Society goes inside for nature study
ROCHDALE Field Naturalists’ Society, now exceeding 100 members, holds three or four events every month of the year to suit all tastes and abilities.
In the dark weeks before Christmas a small group attended a study session at Rochdale’s Archive and Resource Centre on Fishwick Street, where curator Sarah Hodgkinson displayed botanical illustrations, models and herbaria.
Some of these dated back 100 years, to when the society was founded.
It has been recorded in the society’s minutes of the 1890s that prizes were given to members who had prepared the best and most unusual herbaria or pressed flowers.
There was also a wildlife walk along the Rochdale canal, finished with afternoon tea.
Field naturalist Karen Cowley said: “On a dreary wet weekday you might suppose that no-one would turn up for a wildlife walk from Rochdale Railway Station to Castleton along the canal, but you would be wrong. Several stalwart members did turn up and so did the wildlife.
“A range of ferns, some fungi and even a few sturdy flowers were identified along the way. Although there were not many birds, there were several different species, including buzzard and snipe.
“The highlight of the trip was either a bat flying along the canal at midday near Ashfield Valley – or perhaps the Christmas tea at the All-in-One Garden Centre to conclude our 2017 programme.”
For details of the 2018 programme of illustrated talks, coach trips, local walks and educational activities, visit www. rochdalefieldnaturalists. org.uk or the Rochdale Field Naturalists Facebook page.
●●Members of Rochdale Field Naturalists studying botanical texts from the 1920s