Next Meetup

Nightjars Watch at Greenham Common
Join us for an evening walk on Greenham Common. We will listen for the unmistakable churring and wings clapping of nightjars and we will catch a glimpse of this nocturnal bird hawking for insects across the common. Nightjars are considered scarce in UK,catch a glimpse of nightjars before they commence their migration back to Africa. Greenham and Crookham Commons on the southern edge Newbury forms the largest area of lowland heath in West Berkshire – a fragile and threatened habitat full of very special wildlife – and is particularly important for some of Britain’s rarest ground-nesting birds, including nightjar, woodcock and lapwing. Please consider that we will walk over rough and sometimes uneven ground in the darkness, so do bring a small torch. Long-sleeved clothing and long trousers, insect repellent, and sturdy closed footwear are strongly recommended. Binoculars may be useful early on, who knows what might come into view? No dog as they can disturb bird nests and forbid nightjars appearing. Greenham Common history: The Commons have a rich history.At the start of the 1980's, nuclear cruise missiles were stored at the base. The demonstrations against these made regular headline news and galvanised the start of the Peace Women movement in 1981. One mass protest called 'Embrace the Base' saw over 20,000 women joining hands around the perimeter of the airbase. After decades of military occupation the Commons were officially reopened for public use on the 8th of April 2000. You still can see the cold war Missile bunkers on the walk. Tony Tumber will be our birding guide for this walk. There will be £1 charge for this meetup. We encourage to car share to minimise carbon footprint, please post a message on this meetup if you require a lift or willing to offer one. Please also offer petrol contribution.

51.384615, -1.306140

Burys Bank Road, Greenham · Newbury


What we're about

This is a group for anyone interested in getting outdoors and enjoying the natural world. We will be exploring the Oxfordshire countryside visiting nature reserves, lakes, rivers and woods in pursuit of the varied wildlife living in our region. Winter trips will be primarily focussed on bird watching but as we move into Spring we will extend our remit. My main non-feathered interests are butterflies, moths and dragonflies as this flying wildlife tends to be the easiest to observe, and some trips will be focussed on these. However, I'm very much open to suggestions for events, and I hope the club will eventually cover all aspects of nature. All levels of experience are welcome, from beginner to Bill Oddie, I'm happy to offer some tips for beginners. I'm hoping this group will encourage young-ish people to take an interest in nature, as many of the existing wildlife-related groups attract a demographic which puts them in danger of going extinct in the near future. Having said that, the emphasis is on the "ish" in “youngish”, and everyone is welcome. Most trips will involve a bit of walking, although this is not a walking club per se, and we will be stopping to sniff the roses rather than clocking up the miles. Some trips may involve an element of adventure. I hope this will be a sociable club and each trip will include a "debriefing session" at a local country pub. In summer, if there is interest, we might go on some longer, weekend trips to visit the wilder corners of the UK or Europe. I will also post details of interesting wildlife-related talks and events around town.

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