Founded 1907

Consett and Vale of Derwent Naturalist Field Club

Club Constitution

(pdf version can be accessed from the Downloads page)

1. Name.

The name of the association shall be :-

Consett & Vale of Derwent Naturalists' Field Club.

Aims and Objectives.

2.1 (a.) To enable all persons resident in North-East England, to have reasonable and economical access to the countryside.

(b.) To encourage walking as a healthy pursuit.

(c.) To educate members in aspects of flora, fauna, local geography, architecture, archaeology and natural history.

(d.) To hold lectures covering a wide range of subjects.

2.2 Should any member find a rare plant, archaeological specimens or see a rare bird or insect, they should inform the General Secretary. Nothing shall be made public until the appropriate authorities have been informed.

2.3 The Club shall be affiliated to the Ramblers.

Membership.

3.1 (a) Membership of the Club is open to all persons, who are resident in North-East England. An application for membership from a person not resident in North-East England may, in special circumstances, be approved by the Committee.

(b) Temporary membership for one month is open to all persons intending to join the Club prior to seeking full membership. No subscription may be required.

(c) Membership shall lapse if any fee or subscription remains unpaid after 1st May.

(d) Applicants for membership shall complete the Club membership application form.

3.2 It is a condition of membership that members always conduct themselves in a reasonable manner at meetings or in premises used by the Club or on organised walks.

A member may be suspended, or expelled from the Club, for a serious contravention of this requirement. A member may be suspended for contravening the aims of the Club. A member suspended, or expelled in terms of this section, shall have the right of appeal to a Special General Meeting, before any decision is taken. All decisions on suspension, or expulsion, shall be made by a majority vote of those present in a secret ballot.

3.3 All members shall be supplied with a copy of the Constitution, the Club Codes and a membership card.

Annual General Meeting.

4.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be held in January each year, when the election of the Committee shall take place.

4.2 The Committee shall comprise of a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, a General Secretary, a Booking Secretary, a Lecture Organiser, a Citizens' House Representative and up to four ordinary members.

4.3 The position of President shall be filled each year by the Senior Vice-President of the previous year.

4.4 The Committee shall appoint a qualified Auditor who shall not be a member.

4.5 The President, Treasurer, General Secretary and Booking Secretary for the previous year shall present their reports.

4.6 No part of the Constitution shall be amended other than at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. Notice of any proposed changes shall be given to the General Secretary, in writing, not less than twenty-eight days before such a meeting.

4.7 Subscriptions shall be determined at the Annual General Meeting.

Committee Meetings.

5.1 The Committee shall meet not less than four times a year and the meeting shall be open to all members of the Club who may wish to speak. Such members shall not be eligible to vote.

5.2 The Committee shall draft Club Codes to further the business and aims of the Club.

5.3 The Committee may co-opt any person to the Committee, or create a sub-committee to provide advice or service, but they shall not be eligible to vote.

5.4 The Committee shall manage the running of the Club and where necessary delegate functions and responsibilities.

5.5 A member intending to resign from the Committee shall inform the General Secretary in writing not less than seven days before the next Committee Meeting.

5.6 The Committee shall determine the level of fees.

Special General Meetings.

6.1 A Special General Meeting may be called by the Committee, or by the request of any ten members, having given notice in writing to the General Secretary not less than twenty-eight days before such a meeting.

6.2 Such a meeting shall be open to all members.

6.3 Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority vote of all members present.

6.4 Members shall be given not less than seven days notice of such a meeting.

Quorum.

7.1 Five Committee members shall be required for a Committee Meeting quorum.

7.2 Ten members, including Committee members, shall be required for an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

Notice of Meetings.

8.1 Notice of all meetings shall be provided to members.

Finances.

9.1 All membership subscriptions are due from 1st. January each year, or in the case of a new member on the day of acceptance of an application.

9.2 A bank account shall be opened by the Treasurer in the name of the Club.

9.3 The Treasurer may carry a petty cash float up to twenty pounds for minor expenditure, and this float shall be reimbursed from the Club's bank account when required.

9.4 All income shall be credited to the Club's bank account.

9.5 All expenditure shall be drawn on the Club's bank account.

9.6 The Treasurer shall produce information from the accounts when required by the Committee.

9.7 The financial accounts shall be prepared for each year ending on 31st. December.

9.8 An audited statement of the accounts shall be presented to the subsequent Annual General Meeting.

9.9 The Treasurer,General Secretary and one authorised Committee member shall comprise the panel of signatories for the bank account.

9.10 All cheques shall be signed by two members of the panel of signatories.

9.11 The Club may raise funds by obtaining grants or by other fund raising methods.

Duties of Officers.

10.1 All officers of the Club have a duty to further the aims of the Club including the promotion of the Club in the local area.

10.2 The President shall chair Club meetings or, where the President is absent, a Vice-President shall preside.

10.3 The General Secretary shall convene all meetings, giving the relevant notice and agenda to members.

10.4 The General Secretary shall receive and respond to all correspondence, and bring this where necessary to the attention of the Committee.

10.5 The General Secretary shall ensure that correct records are kept of all Club meetings in the form of minutes, and provide these as required, on time, to the Committee and members as the case may be.

10.6 The General Secretary shall maintain a register of members, including addresses and telephone numbers.

10.7 The General Secretary shall maintain asset registers and review the location of all assets

in December each year. Any lost, obsolete or damaged asset may be written off or sold by the

Committee after appropriate investigation.

10.8 The Treasurer shall keep all financial records including bank statements.

10.9 A member, delegated to represent the Club in consultation with any authority or person, shall report back to the Committee.

Dissolution.

11.1 The Committee, or if the Committee no longer exists, a majority of the remaining members of the Club, may decide that the Club be dissolved. They shall give at least twenty-eight days notice to all members of a meeting to discuss the dissolution.

11.2 No quorum shall be required. The Club may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of

those present.

11.3 In the event of a dissolution, the assets of the Club shall remain the property of the members for the time being. Any person who shall cease to be a member of the Club, shall cease to have any claim on the property or assets of the Club.

11.4 In the event of the dissolution of the Club, and after the Club has satisfied its liabilities, all property and assets, including money, shall be transferred to another society or organisation with similar aims and objectives to the Club.

Interpretation of Terms.

Club Codes:- Ideas taken from the Country Code and other sources adopted by The Committee

Senior Vice President:- The first appointed Vice President.

The Countryside Code.

The members of the Club are expected to follow the Countryside Code as well as the Club Rules.

Here are some bullet points from the Countryside Code

  •  Be safe, plan ahead and always follow signs

  •  Leave gates and property as you find them

  •  Protect plants and animals and always take your litter home

  •  Keep dogs under close control

  •  Consider other people

The Countryside Code can be viewed from our Downloads page