New volunteers to help run the Hertfordshire Natural History Society and Herts Bird Club.

After over 40 years living in Hertfordshire Ken and Linda Smith will be moving back to Sussex later this year. So we are looking for several new volunteers to take over from them.

This is a great opportunity for you to have something interesting and worthwhile to do in your spare time and fulfill a vital role in keeping up the good work for natural history in our county.

Ken has had a key role in the Herts Bird Club and is co-author of our latest book Birds of Hertfordshire. His current role as Bird Recorder will be taken up by Alan Gardiner, supported by Mike Ilett (rare birds) and Tom Speller (bird data).

Linda has been the membership secretary since 2000 and took over as the HNHS Secretary running the Society ten years ago. She has also organised the development of the website and publication and sales of our five HNHS books.

Linda said

'I have enjoyed every minute of my time volunteering for the Society engaging with members and promoting wildlife recording. All the work and projects have been very rewarding, in particular helping to raise the profile of the Society, resulting in a substantial increase in membership, and the publication of our HNHS books.'

We are not expecting any one person to take all this on, so we have taken the opportunity to re-organise some aspects of running the Society and divided things up into a number of different 'jobs'.

Please would you consider whether you would like to get involved and take on one of these roles, there is more information about each below:

  • Secretary to HNHS
  • Membership Secretary
  • looking after the HNHS website
  • organising the sales of HNHS books.
Secretary to HNHS - the day to day job of running the Society and charity

The Secretary is responsible for keeping the Society running on a day to day and year to year basis and ensuring that all the things we must do or are committed to doing are carried out properly and on time. These include

  • organising the management committee meetings (2-3 per year) and keeping records
  • organising the Society's AGM, calling notice and minutes
  • writing the Society's annual report for publication in the Herts Naturalist
  • fulfilling our obligations as a charity and filing our annual return with the Charity Commission
  • working with the editors to ensure that our journals (Hertfordshire Naturalist and Herts Bird Report) are published on time and copies sent to legal deposit agencies
  • maintaining links with other local organisations, including HERC, HMWT, London Natural History Society, Butterfly Conservation Herts Branch, BNA Herts Branch, local natural history groups (Welwyn, Letchworth), RSPB groups and Woodland Trust and representing the Society as needed.
  • writing the text about the Society for the website and other publicity material and keeping it up to date.
  • keeping the Society's reference set of records and transactions.

Virtually all correspondence is via the Society's email account secretary@hnhs.org which is a web-based G-mail account accessible by password and transferrable to the new Secretary.

Membership Secretary

The membership secretary has the key role of communicating with members, keeping existing ones and welcoming new ones. The main responsibilities are:

  • maintaining the membership database (an Excel spreadsheet)
  • sending out renewal notices each December, receiving the membership subscriptions via cash, cheques and Virgin Money Giving, noting the payments via standing order/faster payment and updating the database. Banking the cash/cheques.
  • receiving and acknowledging new memberships throughout the year and sending out new membership packs.
  • preparing the address labels for distribution of the Herts Naturalist and Bird Report and any other mailings
  • sending emails or other correspondence to members as needed. All but a handful of members have an email address.
Looking after the HNHS website

Responsibility for the HNHS website, and subsidiary websites and the contracts with Digital Routes (website hosts) and Chris Dee (web developer). Others also have a role here, Alan Gardiner looks after the Birds website, Jack Fearnside keeps an eye on the design.

  • writing and maintaining the web site general content keeping it fresh and up to date,
  • sorting out problems
  • researching and updating the listings on Herts Wildlife events/meetings page
  • writing news stories
  • helping county recorders set up and maintain the specialist pages, dragonflies, mammals, bugs etc
  • posting topical photos on front page
Organising sales of HNHS books

Responsibility for holding a small stock of each of our publications, organising the sales table at our meetings and dispatch of books ordered through the HNHS website, the HNHS Amazon account or by post.

To find out more and to volunteer to help, please get in touch with:

Agneta Burton by email or telephone (01582 765169).

Thank you