Nature London offers a program of indoor meetings during the autumn, winter, and spring.
Regular monthly meetings are usually held on the third Friday of the month and combine club business with feature presentations by prominent naturalists on a wide variety of topics related to natural history and conservation.
Birding Wing meetings are usually held on the fourth Friday of the month. The Birding Wing is a special interest group within Nature London for anyone (from amateur to professional) interested in birds and birding. Butterflies and dragonflies might be featured occasionally. Membership in Nature London includes membership in the Birding Wing. New birders are particularly welcome. For more information about the Birding Wing, please contact Gail McNeil at (519) 686-0160.
Regular and Birding Wing meetings are held at the Civic Garden Complex on Springbank Drive. The building is wheelchair accessible and offers free parking. The buses that stop near the Civic Garden Complex are No. 5 Springbank for people traveling east/west and No. 10 Wonderland for people traveling north/south.
Indoor meetings normally finish by 9:30 pm. Non-members are asked to make a $5 contribution to attend.
Outdoor events and field trips provide an opportunity for members to observe local and regional natural history with assistance from experienced members. Outdoor projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count and the Butterfly Count in July, encourage more detailed study of nature. They are perfect excuses to get away for a few hours and visit natural sites in and around London. There are always Nature London members along who are able to help with tricky identifications and are willing to share their knowledge. It is useful to bring along binoculars, pencil and notebook, field guides, etc. (but don’t burden yourself too much). Families with children are welcome on field trips, but pets should be left at home. If there is rain, the leader will arrive at the meeting place in advance and then decide whether the trip will be cancelled. However, if there is a severe weather warning, snow or an ice storm, assume there will be no trip.
Advocating for Nature
Nature London has a long history of championing causes to preserve our natural heritage to ensure that it is available for the enjoyment of future generations. This advocacy includes the following:
- Environmentally Significant Areas – Nature London advocates for the preservation and protection of London’s Environmentally Significant Areas (ESA). It participated in the updating of the Westminster Ponds/Pond Mills Master Plan and the Sifton Bog Master Plan. It continues to engage the City on the Medway Valley Heritage Forest plan. It helps the City and Upper Thames Conservation Authority (UTRCA) monitor the ESAs, and provides input for some ESA guideline documents.
- Environmental monitoring and advocacy – Nature London closely monitors development projects for potential impacts on the natural environment. It also monitors issues affecting Komoka Provincial Park.
- Donations – Nature London donates to various conservation projects. For example, Thames Talbot Land Trust’s fundraising campaigns.
- London Advisory Committee for Heritage – A Nature London member advocates for natural heritage on this committee.
- Urban League – A Nature London representative sits on the Board of this umbrella organization.
- Middlesex County Woodlands Advisory Committee – A Nature London representative sits on this committee.
- Middlesex Stewardship Council – A Nature London representative sits on this committee.
- Ontario Nature – A Nature London representative sits on the Carolinian West regional committee. Nature London is one of about 140 member organizations of Ontario Nature (Federation of Ontario Naturalists).
- Nature Canada – Nature London is affiliated nationally with Nature Canada (Canadian Nature Federation).
- Thames Talbot Land Trust – Founded in 2000 by members of Nature London, which has a representative on the Trust.
Nature London promotes natural heritage in many ways including the following:
- “Nature in the City” – In cooperation with the London Public Library, Nature London sponsors a 6-talk series in January and February at the Central Library.
- W.E. Saunders Library and W.E. Saunders Children’s Library – Nature London contributes funds annually towards the purchase of books on natural history.
- Public Talks – Some members present illustrated nature talks to community groups and/or lead field trips.
- Indoor Meetings – All Nature London indoor meetings are open to the public.
- Outdoor Events – Many Nature London outdoor events are open to the public. Public events are identified on the Events Calendar.
- Awards Banquet – Held in November. Recognizes individuals or groups for significant contributions to the club or the cause of conservation.
- Christmas Bird Count – Annual; part of continent-wide survey. Followed by potluck supper.
- Butterfly Count – In the Skunk’s Misery Forest area, usually on first Sunday in July. Followed by potluck supper.
- Baillie Birdathon – Members participate in the Birdathon to raise money for Bird Studies Canada and Nature London.
- Guide to Natural Areas of London and Vicinity – Lists natural areas open to the public. 5th edition published in 2015.