Events Programme

Events listed here are for BENHS members only unless stated.

Please refer to the printed version of the BENHS Indoors and Field Meetings Programme forwarded annually with the BENHS Journal for full event and contact details.

BENHS MEMBERS OPEN DAYS at Dinton Pastures are held on the second and fourth Sundays in each month, except for May, June, July and December when it is held on the second Sunday only. There is no Members Open Day in August. If a Members Open Day coincides with Easter, please consult the events list for details of date changes.

Important! Before attending a BENHS-organised event, please read the appropriate Risk Assessment.

To check availability of space on a BENHS weekend workshop or to book your place in advance, please send your request to:

Mr Stephen Lings
BENHS Indoor Meetings Secretary.
T: 07854 793681.

The number of workshop places is limited by the space allocated within the bulding and the number of microscopes available (20). So please book early!

The Society headquarters is located at:

The Pelham-Clinton Building
Dinton Pastures Country Park
Davis Street
RG10 0TH

It was named to commemorate the late Duke of Newcastle whose generous legacy made possible the construction to act as a base to house the Society’s library and specimen collections.

Grid reference is SU 784718 when coming via the M4 take the A329(M) for Reading at junction 10, take the first slip road to Winnersh, then turn left off the B3030 driving North from Winnersh immediately after the bridge over the dual carriageway.

The BENHS building now has a large BENHS logo on the front wall facing the car park.

Please note: Public car parking is available at the Dinton Pastures site, but there is a parking charge for this (please confirm tariffs on arrival).

Parking charges may also be paid by RingGo Cashless Parking via smartphone apps, visit the RingGo website for further details.

Public Transport:
The site is also about 15 minutes’ walk from Winnersh station, which has trains running on a half-hourly service from Reading and Waterloo.

Meeting Room:
The Graham and Helen Howarth Room has meeting room accommodation for up to 36 people, while the library and collections are housed in adjacent rooms, with facilities for books, periodicals and specimens to be consulted and studied.

Open Days:
In order to make the library and collections available regularly to members, Open Days are held on specified Sundays (10.30–16.00).

In addition, workshops (10.30-16.00) are organised on Saturdays for members and visitors, particularly to help and encourage beginners, improvers and new members taking up the study of a group of invertebrates.

From November 2019-May 2020, six workshops will be held in partnership with the Natural History Museum (NHM) London, in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity. Specimens from the NHM collections will be available for study in the high quality facilities of the Centre, while the format and content will be similar to the Dinton Pastures events, with booking via Stephen Lings.

The nearest underground station for the NHM is South Kensington and the Angela Marmont Centre is in the Darwin Centre 2 building on the West side of the museum.

Aim of Workshops:
The concept of these workshops is to bring together leading specialists, who are experienced in the study and recording of a particular group, to talk about and demonstrate fieldcraft, curation and identification techniques. The events are informal, with the emphasis upon practical demonstrations and with plenty of opportunities to try out the methods and ask questions. If you have problem specimens which defy identification, by all means bring them along to challenge the experts!

The collections room has been arranged to facilitate access to the collections and the use of the video microscope for workshops. For some workshops there may be the opportunity for fieldwork within Dinton Pastures Country Park, which now has an extensive list of invertebrates recorded by members of the Society. It may be possible to open the Pelham-Clinton Building by prior arrangement on other occasions for members unable to attend scheduled Open Days, when members will be welcome to use the library and collections.

For those living a long distance from Dinton Pastures it may be worth considering getting together to share transport, either for an Open Day or for requesting access on another occasion; contact Stephen Lings Lanternist in the first instance because it may be possible to arrange a visit when a key holder is present at the building.

Within the BENHS premises there is a small kitchen with facilities to make tea or coffee and you are welcome to bring with you and eat on-site a packed-lunch. Alternatively excellent refreshments, including hot lunches, are available from the nearby café on the opposite side of the car park to the Pelham-Clinton Building. The building also has toilet facilities on-site.