Speaker Meetings

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month from September to April, at 7.30 pm, Pallant Suite, 7 South Pallant, Chichester PO19 1SY.
Non-members and guests are very welcome, entrance charge £2.
The format for the evenings is:
          7:15: doors open.
          7:30: meeting starts with Chairman's notices followed by the lecture.
          INTERVAL: time for a chat and enjoy some coffee or tea and biscuits. (No charge but donations welcome. Please bring your own mug).
          8:30: second part of lecture
          9:00 Close of meeting
Please bring along a mug if you would like a tea or coffee during the inverval. 

Car parking: As from 1st April 2024 the Cawley Priory car park and most other CDC car parks will be charging for parking up to 8:00pm.


2024 Indoor meeting programme

Wednesday 3rd January - Celebrating Medmerry Nature Reserve - ten years on.
The managed realignment scheme at Medmerry was completed in 2013 when the shingle sea wall was breached. We will look at how it has developed since then and changes to the communities of plants, dragonflies, grasshoppers and birds.
Adam Taylor, RSPB site manager for the Solent reserves, will tell us why and how the reserve was created and how birds and other wildlife have benefited.  After the break Helen and Philippa will present the results of the CNHS monitoring flora, dragonflies and grasshoppers. This will be an extended version of the talk which was due to be presented at the AGM.

Wednesday 7th February - 'Dragonflies of Sussex: an introduction with a focus on the River Arun area'. An illustrated talk by Alison Barker, who led a Dragonfly walk for us in the summer.

Wednesday 6th March – ‘Avian reintroductions in the UK - past, present and future - including red kite, sea eagles and white storks.’ An illustrated talk by Matt Phelps. Matt is a birder, naturalist, land manager and writer based in West Sussex. Matt works in wilding landscapes, carrying out ecological surveys, and leading guided walks. He is co-author of the new book ‘Where to watch birds in Surrey and Sussex’.

Wednesday 3rd April - The Long Walk Home - An evening with Michael Blencowe.
In March 2023 Michael Blencowe left his house in Sussex, turned the corner of his cul-de-sac and kept walking. It was the start of an epic journey of 348 miles, through sun, storms and snow, back to his childhood home in Devon. Join Michael for stories of the wildlife, folklore and history he discovered along the route.

Through his unique combination of natural history knowledge, passion and humour, Michael is well known as one of the most popular and engaging public speakers in Sussex and beyond.

Summer break – but join us for one of the many CNHS Field Outings organised throughout the Spring and Summer

Wednesday 4th September - Harbour Plants: What did they ever do for us? An illustrated talk by John Arnott
For many people visiting Chichester Harbour plants provide a pleasant green backdrop to the stupendous views. However, most people can no longer put a name to even the commonest species. We seem to have lost touch with our wildflower heritage. John will outline that lost heritage for some of the typical wildflowers we have in the Harbour and questions whether they have any relevance for us today.

Wednesday 2 October - ‘Restoring a historic Chichester churchyard to benefit wildlife’ and ‘Engaging with Adders’. A two part talk by Dr Sam Kelly, Chair of the Friends of St Mary’s Churchyard in Whyke Road,
Learn more about a hidden gem: the churchyard behind the site of the historic church is also a nature reserve in the city, with over 100 species of plants, a refuge for birds, bats, butterflies, beetles and many other creatures.

Wednesday 6th November – CNHS AGM
followed by presentation of the results from our field outings, surveys and projects including the Chichester Bat Project.

Wednesday 4th December – Christmas party. An evening of natural history fun and intrigue.
Please bring a plate of finger food for the buffet table. Your first drink from the bar is free. The activities will include:
Two light-hearted quizzes to test your Natural History knowledge.
The popular “Nature Discovery Table". Please bring along obscure and/or fascinating Natural History objects or pictures, (together with the answers to be revealed later).
The John Kelsall challenge photography competition.

Wednesday 8th January 2025 (note the change from our usual date) - ‘Monitoring Biodiversity the Graeme Lyons Way’ and ‘The Spiders of Sussex’. A two part talk by Graeme Lyons, Freelance Ecologist and Entomologist

Wednesday 5th February 2025 - Work, Aims and Ambitions of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, an illustrated talk by Chris Corrigan, CEO, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Chairman Sussex Ornithological Society and former RSPB South East Director.

Wednesday 5th March 2025 - Subject and speaker to be announced.

Wednesday 2nd April 2025 - Subject and speaker to be announced.



Matt Phelps

Michael Blencowe

Michael Blencowe's book

Pub Meetings

  We need a new pub meeting organiser.  Please contact chair@chichesternaturalhistorysociety.org.uk for more information.  There are no further pub meetings at present, until there is a new organiser.

These are informal gatherings held once a month on a Wednesday at the Bull’s Head, Fishbourne, over the winter months from October to April.  A chance to meet fellow members, enjoy a lunch on a cold winter's day, and learn more about a subject, with a talk led by an experienced member of the society with specialist knowledge of the subject. 
The group meets for lunch at 12.30, and finishes about 2.30pm. 
These small meetings are limited to ten members who must pre-book and order their meal usually at the preceding lecture meeting.
Members pay for their meal at the bar on arrival.  Everyone will be served together at one sitting.
The Society charges £1 per person, payable on the day, to cover speaker expenses.


Chichester, West Sussex

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