photographic competition will be on display.

A Wildlife Photo Competition

Open to all, the competition has four categories that can be entered by anyone. The winning photograph of each category will be published in the years transactions to be issued later in the year.

Wildlife Walks

A series of Wildlife Walks throughout the county have been organised. Each walk will celebrate birds, animals, insects and other taxa that may be found throughout Norfolk. A full list of events with dates and locations will be found on this website – click here.

A Swallowtail Survey

An up to date survey of Swallowtail Butterflies within the county will be carried out in the summer months. This, the largest British butterfly, is unique to East Anglia and Norfolk is its stronghold.

The Forum in Norwich

In October the Forum hosted this display about the Society, its history and what it does, as part of Science Week.

Also as part of Science week the Society sponsored the wildlife speaker Dave Goulson, well-known for his books on bees and most recently ‘The Garden Jungle’. It was part of the wildlife and conservation element of the Norwich Science Festival and discussed
insects under threat – how to tackle the crisis and how we can turn our gardens, town and cities into oases for life.

A Special ‘150’ Publication of The Societies Transactions

A landmark publication will include articles on wildlife within the county as well as historical information about how wildlife has changed over the past 150 years. The edition will include a forward by Simon Barnes.

A 150 Species Book

A book covering 150 notable species to occur in Norfolk is to be sent free to all members.

Pin Badges

The Society has for sale at events, specially produced enamel pin badges depicting the new ‘150’ Swallowtail logo.