What's On and Activities


   2017                                    2018


Annual General Meeting,

followed by Alison Guthrie,

with a talk on "South Georgia".



"Glasgow Botanic Gardens" -

Louise Bustard.



"Central Scotland's Orchids" -

Roy Sexton.



"DNA in Wildlife Crime" -

Sherryn Ciavaglia.


Christmas Social Evening -

Quiz and Buffet.


16th MARCH

"Clyde Corridor Badger Survey" -

John Darbyshire.

Joint Meeting with Glasgow &

Paisley NHS. In Upper Hall.


13th APRIL

"Hamilton Archaeology Projects" -

Warren Bailie.


Meetings are held in the Session Room of Hamilton Old Parish Church Halls, Leechlee Road, Hamilton ML3 6AQ

Entrance is £0.50 at the door. Non-members are welcome. Download the Winter Programme pdf here: HNHS Winter Programme 2017-2018



EVENT: Workshop for the "Make Your Way 2 Chatelherault" project - Thursday 18th January 2018, 1.30pm, Chatelherault.

We will be holding the second of our workshops for this CAVLP project at Chatelherault Visitor Centre. There will be an informal discussion on the natural history of the park - our knowledge of it and suggestions of what to look for. Meet at the front door of the Visitor Centre. Tea will be provided.


EVENT: Winter Super-Spot Session - Saturday 27th January 2018, RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

HNHS will be taking part at Hamilton Common Green/Cadzow Glen. We will be watching the birds for an hour from 2.00 - 3.00pm, with a cup of tea afterwards. If you would like to take part, meet at Low Parks Museum entrance for 2.00pm. The museum is at Muir Street, Hamilton ML3 6BJ. Parking, toilets and cafe available. 

The birdwatch will go ahead whatever the weather so please dress appropriately. If you have binoculars it is useful to bring them. HNHS can provide bird books / guide sheets.


EVENT: HNHS Winter Outing - Saturday 17th February 2018, Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

We will be visiting the Gardens after our talk in January. You will be free to explore the gardens and glasshouses and there will be a group walk along the River Kelvin Walkway. Bus leaves Hamilton 1.00pm. Cost £9 members/ £11 non-members. To book, check with us via the contact form if there are still places available.


Alder Cones    Hoar Frost on Bramble      Roe Deer     Silver Birch Bark    Siskin

L-R:, Alder Cones, Hoar Frost (on Bramble), Roe Deer, Silver Birch Bark, Siskin.



Fieldfares (nr. Sunnyside & Stonehouse), Nuthatch (Hamilton), Redwing (East Kilbride), Pink-footed Geese (nr. Strathaven), Geese flying over Hamilton, Red Kite, Treecreeper, Bullfinch, Ivy flowers (and insects when not frosty), Buttercup, Daffodils & garden bulbs growing.


 Photos sent in: 

 Otter     Otter at River Clyde, Baron's Haugh.


REPORT:  Fungal Foray - Sunday 8th October, Barncluith, Chatelherault.

As part of UK Fungus Day 2017 (promoted by the British Mycological Society), HNHS did a fungal foray at Barncluith in Chatelherault Country Park. We started to survey this area in 2016 (as a follow-on to HNHS surveys done in the 1960's & 1970's) and continued round previously unrecorded bits this year. 36 species were found, with a slightly different range than last year. Some new finds were: Milkcap spps, Jellybaby, Amethyst Deceiver and Crested Coral. A species new to us was Jelly Tongue (Pseudohydnum gelatosum) which looks rather like Jelly Ear fungi but has white "teeth" underneath rather than gills or a smooth surface.



MORE TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH - Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Challenge 2017

This CAVLP campaign runs all year - there are 12 species to spot, with a different one featured each month. The challenge is to see them all in 2017. Some are seasonal, some may be harder to spot, so go to their website (clydeandavonvalley.org), download the checklists or take part in an event. Send your results in to them via iRecord or the Countryside Rangers. Alternatively, HNHS will be taking part all year and you can pass your sightings on via us. 

