The Origins of the Society


The Montgomeryshire Field Society grew from the Naturalist Clubs of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, where like minded people recorded and discussed their findings. They were joined by professional biologists who passed on their their knowledge and who were pleased to have ready made groups of enthusiastic students willing to survey and record.

It is no surprise that there were a number of clubs in the border area, the diverse geology has lead to an incredibly wide ranging ecology. The geology ranges  from the Precambrian grits and flags of the Long Mynd, the volcanic intrusions of the Stiperstones, Corndon and the Breidon Hills to the newer limestone of Llanymynech, the shales and sandstone overlaid with clay producing the mosses and meres of Ellesmere. Is there anywhere with such a kaleidoscope of physiographicaly influenced habitat in such a small area?

It was from these interests and background that the Montgomeryshire society was born. Started in 1947 by Janet McNair a gifted amateur naturalist who spent most of her childhood at Guilsfield where she spent much of her time recording all the flowers she found in and  around Montgomeryshire. This was later to become the basis of the 1977 publication "Plants of Montgomeryshire". Later her interests widened to encompass birds and geology of the county. She fought hard  to ensure the preservation of such sites as Craig Breidon, Marrington Dale, Dulas valley and the Montgomeryshire canal. Janet died in 1975 and a memorial service was held in the little church of Pennant Melangell. The picture of Saint Melangell, a heroine of Janet's who saved a hare from Brochwel and his huntsmen, had been adopted as the society's logo.

Members collaborated in the production of the 1995 "Montgomeryshire Flora". In recent years Brayton Holt has produced the volume "Birds of Montgomeryshire".