Edinburgh Natural History Society logo



old photo of ladies with long dresses

Edinburgh Natural History Society is a group of people of mixed age, ability and interest in the natural world. We explore the habitats of animals, plants, fungi and other organisms living in the area and relate this to the habitats.

For nearly 150 years the people of Edinburgh and the surrounding areas have explored nature. The Edinburgh Natural History Society started it's life as The Edinburgh Naturalists' Field Club in 1869. Some early journals can be found online:-

In the 21st century we can share information globally and take part in Citizen Science. In 2014 the Oxford English Dictionary included Citizen Science - "scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions."

Learn to identify organisms and record organisms. Use field guides, apps and location tools. Connect with other groups specialising in butterflies, plants, birds and many more. Cameras, camera phones, hand lens and binoculars help you see nature better. Recruit senses to hear birdsong, smell fungi and feel texture. Enhance senses such as using a bat detector.

We are a not-for-profit organisation, run by unpaid volunteers.

  • I was a twitcher - going out with the Nats opened my eyes to so many other animals and plants. I was amazed how freely people shared their knowledge.
  • Most field trips are general interest but with so many eyes and experts together you always see something new. There is so much to see.
  • The Nats have shown me lots of new places in the area. The recognised nature reserves are great but there's plenty to see in some of the most unlikely abandoned urban sites.