History

Paisley Museum Natural History Society was formed in 1968 by local naturalists in order to further the study and promotion of natural history in Renfrewshire.

See our list of Past Chairpersons.

Timeline

1980s1990s2000s2010s2020s

1968First meeting of Paisley Museum Natural History Society.
1972May – Launch of Newsletters for the PMNHS. Recorders appointed.
1973January – Raising awareness and support for RSPB to take over Bar Loch and Aird Meadows.
1975November – David Mellor explains role of Museum in recording natural history. Andy Christie reports on arrival of Dutch Elm Disease in Scotland.
1977September – Renfrewshire County-based biological records centre established at Paisley Museum.
1978January – Biological recording takes off. Cape May Warbler’s appearance in Renfrewshire reported.
1979February – Boylestone Quarry infill threat to mineral rich SSSI geological site.
1980s
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1981January – Andy Christie, Ranger, reports Gleniffer Braes official designation as a Country Park.
July – PMNHS holds a slide-and-print photographic competition.
1982April – Plans to start Field Study Group meetings.
Eighteen paid-up members!
Twelve species survey in BRISC action guide
1985First PNHS Annual Report published.
1986Problems with accommodation for meetings at the Museum.
1987Environment Fair in Paisley Town Hall for European Year of the Environment.
More problems with lost habitat as Sustrans creates the Paisley to Lochwinnoch cycle path.
1990s
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1990Tom Byars reports threat to Lesser Whitethroat breeding site at Thornly Park railway banks.
1991-1992Success in protecting Caplethill site for Lesser Whitethroat.
Whittliemuir Dam draining loses wild-life habitat.
1992-1993Week-end excursions to Aberlady (May) and to St Andrews. Renfrewshire Conservation Volunteer Group established, starting on Paisley Moss.
Caplethill Road and Stanely Reservoir raise awareness of need for Conservation Strategy to protect wildlife sites.
Introduction of the Whitethroat Logo.
Work on Paisley Moss for National Bog Day.
1993November – Brownside Braes threatened by plan for dry-ski slope by Renfrewshire Enterprises. Several sites still need campaign for conservation: Whittliemuir, Caplethill, Gateside Dam.
1994March – Glasgow Airport expansion threatens Whooper Swan site.
April – Keith Watson talks to Society on Renfrewshire Flora!
June – Spring weekend at Stoneykirk, Stranraer. Environment Week Fair.
July – Dobbs Linn geological excursion. National Bog Day at Paisley Moss.
September – Keep Brownside Braes Green campaign established.
1995March – Threat to Whooper Swans at Airport. Humpback Whale visits Greenock during February and March.
September – Trearne Quarry outing. Increase in Grey Squirrel population.
1996January – Waxwings appear in Renfrewshire.
May – Conservation Campaigns listed: Save Rennies Marsh; Whooper Swans; Brownside Braes.
A Hoopoe appears in Paisley.
September – Autumn weekend to Berwickshire (Haggerston Castle).
1997June – Outings to Tay Reed Beds; Auchalton Meadow, Maybole; cycle path outing.
September – Recording for “Butterflies for the Millenium”.
Study evenings and Renfrewshire Conservation Volunteers continue.
1998April – Participate in Spring Clean Campaign at Jenny’s Well and Cart River Valley Project.
May – Tom Byars reports on conservation issues: Inchinnan; Brownside Braes; Thornly Dam.
November – Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) evening, Society takes part in steering group.
1999July and October – Conservation Funds to Linwood Phoenix Gulls Campaign; Save Linwood Pool Campaign.
November – Progress of the Renfrewshire LPAB meeting.
2000s
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2000January – BRISC recordings highlighted.
February – Waxwings re-appear in Renfrewshire.
August and November – Farewell to Shona; presentation with concise “Birds of the Western Palearctic”. Tom Byars writes to Council re post of Keeper of Natural History at the Museum. Reassurances given.
2001June – Introduction of e-mailing to communicate with members.
September – Biodiversity evenings become a regular feature of winter programme.
2002February – Letter to Ms Jeffreys of Museum expressing concern at reduction in Museum support since Shona’s departure.
