Group is keen to promote and protect Rutland’s natural hidden gems

Photo: SM190212-009ow'Members of the Rutland Natural History Society going on a tour of the lagoons at Rutland Water. From left, chairman Ann Tomlinson, Valerie Hemsley, Archie Hemsley, Gill Chiverton, Hendrina Ellis, Roy Lemmon, senior reserve officer Joe Davis, John Rodgers, Jan Rodgers, Phil Rudkin and Martin Grimes.
Photo: SM190212-009ow'Members of the Rutland Natural History Society going on a tour of the lagoons at Rutland Water. From left, chairman Ann Tomlinson, Valerie Hemsley, Archie Hemsley, Gill Chiverton, Hendrina Ellis, Roy Lemmon, senior reserve officer Joe Davis, John Rodgers, Jan Rodgers, Phil Rudkin and Martin Grimes.
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RUTLAND Water is often seen as the main focus for wildlife enthusiasts but a group is keen to promote and protect the county’s other hidden gems.

Rutland Natural History Society was set up in the 1960s with the aim of increasing people’s knowledge and enjoyment of the county’s wildlife.

It achieves this through a series of winter talks and field trips and walks in the summer months.

Chairman Ann Tomlinson said: “The society caters for all levels of interest, from absolute beginners to expert naturalists, and everyone is guaranteed to find friendly help should they want to expand their study of natural history and their understanding of plants and animals.”

From October to April, the society meets once a month at Oakham CE Primary School to enjoy informative talks from experts on local wildlife issues. There is usually one outdoor meeting a month throughout the year.

Mrs Tomlinson said: “Joining us on an outdoor walk is a great way to develop your knowledge in a convivial atmosphere.

“Our indoor and outdoor meetings are generally very sociable events with plenty of time to chat to friends as well as discovering wildlife.”

As well as supporting members in developing their own interest and knowledge of local wildlife, the Rutland Natural History Society also maintains up-to-date records of wildlife in the county to create an archive of information.

The society currently has 330 members but is always keen to attract more and would particularly welcome families to join its meetings.

Members receive a society magazine six times a year but non-members are welcome to attend the meetings for a donation.

Mrs Tomlinson said: “The society is full of people who are very generous with their knowledge, so you can learn a lot by going on the walks and visits with them.

“We welcome anyone whether they are avid wildlife people or just have a casual interest.”

To find out more about the society visit www.rnhs.org.uk