The Jan- Sept Spotting Sheets are now available and are:

January - Goosander                                  July - Candlesnuff Fungus

February - Otter                                          August - Bats

March - Great Spotted Woodpecker           September - Comma Butterfly

April - Badger                                              October - Salmon

May - Kingfisher                                          November - Nuthatch

June - Blue-tailed Damselfly                       December - Roe Deer

You can sign up for their e-newsletter by putting your e-mail address in the blue "Join Our Newsletter" box on their website homepage: Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership


EVENT: Hamilton Civic Society Winter Programme 2017- 2018

If you are looking for something interesting to do over the winter months, why not go along to the Civic Society's series of lectures. Held at St. John's Church Hall in Hamilton 7.30pm, unless stated otherwise.


2nd October - Planning and Economic Issues in Hamilton, 6th November - Cinema Heritage, 4th December - Annual Lunch (Hamilton Bowling Club).


8th January - Scottish Civic Trust (Hamilton Bowling Club), 5th February - The History of Maps,

5th March - Lanarkshire Police Forces, 9th April - AGM and Lanark Lanimer Day.

For more info, see website at: www.hamiltoncivicsociety.co.uk


This year, we will be running a small programme of short (1 hour) events in Hamilton, designed to let you practice and learn about the nature on your doorstep, with a cup of tea afterwards. Just come along at the advertised time to take part.

Winter: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch      Spring: Botany      Summer: Invasive Species      Autumn: Fungal Foray

Look out for the 2018 programme in the new year.



EVEN MORE TO LOOK OUT FOR - The "hit list"

The BSBI recorder for Lanarkshire is asking for help to look out for species which are possibly under-recorded in the county. The "Species Hit List" is: primrose, globeflower, orchids (any), sundews, herb paris, poppies.

If you see any of these in Lanarkshire throughout 2017, please let HNHS or Michael Philip know.

EVENT - Invertebrate Recording Project, Cadzow Oaks, Chatelherault, Hamilton

Cadzow Oaks Project Poster 

Life in the Cadzow Oaks - deadwood invertebrates survey volunteers.  Thursdays & Fridays.  The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow are looking for volunteers to assist in regular fieldwork, including trap checking and general surveying duties at the Cadzow Oaks site until March 2018. No experience is necessary as training will be given.  Contact Jeanne Robinson, Curator of Entomology at the Hunterian Museum at jeanne.robinson@glasgow.ac.uk / 0141 330 2303, Monday - Wednesday



LANARKSHIRE BOTANY - VC 77 Summer Programme 2017

The summer programme of fieldwork is now finished for the season, and a final social get-together for participants to look at the year's results was held at the end of October.

There will be a new session starting 2018, with outings all season for various levels of ability - to take part, contact the BSBI recorder for Lanarkshire, Michael Philip at:  botany@opus44.co.uk

Team 77 has a Google Group page and are on Facebook at: Lanarkshire Botany. Michael has also produced a Training Pack for beginners to help them learn plant identification. 

Spring  Download the training pack here: Training Pack No1 (pdf 2524KB)


 Wildlife Surveys in South Lanarkshire - help wanted!

         Badgers in the Landscape                 Water Vole Leaflet

A couple of wildlife surveys are running just now and want your sightings. Badgers in the Landscape are looking for records of badgers in South Lanarkshire and are also providing opportunities to learn and volunteer. For more information go to www.scottishbadgers.org.uk

The Water Vole Survey is looking for your sightings of these animals to improve the records in South Lanarkshire. Download the information leaflet here: Water Voles (204KB pdf).





HNHS SIGHTINGS LISTS - what we have seen on our outings 2017:

 Glenlee Woods List (pdf 312KB), Falkirk List (pdf 58KB), Chatelherault List (pdf 57KB), Millport List (pdf 9KB), Strathblane List (pdf 101KB), Greenhead Moss List (pdf 103KB), West Fife List (pdf 99KB), Kilmarnock List (pdf 54KB)


NEWS - More Forestry Work At Chatelherault, August 2017.

