About Moffat & District Wildlife Club


Club Membership for the year is £12 per individual (£20 for two adults at the same address), free for those under 16 years of age, and is open to all, not just "locals". Members get free admission to our seven monthly meetings during the winter season (September to March inclusive), normally on the second Friday of the month at 7.30pm, to enjoy guest speakers presenting wildlife slide or film shows. Non-members are always welcome at the meetings, entrance fee £3.00 payable at the door (under 16's free). We try to be completely informal, catering for beginners and experts alike. During the interval tea/coffee is available and there is plenty of opportunity to talk with friends and guests.

Our club is entirely self-funded. We are dependent on membership fees, profit from sales of bird food and from fund-raising events such as a Coffee Morning to keep us going and, importantly, to maintain and improve our nature reserve at Dyke Farm. We are, of course, also very grateful for any donations that come our way!

Our club came into being in 1961 when seven local people with an interest in birdwatching decided to get together and form a club. They opted to hold their inaugural meeting on 19th October 1961 in a large room in Emilio Dicerbo's home. Instead of just the original seven, no less than 22 attended. The 'Moffat Birdwatchers Club' was born and it then went from strength to strength, aiming to show films and to have talks by naturalists over each winter 'season', also providing birdwatching trips to various locations. The Green Woodpecker was adopted as the club 'badge' as it was about this time that it was first recorded as nesting in the Moffat area. Fourteen years later, in 1975, to reflect the widening interest in wildlife in general, the club decided that a change of name was called for and so it became the Moffat & District Wildlife Club. Emilio Dicerbo was elected as the original President in 1961 and he continued to hold the post 2014, the only surviving member of the original seven founders. After 53 years at the helm, in 2014 Jock (as he is perhaps better known) decided to stand down as president. However, he remains as an Honorary President by popular demand. Jock has published books on birdwatching ('Birds of Scotland' and 'The Birdwatchers Almanac') and is well known for the many photographs he has taken over the years and for the numerous public presentations he has done.

In 2001, through the generosity of George and Marion Paterson of Dyke Farm, the club acquired the use of a piece of boggy land, covered in scrub willow and alder, measuring some 7 acres in total, to create a nature reserve. With the help of donations and grants, a digger was brought in to clear areas and create ponds. A hide was constructed to overlook the main wetland area. This was all done under the guidance of the 'man with a vision', Jock Dicerbo. Officially opened in 2004, our Dyke Farm Nature Reserve has become a quiet haven of interest, not only for birds but for animals, amphibians, insects and plants - including a few that are quite rare..A second hide, additional ponds, trees and shrubs and an extensive network of paths have since been added.

In recent years, the club has actively participated in the development of the former Dyke Quarry. At the end of quarrying operations the site was required to be redeveloped as a nature reserve. It has now become the property of a local trust and is open to the public as the Moffat & District Community Nature Reserve. Part of the site immediately adjoins our own reserve but is of totally different habitat so the two reserves hold remarkable potential as a good area for a wide range of wildlife.

It is also worth mentioning that all work on the reserves requires manpower! This has almost entirely been carried out by a very small group of volunteers. Alas, the passage of time takes its toll, people are forced to give up due to age or by moving away from the area, and our workforce is becoming depleted so we apologise for any aspect that appears neglected (though wildlife doesn't mind). It goes without saying that we would very much welcome additional help.

In 2011, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its original incarnation, a new logo was adopted (as shown at the top of the page) which now also includes a Nuthatch in the image - a bird that was virtually unknown in the area in the late 1990's but has established itself beyond all expectations and is now commonplace.

Also in celebrating our 50th year, the club committee asked our President if he could put together a book outlining the whole history of the club since its innovation. This was duly done and we have publishined a hardbacked book, based on Jock's experiences of the club over the years and full of photographs, not only of wildlife but also of the various people who played a part in making the club what it is today. First shown in 1973, Jock had a very popular slideshow "Birds of our rivers, hills and moors" and, as part of our anniversary this was transferred to DVD using only the original material. The book and DVD will stir fond memories for the reader. Both the book and the DVD are available from Grieves, Newsagents, on Moffat High Street. Also available are souvenir badges and car window stickers bearing the club logo. A selection of nestboxes, feeders and bird food is always available for purchase, at very competitive prices, at Grieves Newsagents with the profits going towards the cost of feeding down at our reserve!

All dates for the meetings, and the topics for them, plus date for the Coffee Morning can be found on our 'Events' page.