• The National Body for Naturalists

    Founded in 1905 with the sole aim of promoting the study of all branches of Natural History and continues to do so to this day
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We hope you find it interesting and stimulating, and hope you will join the Association and swell the numbers of Britain’s Naturalists.

Join the BNA the national body for naturalists, founded in 1905, and extend your interest in the British countryside by taking part in a wide range of activities together with fellow enthusiasts of all ages. With the help of our experts, you will be able to learn more about our native flora and fauna and develop an in-depth understanding of how our natural world develops and changes increasingly important in view of the changes in our climate.

At national level, the BNA organises lectures and exhibitions, publishes Country-Side, British Naturalist, the BNA website and the BNA holds occasional conferences and Field Trips at a different location each year.


Chairman’s Challenge

Honorary Chairman Steven Rutherford  fulfilled his challenge on Thursday 16th May 2024, to following the route of Northern Naturalist Thomas Bewick,  from his office in Newcastle on Tyne to his home at Cherryburn, Mickley which he did every week for Sunday lunch with his family. His family home is approximately 15 miles from the centre of Newcastle, Steve completed the walk in 10 hours, with a total distance of just under 30 miles.

Thank you to everyone who supported him, all proceeds will go towards funding BNA Youth and Student members projects and courses.

You can still support his challenge by donating via this link>> Donate here

  or scan this QR code

What to look for in May from the BNA

Photos: D. Farrar

May is the last month of spring, warmer weather brings out many insect species as they forage for food in hedgerows, meadows, wetlands and gardens.



Orange-tip Butterfly – Anthocharis cardamines. A sure sign of spring, this pretty medium-sized butterfly can be found in gardens, hedgerows and damp meadows.  Only the male’s wings have orange tips, the females have black tips, the underwings of both are mottled green.




Lily Beetle – Lilioceris lilii. Although this striking bright red beetle may look attractive, it is a pest to gardeners. It has a black head, legs and antennae. As the name suggests, they like to feed on plants of the lily family, both larvae and adult beetle can eat the whole leaf, petals and seed pods, so its good to keep your eyes open and check your plants!





Black-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum. These dragonflies start to emerge close to the end of May. Males have a blue abdomen with yellow spots along the sides and a black tip. The eyes are green and wings are transparent. They tend to fly low over the water and often perch on the ground to rest.




Woundwort Shieldbug – Eysarcoris venustissimus. Although these small shieldbugs might be seen throughout the summer, they look particularly beautiful at this time of year. Their metallic copper coloured bodies glisten in the sunshine as they rest on woundwort or dead-nettles on which they feed by sucking out the sap.

One year ago the Natural History Museum launched Nature Overheard - the UK’s first mass study on the impact of noise pollution on insects.

We are using innovative acoustic monitoring technology to isolate insect sounds from background noise and understand how insects may be changing the way they communicate in noisy environments.

This summer we are aiming to collect 1000 audio recordings from across the UK. This is where you step in!

To take part, all you need is a few spare minutes and a mobile phone.

In a 10m x 2m rectangle of greenspace parallel to any road:

  1. Record audio for 5 minutes
  2. Do a 15-minute insect survey, identifying any insects you see
  3. Upload your data online (by clicking the Nature Overheard link above)

We welcome multiple surveys on the same stretch of road if you can do this more than once. If each of you carries out three surveys on your local roads, even if it’s the same road on three separate occasions, that would give us a fantastic head-start.

Each audio recording you collect contributes to real scientific research that will directly inform how we make roads better for nature.

Find Out More