The Berwickshire Naturalists' Club

The Berwickshire Naturalists' Club was founded at Grant's House (now Grantshouse) in September 1831 by Dr. George Johnston of Berwick upon Tweed, with the object of investigating  the natural history and antiquities of Berwickshire and its vicinage.  It is the oldest active field Natural History Club in the United Kingdom.  

Dr. Johnston was the first President of the Club and until his death in 1855, he was the moving spirit behind the Club.  In Woolmarket, Berwick, the house where he lived is marked by a blue commemorative plaque and in the Parish Church there is a memorial to him. 

The Club Badge, wood sorrel, was chosen by his friends because it was his favourite flower.

The Motto, Mare et Tellus et quod tegit omnia, Coelum' (The Sea and the Land and what covers all, the Heavens)

The main emphasis of the Club's activities is on antiquities and local history expressed by five field meetings a year between May and September to places of interest between the Forth and the Tyne where an expert usually gives a talk and helps to show members around.  Such places include historic private houses not open to the public.  In addition there are usually two extra meetings of a botanical or ornithological nature.

Members can access information about this year's programme from their Library card or by logging into the Programme of Events page with the password given in the newsletter, being circulated in April. 

Membership is gained through a proposal by an existing member of the Club, though potential new members are welcome to make contact directly through the Contact page on this website or by email:

We have an interesting library built up of generous donations from the private libraries of Club members.  To use the library you do have to be a Club member but to view the database go to the Library page.

Annually a volume, know as the 'History',  is produced by the Club and is free to members. 


Due to the global health pandemic of COVID 19 and we have to suspend our activities.


An alternative programme of online talks starting in December.

The AGM and Annual Lecture will also be available online.

I wish everyone a healthy year.   

Lesley Gray  


The Berwickshire Naturalists' Club

Registered Charity No: SC013054,
Ravensdowne Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD151DG