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About Hope Valley Bird Watchers Club

Indoor meetings

These are held once a month from October to March. They include talks by guest speakers and are usually about birds and other wildlife from around the world. Among past speakers, there have been professional photographers such as Mark Hamblin, experts from organisations like the South Peak Raptor Group, the avid wildlife filmmaker, John Keeling, and Dawn Balmer and Mike Toms from the British Trust for Ornithology. Before each talk, there is news of any interesting local birds and recent field trips and opportunities to meet and chat to other members throughout the evening. The AGM is held in January and is followed by a members' slide show and December's indoor meeting is a Pie and Pea Supper and Christmas Quiz (an additional fee is charged for this event).

Field trips

The Club arranges outings to good bird watching areas in most months and many habitats are covered, providing the chance to see about 180 species in the year. They are relaxed, friendly events and an excellent opportunity to practise and learn identification skills. About half a dozen of the 20 or so events are evening walks, held from April to July, in and around the Hope Valley, such as Monsal Dale, Burbage and Padley Gorge. There are also weekday or weekend trips in most months: the weekday trips are often to local places but sometimes further afield; for example Chatsworth, Ogston, Carsington, Potteric Carr, Old Moor, and Blacktoft, and the weekend trips head for more distant places like Bempton, Titchwell and Martin Mere.


The Club takes an active interest in local conservation issues. In particular, the Club has recently become involved in setting up nest boxes in several locations within the valley, which are monitored and information provided to the BTO's Nest Record and Bird Ringing schemes. In addition, some members take part in national BTO surveys, including the Garden Birdwatch and Breeding Birds Survey.

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