Views over the Duke's Bridge, the Avon Gorge and Cadzow Castle were reinstated in August. Forestry harvesters removed 800 tonnes of commercial conifer plantation trees. This will improve biodiversity and funds generated will be reinvested in restoring features of the former Hamilton Palace Estate, including the White Bridge and path maintenance.

Chatelherault Felling      Felled Trees Chatelherault

Views of the recently felled areas at Chatelherault taken from near the visitor centre.


EVENT REPORT - Peter Macpherson Memorial, Glasgow, 27th April 2017

On 27th April, Fiona represented HNHS at an event hosted by GNHS to commemorate Dr. Peter Macpherson MBE. A group, including members of Peter's family, attended a tree-planting ceremony at University Avenue in Glasgow.

Peter was the botanical recorder for Lanarkshire, which he did for over 35 years, and he had personal links to the area as his mother lived in Strathaven - apparently he was a Hamilton Accies fan! He was a member of both Andersonians and Glasgow Natural History Society and was twice President of the latter. He had also been President of the BSBI and was a Fellow of the Linnean Society. His book "The Flora of Lanarkshire" was published in 2016 after his death.

The tree planted in his memory is a Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) - GNHS thought he would appreciate the Latin name.


GNHS Tree Planting      GNHS Tree Plaque



HNHS did the Birdwatch on Sunday 29th January at Hamilton Palace Grounds and had some good weather for it.

This is what we saw: Blackbird(3), Blue Tit(2), Bullfinch(7), Crow(2), Dunnock(1), Magpie(1), Robin(1), Starling(approx.30), Tufted Duck(1), Wigeon(1), Wood Pigeon(6).

Results have been sent in to RSPB. Thanks to all who took part.



Snowdrops, primrose, gorse, blackbirds, cormorant, bullfinches, greater spotted woodpeckers (Larkhall), waxwings (Peacock Cross). Goosanders have been seen at Strathclyde Park.



REPORT - HNHS Archive Event, Hamilton Library, Thursday 24th November 2016

HNHS have paid tribute to founder member Audrey Wallace who restarted the Hamilton Society in 1960. The Society had been looking for a suitable way to commemorate Audrey (who died 2014) and her considerable contribution to the Society over 50 years. As her late husband Bill Wallace (our treasurer for almost 30 years and a well-known local historian) had already gifted his Civic Society collection to Hamilton library, we thought a HNHS archive project would be appropriate, as Audrey was a keen library user (she worked at Queens University Library, Belfast before she moved to Hamilton).

We have donated our archive material to South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, where it will be maintained in the library's reference collection, available to everyone. Of interest to local and family historians or those interested in environmental matters or photography, the collection contains items (from 1959 to date) such as minute books, journals, press cuttings, papers, booklets and pamphlets, photographs, environmental surveys and reports for Lanarkshire. Also our copies of older material held in the library such as photographs from the Ballantyne Collection (pre-1922) and from the 1914/1916 Manuscript Magazines of Hamilton Field Club.

We have also gifted two copies of the recently published book "The Flora of Lanarkshire" to Hamilton library. The author, Dr. Peter Macpherson was well known to the Society and was the BSBI recorder for Lanarkshire.

The handover event was held during National Book Week 2016 and we would like to thank librarian Scott Main and his staff for their assistance and also the Society members and invited guests who attended the event.


 Audrey Event  Audrey Tree Planting  First Day cover 1973  Loch Lomond 1963  Neilsland Nature Trail 1970

Items from the Archive, L-R: Audrey Planting a Tree at Chatelherault 2012, First Day Cover 1973, HNHS Outing to Loch Lomond 1963, Neilsland Nature Trail Guide 1970



This summer's tree felling operations at Chatelherault are finished. 18 hectares were cleared to open up historic views in the Avon Gorge and allow regeneration by native trees. Funds raised by the sale of timber will be used in projects to repair the paths and White Bridge replacement.

The fish ladders on the River Avon at Ferniegair (Old Avon Bridge) and Millheugh (Larkhall) are complete and open up an extra 200km of spawning ground to migrating fish. Let us know at our wildlife spot if you see salmon!


