Rules and Regulations
(as amended October 2021)
BADGE: Wood Sorrel
MOTTO: Mare et Tellus, et, quod tegit omnia, Coelum
(The Sea and the Land, and what covers all, the Heavens)
1. The name of the club is ‘The Berwickshire Naturalists’ Club’
2. The objectives of the Club are to investigate, study and share the natural history and antiquities of Berwickshire and its vicinage.
3. All interested in these objectives are eligible for membership.
4. The Club consists of Ordinary Members, a limited number of Honorary Members, and Associates with whom the Club works. Ordinary Members resident at the same address may apply for a reduced subscription rate.
5. New members shall be proposed by a Club member on the form obtainable from any Council member. The proposal shall be considered by the next General, Council or members at a field meeting or other meeting held at least seven days after receipt of the completed form, and candidates will be admitted following a unanimous vote of the members present. The Membership Secretary will notify the new member of the decision and send a copy of the Club rules. New members will then be entitled to the privileges of membership after payment of the subscription at the rate notified to them by the Membership Secretary. The names of any new members who have not taken up their membership within six months of acceptance, will, after a reminder, be removed from the list.
6. The annual subscription for the forthcoming year shall be fixed by the Council and agreed by the Annual General Meeting of the Club. Should any change not be agreed, the previous year’s rate will stand.
7. Subsequent subscriptions are due after the Annual General Meeting and entitle members to attend meetings and other events and to receive a copy of the Club’s History for the ensuing year. The History is issued only to those members who have paid their subscription. Joint membership at a reduced rate is available for those ordinary members resident at the same address and who wish such membership, in which case only one copy of the History will be issued. Names of members who are in arrears of subscriptions after 30th June, or at a date as agreed by Council, in any year, shall be removed from the roll.
8. The number of ordinary members is limited to 400. The names of candidates are brought forward in priority of application, power being reserved to the President to nominate independently in special cases irrespective of the numbers on the roll.
9. The office bearers of the Club, who, subject to the provisions of Clause 10, will be elected at the Annual General Meeting, are: (i) A President, who serves for one year only, a Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer who are the trustees of the Club ex officio; and (ii) a Membership Secretary, a Field Secretary or Field Secretaries, an Editing Secretary and a Librarian.
10. The President in any given year will be the outgoing Vice President. The Vice President will be nominated by the President. The President, at his/her discretion, may consult with Council if required.
11. The office-bearers form the Council of the Club, along with the immediate past president (for one year only) and six members elected for three years, of whom two retire annually and are not eligible for re-election until the lapse of one year. All nominations for membership of the Council shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting of the Club. The Council has power to co-opt not more than two further members for special purposes, for not more than one year at a time. The Council may in addition co-opt to fill any vacancy in their number arising during a year, and the member so added shall serve for the remainder of the term of the member replaced. The quorum of the Council shall be five.
12. If, in the opinion of Council, exceptional circumstances are prevailing, Council may agree to extend the term of office for the President and/or any Council member.
13. Reasonable expenses incurred on behalf of the Club, and expenses for organising Club meetings, shall be authorised and reimbursed from the Club funds.
14. Field meetings, online meetings, and other events shall be organised throughout the year. The Annual General Meeting is held in October. An Annual Lecture is held in November.
15. Annual General Meetings, Council meetings and lectures may be entirely virtual meetings, hybrid meetings, or meetings in person, as the circumstances allow.
16. A virtual meeting is a meeting where arrangements have been made in advance to allow participants to attend the meeting by means of a conference telephone, video link or similar means of electronic communication at which all participants can be heard and can hear each other without the need for them to be physically present at the same location. A person participating in a meeting by such means shall be deemed to be attending virtually. A hybrid meeting is a meeting at which members may attend virtually as above or in person.
17. The quorum for an Annual General Meeting shall be twenty members. In the event of an Annual General Meeting not being quorate, necessary business shall be conducted by Council, and a reconvened Annual General Meeting organised within two months.
18. A Special General Meeting shall be called within 28 days following written representation from 25% of the current membership. The quorum for a Special General Meeting shall be twenty members. If the SGM is not quorate, the business which was to be considered will fall, to be considered at the next AGM.
19. Notices of meetings are issued to members at least ten days in advance. Notice of the principal business to be transacted at the Annual General Meeting, including any proposed rule changes, shall be circulated to members at least 28 days in advance. Members wishing to bring any business to the attention of the Annual General Meeting shall submit this in writing to the Secretary at least six weeks in advance.
20. Members may bring guests to meetings other than Annual General Meetings or Special General Meetings. Children may be brought as guests to field meetings. In all cases members are responsible for their guests. Where applicable, this will include payment of any fees which are being charged for participation at the meeting.
21. At field meetings all participants must observe best practice in the countryside, respect all land management issues and comply with The Countryside Code, when in England, and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, when in Scotland, or their replacements from time to time.
22. Contributors of papers to the History receive an extra copy. The Editing Secretary may provide reasonable numbers of additional copies at his/her discretion on request in advance of printing.
23. In the event of the dissolution of the Club, the library of the Club and any historical property shall be donated to a charity or other institution chosen by the Club members as best able to make it available for study by the people of the club’s area of interest. Similarly, its monetary assets, shall, after all liabilities have been met, be donated to a charity chosen by the Club members as having interests that include as far as possible matters relevant to the Club’s interests.
‘RULE FIRST AND LAST’‘
Every member must bring with him good humour, good behaviour, and a wish to oblige. This rule cannot be broken by any member without the unanimous consent of the club’
(Taken from the correspondence of Dr. George Johnston, Founder and First President of the Club, p. 414)
These were words of advice concerning essential rules that were written by Dr. George Johnston to Charles Cardale Babington who, at that time, 1849, was starting the Cambridgeshire Naturalists’ Club.
The spirit of these remarks is still relevant to our Club today.