Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire

The Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire (ANHSO) is the oldest Natural History Society in England. It was established as the Ashmolean Society in 1828 and was merged with the Oxfordshire Natural History Society by George Claridge Druce in 1901.

Our Activities

We have a programme of:
talks (Indoor Meetings)
walks (Field Meetings)

We also have very active subgroups:
the Rare Plants Group
the Education Group
the Society's journal Fritillary
the Flood-plain Meadows Research Group
the Verge Survey group.

The Society also works in partnership with many other natural history and environmental groups, for example collaborating in the organisation of events. It was instrumental in setting up the Conservation and Recording Days which are now mainly run by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre and the Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum.

Indoor Meetings

We are currently holding our meetins in the Old Schoolroom, St Peter's Church, Wolvercote. Parking is available in the school grounds opposite. Lectures are now held at 7.30 pm on Tuesdays. Annual features include the E.F. Warburg Memorial Lecture (in conjunction with BBOWT) and the Bernard Tucker Memorial Lecture (in conjunction with Oxford Ornithological Society), both given by prestigious guest speakers. For a list of forthcoming talks (including their locations) please consult the programme.

Field Meetings

Visits to nature reserves and other places of natural history interest take place on Saturdays, Sundays and summer evenings. For a list of forthcoming field meetings, please consult the programme.

The Rare Plants Group

The Rare Plants Group was set up in 1994 to prevent extinction of wild plants in Oxfordshire. It has it own website, the Rare Plants Group site.

The Education Group

The Education Group runs courses in plant identification and related topics.

The Society's Journal - Fritillary

First published in 1990, this journal continues the traditions of the Society with scientific articles of a high academic standard, reporting results from local botanical and zoological surveys and experimental projects. It is published as a joint venture with BBOWT.

You can read all about Fritillary, order copies, arrange to submit papers, and read the latest edition on-line by visiting the Fritillary web site.

The Verge Survey Group

Members of the Society's Verge Survey Group have been recording the flora of verges in Oxfordshire for over 20 years. Nearly 500 species have been found. The Society's work has contributed to the County Council's designation of verges of interest as nature reserves, and to the site records at the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre. For more details have a look at the Verge Survey page.


We work in partenership with many other organisations, notably BBOWT in the publication of Fritillary and also in the organisation of the annual Warburg lecture. We were also instrumental in setting up the annual recorders' conference which is now run in partnership with the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre and others. See the Thames Valley Environmental Record Centre website for information about this year's conference on the 25th February.

The Library

The Society's Library contains more than 500 books, housed in the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History. The Librarian brings a selection of these books to the indoor meetings, where they can be borrowed by members for several weeks. Books can also be ordered from the catalogue.


The society is governed according to its Rules

To join the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire, please complete the Membership Application Form

How to get in touch with us

Note that we are in no way associated with the Ashmolean Museum, despite the name.

You can email the officers of the committee at the following:
The President
The Vice-President
The Treasurer
The Programme Secretary
The Field Secretary
The Membership Secretary
The Publicity Secretary
The Librarian

and the chairmen of the special interest groups at:
The Rare Plants Group
The Education Group
The Flood-plain Meadows Research Group
The Verge Group.

and for anything else, Enquiries.

To join the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire, please complete the Membership Application Form

Finally, if you want to find out all that is going on in the Oxfordshire area in the natural history world, you could visit the Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum website.

Last update 31st January 2013