May – Crisis in Society with dwindling members and participants. Possible EGM to discuss future of PNHS. Join up with GNHS and local RSPB group for summer outings. Take part in Biodiversity Week. Biodiversity officer appointed, but no curator of NH for Museum.
August – Following EGM in June 2002, new committee appointed, including publicity officer, and decision to reduce number of winter meetings. Summer outings poorly attended.
December – Application to Lottery Fund to purchase own projector. Two generous donations received.
2003August – Draft constitution drawn up to allow application for funding for projector.
October – Bill Gray writes Constitution for Society to aid grant applications.
December – Projector now in use, purchased by donation. Grant application will now focus on computer equipment to aid recording.
2004August – Hen Harrier Project set up at Muirshiel to record nesting birds.
November – Petrina Brown appointed as Biodiversity Officer for Renfrewshire. Engages help of Society to locate new sites for LBAP plant species Spignel and Butterfly Orchid.
2005June – Outing to Glen Moss to survey LBAP plant species.
November – Petrina Brown engages support of Society in plans and funding for Sand Martin Wall.
2006March – SWT team build Sand Martin Wall at Inchinnan. Summer outing planned to Gleniffer Braes to study Butterfly Orchids.
April – Join local RSPB group to visit Leyton Moss, Lancashire, for Bitterns booming.
November – Hen Harrier project at Muirshiel doing well this year. (Talk by Ranger John Clark).
2007August – Nicola Macintyre appointed as Assistant Curator of Natural History at Paisley Museum.
September – Resumption of monthly winter meetings as attendance improves, and improved accommodation given for meetings.
November – Gay and Andy Christie talk to Society on plight of hedgehogs from Uist.
2008March – Report on rescue of hedgehogs by Hessilhead staff, on their 4 years of work.
November – Grant of £3000 to PNHS from Renfrewshire Environmental Trust for Lesser Whitethroat nesting site (LBAP species). Scrub Enhancement Project to last till 2018.
2009February – PNHS website up and running.
2010s
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2010April – Start of joint meetings with Glasgow and Hamilton Natural History Societies, first meeting hosted by Glasgow NHS. Continued involvement in LBAP throughout International Year of Biodiversity.
September – Links with UWS refreshed with lecture (Geology) and memberships/input by Biology Department staff.
November – Nicola Macintyre, assistant curator at Museum encourages entries to Sightings page of society’s website.
2011February – PNHS hosts joint meeting with GNHS and Hamilton on Basking Sharks. Encouragement to members to use website to share information.
August – Newsletter Report on Scrub Enhancement Project at Brownside Braes, for which PNHS has a dedicated conservation fund. Loss of Heads of Ayr site to farming. Introduction of PNHS Facebook page.
November – Archives page on Website created.
2012April – Forum of Past Chairpersons at AGM.
September – Museum Natural History Curator and Society participate in Paisley River Exhibition.
November – Imminent publication of Flora of Renfrewshire, PNHS contributes to funding.
2013January to April – Educational project on Renfrewshire’s butterflies, run by David Mellor.
Summer – Alexander Wilson Bi-centenery Exhibition at Museum, Society partnership.
2018April – PNHS celebrates 50th anniversary with keynote lecture on the Lynx by David Hetherington.
Summer – Paisley Museum closes for 5 year major refurbishment. PNHS relocates to The Wynd Centre.
2019-2022Members of PNHS participate in redesign of natural history display with Museum’s Art Curator
2020s
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2020February – Major planting of shrubs on Brownside Braes for Lesser Whitethroat project.
March – All activities of the Society cease due to Covid pandemic. Notices, sightings, photographs etc shared via Facebook.
2021October – Major planting of trees and shrubs on Brownside Braes for Lesser Whitethroat project in partnership with Trees for Cities and Renfrewshire Council.
2022February – Re-development of PNHS website by new webmaster Kirsty Menzies.

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