Alton Natural History Society

Welcome to Alton Natural History Society. 

Alton Natural History has been running for over 70 years. Indoor meetings are held every two weeks in the winter months, on Friday evenings at 19:30. We meet at the Friends Meeting House, Church Street, Alton, Hampshire GU34 2DA. 

A full programme of Field Meetings is held from Spring to Autumn, with a few meetings in the winter as well. These are typically fairly close to Alton and cover a wide range of interests including Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Flowers and Botany, Fungi. Annual events include a summer moth morning and an autumnal Fungus Foray. Most years we will hold a dusk meeting in search of Nightjars and Woodcock (while trying to dodge the mosquitos). 

We publish an annual report on our activities and local wildlife sightings which is free to members (one copy per household). 

We monitor local planning applications and try to ensure that consideration is made for wildlife and the environment. 

We have a wide range of members ranging from those with a general interest in wildlife to those who have a genuine expertise. We are in in a wonderful area of Hampshire for wildlife. We have nationally important nature reserves such as Noar Hill,and a wide mix of habitats including the superb heathlands of Woolmer and Longmoor and other lesser-known sites in the Bordon area. There are terrific dragonfly sites such as Shortheath and Kingsley Ponds, with Tundry Pond and the Farnborough area having a different range of species. The Itchen still has Water Vole, while Alresford Pond carries a wide range of waterfowl and gulls, including Shelduck and Cettis Warbler all year round. More locally, Ackender and Chawton Park woods have interesting birds, butterflies and plants. The A31 Alton bypass has hundreds of Pyramidal Orchids and smaller numbers of Common Spotted Orchids, and there are several Bee Orchid sites. The River Wey now holds regular Little Egrets, and there are occasional otter sightings. Kings Pond in Alton has nesting Herons and Little Grebes and is a regular site for Kingfishers. Even a walk through Alton's industrial estate provides a range of wildlife interest with a flock of 100 or more Pied Wagtails sometimes roosting there in winter - unless they are in the High Street oustide M&S !. The whitebeam tree outside WH Smith has even held Waxwings feeding on the berries. But don't tell everyone...

If you are interested in joining then come along to any indoor or outdoor meeting without obligation, or contact us via the contact section on this web-site. 

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Report on walk - Brick Kiln Lane for wild flowers May 2021

06/21/2021 20:08
June Chatfield has supplied on report which includes a annotated list of the plant species that she identified during the walks that she led along Brick Kiln Lane.  It also includes a guide to...

Summer Programme Published

06/21/2021 20:00
The summer programme has been published and can be found here: Programme of Meetings and Walks :: Alton Natural History Society (

Red Kite roosts - Christmas survey results

03/10/2021 21:27
  They had declined to a very small population in mid-Wales - approx 20 pairs. Since then a combination of a slow natural recovery and a major reintroduction programme has had remarkable...

Alton Ferns - Additional Identification Notes

03/10/2021 20:43
Following June Chatfield's Fern Walk around Alton in December 2020, Helen Boyce has added an extra set of notes and photos. See the Identification Articles section for details

New Article: Identifying Winter Twigs

02/22/2021 20:30
June Chatfield has written an article on Identifying Winter Twigs. This can be found in the section Identification Articles.

Allton Wildlife Blog and recent local wildlife news.

02/03/2021 22:14
We have resurrected the Alton Wildife Blog. It can be found here: All postings and photos there are made on walks or cycle rides from home from Alton and are...

Alton Natural History Society field meetings 2020 and 2021

01/07/2021 17:55
Alton Natural History Society field meetings 2020 and 2021 Under the rule of 6 meeting outdoors, three field meetings were held in short 2-hour sessions looking for insects at Barleyfields, a new...

Alton fern trail December 2020: 9 species

01/07/2021 17:48
Alton Natural History Society: June Chatfield Alton fern trail December 2020: 9 species Start from King’s Pond car park and proceed through the alleyway and Waterside Court to the railway bridge...

Field meeting report - Barleyfield in Alton. 12 August 2020

09/10/2020 19:36
The field meeting to Barleyfield in Alton took place on 12 August 2020 and some useful insect records were made. There were two sessions 2.00-4.00 and 7.30-8.30 p.m. advertised on the website with...

Fungus Foray Ackender Wood, Saturday 10th October

09/10/2020 19:34
Saturday 10th October Fungus foray at Ackender Wood. There will be two sessions: morning from 10.00 a.m.– 12.00 p.m. and afternoon from 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. Booking is necessary for social distancing...
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Membership applications

03/13/2019 20:59

The annual subscription for full membership is £10.00

For others at same address, regardless of age £4.00

To join the society, download and fill in the following form or contact bring it along with you to to an indoor meeting. Alternatively contact us using the contact form on this web-site and we will send you the postal address. 

ANHS membership form