FUNGAL FORAY - Chatelherault

 As part of UK Fungus Day 2016 (promoted by the British Mycological Society), HNHS did a fungal foray at Barncluith in Chatelherault Country Park on 9th October, in memory of our founder member Audrey Wallace, who published a list of fungi in Hamilton High Parks in the Western Naturalist 1974.

We had a very successful afternoon and saw at least 20 species in a small area near the Duke's Monument.

Summer Outings Reports 2016     

Download the details of what we saw here: Aberfoyle List (pdf 55KB), Rosslyn List (pdf 248KB), Gargunnock & Cambuskenneth List (pdf 96KB), Gartcosh List (pdf 96KB), Moffat List (pdf 55KB), Erskine & Kilmacolm List (pdf 55KB).



HNHS took part by doing the Birdwatch in Hamilton Palace Grounds and Hamilton Low Parks Nature Reserve on Sunday 31st January. This is what we saw:

Palace Grounds: Blackbird (2), Crow (2), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), Magpie (2), Mallard Duck (1), Pied Wagtail (1), Pigeon (7), Redwing (1), Robin (1), Starling (3).

Hamilton Low Parks: Black-headed Gull (12), Canada Goose (22), Coot (1), Cormorant (1), Crow (2), Dunnock (1), Greylag Goose (11), Jackdaw (4), Magpie (1), Mute Swan (7), Robin (1), Tufted Duck (10), Widgeon (8), Wood Pigeon (2).


From event at Hoolet Row, Chatelherault, Sunday 24th January 2016 -  A member of HNHS was on site for a short while at this event and noted around a dozen species of fungi fruiting on site. A selection are shown below:

Green Wood Cup  Jelly Ear  Root Rot  Scarlet Elf Cup  Sulphur Tuft  Variable Oysterling

 L-R: Green Wood-Cup, Jelly Ear, Root Rot, Scarlet Elf Cup, Sulphur Tuft, Variable Oysterling.

Scarlet Elf Cup are usually seen at Chatelherault in late February-March so these are quite early. The easiest place to see them is at the rear of the car park.



Glorious Gardens Project - volunteers wanted

 Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership are working with Historic Scotland and Heritage Lottery Fund on a two-year project to record historic gardens and designed landscapes in South Lanarkshire.


Chatelherault Country Park Forest Plan - Public Consultation

A Forest Plan is being developed to guide the management of this woodland over the next 20 years. South Lanarkshire Council want to hear your views on the plan and are holding three drop-in sessions at the Chatelherault Country Park visitor centre, where you will be able to view maps, talk to staff and leave comments. The sessions will be held on:

Wednesday 18th March 1 - 4pm,   Wednesday 18th March 7 - 9pm   and Sunday 22nd March 1 - 4pm.


Report: Winter Outing Feb 2015: HNHS Winter Outing Report 2015 (pdf 105KB)



Report: Author Event: Doug Allan - Wildlife Photographer and Author of Freeze Frame.

Several members of HNHS were among the audience for this entertaining and informative talk which was held in Hamilton Town House on Sat. 29th November. The author provided a fascinating and beautifully illustrated account of his career as a wildlife cameraman and diver who specialises in extreme environments such as the Arctic and Antarctic and has worked on many BBC Natural History programmes with David Attenborough such as Blue Planet and Life in the Freezer. The talk was part of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture's Book Week Scotland events programme.


 Invasive Plants Survey Report 25th September 2014.

Six members of HNHS carried out this survey in a 1km grid square near Bothwell Castle/Clyde Walkway as part of a wider survey of the Clyde catchment area run by Central Scotland Forest Trust, SLC and SL Biodiversity Partnership with a view to developing a plan to control/manage invasive non-native species. Our allocated square had been surveyed some years previously and we found there was no longer any Giant Hogweed visible but some very large and extensive stands of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam along the river. Sightings of INNS are still required: if you see Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Rhododendron Ponticum, American Mink, North American Signal Crayfish or New Zealand Flatworm in the local area, please report them back to Emilie Wadsworth at CSFT or the Rangers at Calderglen Country Park.

More info at: www.southlanarkshirebiodiversity.co.uk/Invasive-Species



Invasive Plants Survey, River Clyde Walkway