Previous Visits

BEES hosts a Wildlife Field Visit Programme throughout the year. The programme aims to explore a range of habitats to study their natural history and management issues relating to their upkeep. The programme is organised and delivered by a committed and knowledgeable group of volunteers.

The list below shows information about past visits. For reports and photos about these visits please visit:
* Blog
* Photos


Tuesday 26th April, 2016

Our previous visits to this 100 acre Arboretum have mostly been in the Autumn. In the Spring we should expect to see trees in blossom, bluebells and other Spring flowers in the woodland. The Arboretum has about 2000 different taxa of plants, including four National Plant Collections:- Lime, Walnut, Ash and Laburnum, as well as the Milbank Pinetum. The Bird of Prey Centre, at the far end of the Arboretum is worth a visit with flying displays at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. There is an excellent visitor centre and tearoom near the entrance, as well as plant sales.

The admission price for pre-booked groups of 10+ is £7.00 for Adults (no concessions) RHS Free Membership does not apply to group visits. Pay on the day - you must bring correct cash as the Leader has to pay for all visitors.

Coordinator: Vera Clark

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £10


Staveley Nature Reserve

Tuesday 19th April, 2016

We have been visiting this Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve (grid ref: SE369630) for many years and there is always something of interest whatever the time of year.  There are 2 lagoons; other habitats include fen, grassland, wet pasture and copse, and there are 2 hides.  Otters are seen regularly, quite often in the middle of the day.  Breeding birds include summer visitors such as sand martin, warblers and common tern.  Spring flowers should be showing.  A toilet stop will be organised en route as there are no facilities on site.

Leaders: John Gavaghan

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £8

Hooton Pagnell - Wild Daffodils and Spring Flowers in S.Yorks

Tuesday 12th April, 2016

Those members who have been with us for a few years will remember that this outing was planned for Spring 2013, but had to be cancelled.  We commence in the village of Hooton Pagnell (grid ref: SE486080) and the circular route will take us via country lanes and bridleways to Hampole Wood, where we hope to see the daffodils in flower.  There should be plenty of other things to interest us in the hedgerows and fields along the way.  The village is worthy of exploration and the church dates back to Norman times.  There are no toilet facilities in the village, so these will be accessed en-route.

Leaders: Stuart & Gillian Tordoff

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £8

Planning Meeting 10a.m, at YMCA Thornton Road.

Tuesday 5th April, 2016

This covers planning for both summer programmes.

Pen-Y-Ghent & Circular Walk Around Stainforth

Tuesday 29th March, 2016

Two separate walks are planned.  Priority will be given to those who wish to climb Pen-Y-Ghent to look for the purple saxifrage, a rare alpine plant which grows on the limestone crags of this hill, which should be in flower.

Weather conditions on the day will determine our route.  The preferred route will go over the summit of Pen-Y-Ghent and will involve a climb of 1500ft in 1 mile.  The alternative route is less steep, 1200ft in 1.5 miles, but both are strenuous by BEES standards.  Participants should be well prepared for hill walking and have adequate warm and waterproof clothing as well as good footwear.

Leader: Stuart Tordoff


A more leisurely walk in the environs of the attractive village of Stainforth, which would include lunch at the Craven Heifer, is planned for those who would choose an easier option.

Leader: Margaret Rees

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £10

Boston Spa River Walk

Tuesday 15th March, 2016

Our starting point for the day will be the village of Boston Spa (grid ref: SE431455).  The circular route is about 3 miles and the walking is on good paths and pavements.  From the High Street in Boston Spa we will turn onto the riverside path from where there are good views up and down the river.  Steps lead onto the cliff top, the cliffs here being designated as a Site of Ecological and Geological Importance (SEGI).  After traversing Deepdale, a wooded area, we will return to the High Street, where there are interesting buildings.  St. Mary’s Church is worthy of a visit.  There are toilets and cafes in the village.  Car drivers should contact the leaders for parking details.

Leaders: Alice Gingell & Joan Dobson

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £7

Hodsock Snowdrops (If cancelled due to poor weather conditions this trip will take place on Tuesday 1st March)

Tuesday 23rd February, 2016

This 5-acre garden will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016.  Those who have visited previously will remember not only the vast display of snowdrops, but also the many other spring flowers, shrubs and trees, the lake and woodland walk.  A camp-fire will be lit in the glade and a woodland cabin will provide hot drinks and snacks.  A history talk will take place by the camp-fire at 2p.m.  A large marquee by the Tudor Gatehouse will house a tea-room, gift and plant sales.  Please dress for inclement weather.

Entry prices are the same as previously: Adults: £5, Groups of 10+ - £4.50 per person  

Leader: Joan Dobson 

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £10

Indoor Meeting - Unitarian Church, Little Horton, 2-4.30pm

Tuesday 16th February, 2016

At our indoor meeting we will be covering some administrative matters followed by short presentations including digital images by group members. Refreshments will be available. Everyone welcome. 

Coordinators: Margaret Rees & Julia Pearson 

Cost £3


Eccup Reservoir Bird Safari

Tuesday 2nd February, 2016

We will complete a short walk of approx. 2 miles along the northern side of Eccup Reservoir.  We will look out for a variety of birds around farm building, on agricultural land and around the sides of the reservoir.  This will be followed by a visit to the Granary Restaurant of ‘Caring for Life’ in Cookridge.

Leader: Margaret Rees 

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £6

New Year Social - Unitarian Church, Little Horton, 12.30-4pm

Tuesday 19th January, 2016

Our New Year Social will take the same format as previous years with a review of visits over the year and a look ahead to 2016. We would plan a quiz. Please bring food and drink to share. Copies of the 2015 DIARY will be available.

Coordinators: Margaret Rees & Joan Dobson

Cost £3