What's On and Activities


 2019                                         2020

11th October                  7.30pm

AGM followed by HNHS Wildlife Slideshow then "Badger Nests of Lanarkshire" - Lesley and Sophie (HNHS)


10th January            7.30pm

"The Arctic and its Flora" - Duncan McEwan (freelance photographer)

8th November                  7.30m

"Barn Owls Project" -
Dr. Ben Darvill (BTO Scotland)


14th February            7.30pm




13th December                 7.30pm

Christmas Social Evening - Quiz and buffet


13th March                7.30pm

"Rouken Glen Park - Wildlife and Geology" - Katy McGregor (Park Ranger)


3rd April                   7.30pm

"HNHS @ 60" - 60th Anniversary Event


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

Entrance is £1.00 at the door and includes refreshments. Non-members are very welcome to attend.


REPORT - Autumn Superspot Session. Saturday 5th October. Fungal Foray at Neilsland Wood, Hamilton.

This was a successful outing for National Fungi Day - fungi seen included: Candlesnuff, Jelly Ear, Deceiver, Hairy Curtain Crust (Hairy stereum), Birch Polypore, Peeling Oysterling, Purple Jellydisc and a webcap species (inocybe). A variety of plants and birds were also noted.


This year, we will be running a small programme of short (1 hour) events in or near 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 Survey     Summer: Big Butterfly Count      Autumn: National Fungi Day


  Painted Lady Butterfly

RESULTS: Summer Super-Spot Session - Saturday 3rd August 2019

HNHS took part in Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count at the Calder Walkway near Blantyre. With recent warmer weather this time, our results were better than last year! There has been a big influx of painted ladies this summer and several members have reported seeing them in their gardens.

On our count we saw: 2 green-veined white, 3 peacock, 8 painted lady, 1 meadow brown. In addition, we saw 2 grass moths, 1 seven-spot ladybird, various bumblebees and heard lots of grasshoppers.

Our sightings have been sent in to Butterfly Conservation. The UK and local results are available on their website.

Other non-insect spots included: goldcrests, long-tailed tits, minnows, common amber snail, yarrow, black knapweed, green alkanet, Pyrenean valerian and marsh woundwort.

In addition, we also submitted our butterfly sightings from the outing to Thirlestane Castle: painted ladies, peacocks, green-veined whites, ringlet and meadow brown.


NEWS - RSPB Lanarkshire Local Group. The winter programme starts on Thursday 19th September with a talk on "Tag & Track" by Hayley Douglas. Meetings are held in South Parish Church, Motherwell, 7.30pm. For further details see: www.rspb.org.uk/groups/hamilton








REMINDER: Please remember to take and send us your wildlife photos (and videos) - either local or on HNHS outings, for our wildlife slideshow in October. Thanks.


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

The CAVLP campaign is now finished and as it was quite an interesting project, HNHS have decided to keep it going informally ourselves. We are therefore asking our members to continue to look out for and report to us any Lanarkshire sightings of the 12 species:

Goosander, Otter, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Badger, Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Candlesnuff Fungus, Bats, Comma Butterfly, Salmon, Nuthatch, Roe Deer.

Some are seasonal, some may be harder to spot, so go to the CAVLP website (clydeandavonvalley.org) to download the checklists or take part in an event. Send your results in to us with a note of when and where you saw it (and a photo if you have one!).


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, please let HNHS or Michael Philip know.

New in 2018: looking for sightings of Rue-leaved Saxifrage (Saxifraga tridactylites). Mostly found among moss on tarmac, concrete, gravel, pavements, old walls etc. In 2016 there were only three records - now it has been recorded in Glasgow, Cambuslang, Motherwell and Hamilton. Lets keep the records coming in for 2019!


To take part or send records in, 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).




RESULTS: Winter Super-Spot Session - Saturday 26th January 2019

HNHS took part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch at Hamilton Lido and Raith Haugh near Bothwell Bridge.

Download the results sheet here: BGB Results 2019 (179Kb pdf) to see what was there.

The lido was in use from the 1930's to 1983. Now it is part of the Clyde Walkway and NCR 74. Habitats include open parkland, riverside and woodland and there is a good viewpoint over the River Clyde. Raith Haugh overlooks the heronry at the River Clyde and has good pond and marsh habitat.



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

HNHS took part at Hamilton Common Green/Cadzow Glen. The weather was kind to us and we saw a good variety of species:

Blackbird (1), Black-headed Gull (2), Blue Tit (1), Bullfinch (3), Carrion Crow (4), Chaffinch (1), Coal Tit (1), Dunnock (1), Feral Pigeon (4), Goldcrest (1), Herring Gull (1), Long-tailed Tit (9), Magpie (1), Robin (1), Treecreeper (1), Wood Pigeon (1).

In addition (but not reported to RSPB) we saw a flock of about a dozen small finches (Siskins?) fly overhead and heard an alarm call (of Wren?). The water level in the burn was too high for Dippers. We also saw Snowdrops and Crocus flowering in the park and Sulphur-tuft fungi in the glen.



 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. 



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