Archived News



Report from Autumn Superspot Session – Saturday 5th October 2019. Fungal Foray at Neilsland Wood, Hamilton. This was a successful outing for National Fungi Day – fungi seen included: Candlesnuff, Jelly Ear, Deceiver, Hairy Curtain Crust (Hairy stereum), Birch Polypore, Peeling Oysterling, Purple Jellydisc and a webcap species (inocybe). A variety of plants and birds were also noted.

Results of Summer Super-Spot Session – Saturday 3rd August 2019

HNHS took part in Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count at the Calder Walkway near Blantyre. With recent warmer weather this time, our results were better than last year! There has been a big influx of painted ladies this summer and several members have reported seeing them in their gardens.

On our count we saw: 2 green-veined white, 3 peacock, 8 painted lady, 1 meadow brown. In addition, we saw 2 grass moths, 1 seven-spot ladybird, various bumblebees and heard lots of grasshoppers.

Our sightings have been sent in to Butterfly Conservation. The UK and local results are available on their website.

Other non-insect spots included: goldcrests, long-tailed tits, minnows, common amber snail, yarrow, black knapweed, green alkanet, Pyrenean valerian and marsh woundwort.

In addition, we also submitted our butterfly sightings from the outing to Thirlestane Castle: painted ladies, peacocks, green-veined whites, ringlet and meadow brown.


NEWS – More Forestry Work At Chatelherault, August 2017.

Views over the Duke’s Bridge, the Avon Gorge and Cadzow Castle were reinstated in August. Forestry harvesters removed 800 tonnes of commercial conifer plantation trees. This will improve biodiversity and funds generated will be reinvested in restoring features of the former Hamilton Palace Estate, including the White Bridge and path maintenance.

Views of the recently felled areas at Chatelherault taken from near the visitor centre.

 Event Report – Peter Macpherson Memorial, Glasgow, 27th April 2017

On 27th April, Fiona represented HNHS at an event hosted by GNHS to commemorate Dr. Peter Macpherson MBE. A group, including members of Peter’s family, attended a tree-planting ceremony at University Avenue in Glasgow.

Peter was the botanical recorder for Lanarkshire, which he did for over 35 years, and he had personal links to the area as his mother lived in Strathaven – apparently he was a Hamilton Accies fan! He was a member of both Andersonians and Glasgow Natural History Society and was twice President of the latter. He had also been President of the BSBI and was a Fellow of the Linnean Society. His book “The Flora of Lanarkshire” was published in 2016 after his death.

The tree planted in his memory is a Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) – GNHS thought he would appreciate the Latin name.


Report – HNHS Archive Event, Hamilton Library, Thursday 24th November 2016

HNHS have paid tribute to founder member Audrey Wallace who restarted the Hamilton Society in 1960. The Society had been looking for a suitable way to commemorate Audrey (who died 2014) and her considerable contribution to the Society over 50 years. As her late husband Bill Wallace (our treasurer for almost 30 years and a well-known local historian) had already gifted his Civic Society collection to Hamilton library, we thought a HNHS archive project would be appropriate, as Audrey was a keen library user (she worked at Queens University Library, Belfast before she moved to Hamilton).

We have donated our archive material to South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, where it will be maintained in the library’s reference collection, available to everyone. Of interest to local and family historians or those interested in environmental matters or photography, the collection contains items (from 1959 to date) such as minute books, journals, press cuttings, papers, booklets and pamphlets, photographs, environmental surveys and reports for Lanarkshire. Also our copies of older material held in the library such as photographs from the Ballantyne Collection (pre-1922) and from the 1914/1916 Manuscript Magazines of Hamilton Field Club.

We have also gifted two copies of the recently published book “The Flora of Lanarkshire” to Hamilton library. The author, Dr. Peter Macpherson was well known to the Society and was the BSBI recorder for Lanarkshire.

The handover event was held during National Book Week 2016 and we would like to thank librarian Scott Main and his staff for their assistance and also the Society members and invited guests who attended the event.


Items from the Archive, L-R: Audrey Planting a Tree at Chatelherault 2012, First Day Cover 1973, HNHS Outing to Loch Lomond 1963, Neilsland Nature Trail Guide 1970


Local News:

This summer’s tree felling operations at Chatelherault are finished. 18 hectares were cleared to open up historic views in the Avon Gorge and allow regeneration by native trees. Funds raised by the sale of timber will be used in projects to repair the paths and White Bridge replacement.

The fish ladders on the River Avon at Ferniegair (Old Avon Bridge) and Millheugh (Larkhall) are complete and open up an extra 200km of spawning ground to migrating fish. Let us know at our wildlife spot if you see salmon!


Report: Fungal Foray, Chatelherault – 9th October 2016

As part of UK Fungus Day 2016 (promoted by the British Mycological Society), HNHS did a fungal foray at Barncluith in Chatelherault Country Park in memory of our founder member Audrey Wallace, who published a list of fungi in Hamilton High Parks in the Western Naturalist 1974. We had a very successful afternoon and saw at least 20 species in a small area near the Duke’s Monument.



From event at Hoolet Row, Chatelherault, Sunday 24th January 2016 –  A member of HNHS was on site for a short while at this event and noted around a dozen species of fungi fruiting on site. A selection are shown below:

L-R: Green Wood-Cup, Jelly Ear, Root Rot, Scarlet Elf Cup, Sulphur Tuft, Variable Oysterling.

Scarlet Elf Cup are usually seen at Chatelherault in late February-March so these are quite early. The easiest place to see them is at the rear of the car park.



Glorious Gardens Project – Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership are working with Historic Scotland and Heritage Lottery Fund on a two-year project to record historic gardens and designed landscapes in South Lanarkshire.


Chatelherault Country Park Forest Plan – Public Consultation, March 2015

A Forest Plan is being developed to guide the management of this woodland over the next 20 years. South Lanarkshire Council want to hear your views on the plan and are holding three drop-in sessions at the Chatelherault Country Park visitor centre, where you will be able to view maps, talk to staff and leave comments.




Report on Author Event: Doug Allan – Wildlife Photographer and Author of Freeze Frame.

Several members of HNHS were among the audience for this entertaining and informative talk which was held in Hamilton Town House on Sat. 29th November 2014. The author provided a fascinating and beautifully illustrated account of his career as a wildlife cameraman and diver who specialises in extreme environments such as the Arctic and Antarctic and has worked on many BBC Natural History programmes with David Attenborough such as Blue Planet and Life in the Freezer. The talk was part of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture’s Book Week Scotland events programme.



Report on Invasive Plants Survey – 25th September 2014.

Six members of HNHS carried out this survey in a 1km grid square near Bothwell Castle/Clyde Walkway as part of a wider survey of the Clyde catchment area run by Central Scotland Forest Trust, SLC and SL Biodiversity Partnership with a view to developing a plan to control/manage invasive non-native species. Our allocated square had been surveyed some years previously and we found there was no longer any Giant Hogweed visible but some very large and extensive stands of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam along the river. Sightings of INNS are still required: if you see Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Rhododendron Ponticum, American Mink, North American Signal Crayfish or New Zealand Flatworm in the local area, please report them back to Emilie Wadsworth at CSFT or the Rangers at Calderglen Country Park.

More info at: