Founded 1907

Consett and Vale of Derwent Naturalist Field Club

Club Constitution - January 2020

(pdf version can be accessed from the Downloads page)

Name
1.0 The name of the association shall be :-
Consett & Vale of Derwent Naturalists' Field Club (hereafter referred to as the 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 specimen or see a rare bird or insect, he 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, for the first time, prior to
seeking full membership. No Subscription may be required during this period.
(c) Applicants for membership shall complete the Club Membership Application Form and pay the Subscription
(d) All members shall be supplied with a copy of the Constitution, the Club Codes and a Membership Card.
(e) Membership shall lapse if a Subscription is unpaid.
3.2 (a) It is a condition of membership that members always conduct themselves in a reasonable manner at meetings, on
organized walks or on premises and vehicles used by the Club.
(b) A member may be suspended, or expelled by the Committee, from the Club, for a serious contravention of the
requirement in subsection (a).
(c) A member suspended, or expelled in terms of subsection (b), shall have the right of appeal to a Special General
Meeting, before any final decision is taken.
(d) All decisions in terms of subsection (b) or (c) shall be made by a majority vote in a secret ballot of those present.

Annual General Meeting.
4.1 The AGM shall be held in Febuary each year, when the election of the Committee shall take place.
4.2 The Committee shall comprise of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, General Secretary, Booking Secretary,
Lecture Organizer, Membership Secretary, Social Secretary and up to four other members.
4.3 All Committee members shall be chosen each year by secret ballot from a list of nominated members. Nominations to the list shall be provided to the Secretary at least one week prior to the AGM.
4.4 The Committee shall appoint a suitable person, who is not a member, to examine the Statement of Club Assets and Financial Accounts
4.5 The President, Treasurer, General Secretary and Booking Secretary for the previous year shall present their reports.
4.6 Subscriptions shall be determined at an AGM.
4.7 (a) No part of the Constitution shall be amended, other than at an AGM or a Special General Meeting.
(b) Notice of any changes to the Constitution proposed by a member shall be given to the General Secretary in writing not
less than twenty-eight days before such meeting.
(c) The Committee may propose changes to the Constitution at a Committee Meeting.
(d) The Committee shall meet to consider all proposed changes, and recommend those that are approved, for consideration
and adoption at a Special General Meeting or the next AGM.

Committee Meetings.
5.1 The Committee shall meet not less than four times a year, and the meetings shall be open to all members of the Club who may
wish to speak. Members that have not been elected to the Committee shall not be eligible to vote.
5.2 The Committee shall prepare Club Codes and other documents to further the aims and business of the Club.
5.3 The Committee may co-opt any person to the Committee, or appoint persons to a sub-committee to provide advice or service,
but they shall not be eligible to vote at Committee Meetings.
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.

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 meeting is to be held.
6.2 Such meeting shall be open to all members.
6.3 Decisions shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of all members present.

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 AGM or a Special General Meeting.

Notice of Meetings
8.1 Notice of all meetings shall be provided to members by the most convenient methods, including e-mail, the Club Web Page and notice on the coach, at least seven days before such meetings.
8.2 The agenda and supporting documents for an AGM or Special General Meetings shall be sent to members by the General Secretary, not less than a week before such meetings.
8.3 The agenda and supporting documents for Committee Meetings shall be sent to Committee members, by the General
Secretary, not less than a week before such Meetings.
8.4 Items for the Committee Meeting Agenda shall be submitted to the General Secretary not less than ten days before the
Meeting.

Finances
9.1 All subscriptions are due on 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 shall 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 from 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 the 31st December.
9.8 An audited statement of the Club assets and financial accounts shall be presented to the subsequent AGM.
9.9 The Treasurer, General Secretary and one authorized Committee member shall comprise the panel of signatories for the Club
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, the Vice-President shall preside.
10.3 The General Secretary shall :-
(a) receive and respond to all correspondence and bring this, where necessary, to the attention of the Committee.
(b) ensure that correct records are kept of all Club meetings in the form of minutes.
(c) maintain. Attendance Registers for all meetings, walks and other Club activities. This requirement may be
delegated.
(d) maintain an assets register, and review the location of all assets in March each year. Any lost, obsolete or damaged
asset may be written off or sold by the Committee after appropriate investigation. These registers shall be retained for at least
four years.
10.4 The Treasurer shall :-
(a) maintain a register of members including addresses, telephone numbers and where possible e-mail addresses.
(b) determine the level of fees for approval by the Committee.
(c) collect subscriptions and fares. This requirement may be delegated.
(d) maintain all financial records including bank statements and balance sheets and retain for at least four years.
(e) maintain an assets register, and review the location of all assets in February each year. Any lost, obsolete or damaged asset may be written off or sold by the Committee after appropriate investigation. These registers shall be retained for at least four years.
10.5 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.
11.3 The Club may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of those present.
11.4 In the event of the dissolution of the Club, and after the Club has satisfied its liabilities, all assets, and monies, shall be
transferred to another society or organization with similar aims and objectives to the Club.
11.5 Any person, who has ceased to be a member of the Club, shall not have any claim on the assets, or monies, of the Club.

Interpretation of Terms.

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

Officer :- A member of the Committee or a sub committee.

Subscription :- An annual payment for membership in the Club.

AGM:- Annual General Meeting

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