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 attended a celebratory lunch at the How Hill Nature Reserve on 8th June. There were walks around the reserve including the “Secret Garden”, and the Norfolk Wherry, “Hathor” was moored up for the visitors to see. The winners of the wildlife photographic competition were on display – see below.

A Wildlife Photo Competition

The winning photographs of four categories were chosen and were published in the 150th year celebratory Transactions 2019

  • Overall Winner and winner of the ‘Wildlife in a Norfolk Habitat’ category: Tony Howes: Hunting Barn Owl
  • Winner of the ‘Swallowtail’ category: Bob Cobbold: Swallowtail Hickling
  • Winner of the ‘Wildlife Portrait’ category: Emma Buck: Juvenile Cuckoo
  • Winner of the ‘Showing a Key ID Feature’ category: Emma Buck: Silver Studded Blue Butterflies

Wildlife Walks

A series of Wildlife Walks throughout the county was organised, celebrating 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.

Videos about “The Nats”

150 Years old

A Special ‘150’ Publication of The Societies Transactions

This landmark publication includes articles on wildlife within the county as well as historical information about how wildlife has changed over the past 150 years. There is a forward by Simon Barnes.

Two new Occasional Publications

  • Emma Turner: A life looking at birds“, by James Parry & Jeremy Greenwood
  • Haddiscoe Island: Biodiversity and agriculture on a Norfolk grazing marsh“, by Roy Baker & Derek Howlett

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.