Like many good ideas (think of Watson & Crick and the DNA Double Helix!) our bird club was the resultant of two friends chatting over a couple of pints in a local pub. Lifelong birders and good friends, Alwyn Jackson and Ray Gribble recognised the need for a local club for birdwatchers to fill the gap between the RSPB Norwich branch, and NarVOS in Swaffham, and so Wensum Valley Birdwatching Society (WVBS) was conceived. The inaugural meeting was held in a very dilapidated Lenwade village hall (leaking roof, rudimentary heating) in 2003, and was attended by 80 people to hear a presentation by Allan Hale – and to this day he still entertains us regularly with a combination of birding stories, adventures abroad, and a great sense of humour. A committee was formed and a programme of indoor meetings with guest speakers and outdoor field trips was drawn up. The club has largely stuck to that successful formula ever since. Our membership (including some loyal members from that first meeting) now number around 140, and we now meet regularly (COVID allowing) in the very plush and comfortable Great Witchingham Hall.
The society created the following aims: 1. Encourage and share the enjoyment of birdwatching in the Wensum Valley. 2. Encourage novice birdwatchers to take an active part in birdwatching. 3. Share information with other members. 4. Gather and collate data on birds in the area. 5. Participate in regional and national surveys within the defined area. 6. Liaise with other conservation groups within the area and more widely. 7. To administer the society in an environmentally sensitive manner.