Photo: © Margaret (the Novice) Red Deer, Cervus elaphus

Our Background

The SNS was formed in 1929 by Claude Morley and fellow amateur naturalists who felt the need to share their expertise and promote their good works. Claude Morley (1874 -1951) pioneered the study and recording of the County’s flora, fauna and geology. 

The SNS is the seedbed from which have grown the other important wildlife organisations in Suffolk: The Suffolk Naturalists’ Trust (later the Suffolk Wildlife Trust) was set up to purchase and protect Redgrave and Lopham Fen, and later the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group (now Suffolk Bird Group SBG)

Recording the natural history of Suffolk is still the Society’s primary objective. Members’ observations go to specialist recorders and then to the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service at The Hold to provide a basis for detailed distribution maps and subsequent analysis. The activities of the Society have always been based on a spirit of scientific enquiry, the SNS being careful to maintain its amateur and scientific basis. 

Funds held by the Society allow it to offer substantial grants for wildlife studies (find out more on our Bursaries page

We are Registered Charity no. : 206084 with the UK Charity Commission. You can find out more about us by entering our number on their website: Charity Commission

Annually, SNS publishes Suffolk Natural History, its transactions, containing studies on the County’s wildlife. It also publishes the County bird report, Suffolk Birds, compiled by (SBG). In addition, the newsletter, White Admiral, with comments and observations, appears three times a year. SNS organises two members’ evenings yearly and a scientific conference every two years. Field meetings are held throughout the year and include annual ‘taster days’. These meetings are often held in conjunction with other specialist organisations.

SNS subscriptions

For current rates, please see our Join page.
Joint members get in addition to the 3 publications above, the SBG newsletter The Harrier

How this helps wildlife conservation:

Members records and studies are published, and used by and archived in the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service. SBIS uses the records to produce distribution maps which help us to monitor the status of animals and plants in Suffolk. The information is made available to local authorities, Natural England and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust; it is essential for making decisions about conservation in Suffolk, for example compiling Biodiversity Action Plans. 

How this helps protect the environment:

The Society promotes debate on environmental issues at meetings and the biennial conference, where national and local experts often give thought-provoking presentations. Species distribution records can inform climate change studies, draw attention to pollution events and advise planners. Monitoring the occurrence and spread of introduced species to Suffolk will become increasingly important as the climate warms. 

How you can get involved:

Join us, whether a complete beginner who would like to learn about wildlife from experts or an expert who would like to interact with others and have their contribution put to good use. 

As defined by the Constitution of this Society its objects shall be:

2.1 To study and record the fauna, flora and geology of the County

2.2 To publish a Transactions and Proceedings and a Bird Report. These shall be free to members except those whose annual subscriptions are in arrears

2.3 To liaise with other natural history societies and conservation bodies in the County

2.4 To promote interest in natural history and the activities of the Society.

For more details about the Suffolk Naturalists’ Society write to:
Hon. Secretary, Suffolk Naturalists’ Society, The Hold, 131 Fore Street, IPSWICH, IP4 1LN.


Sexton Beetle
The Sexton Beetle, Nicophorus vestigator (Fritton, 1916) from the Morley Collection of Sylphidae housed in Ipswich Museum