Recent natural history news for Hertfordshire is published here. If you have a noteworthy story, ideally with a photograph, please contact David Utting to have it added to this webpage.

Bird conference learns of continuing fight against raptor persecution

Guy Shorrock

Illegal persecution of birds of prey remains a continuing problem in the UK, with only a small proportion of cases brought to court, according to the RSPB's Senior Investigations Officer, Guy Shorrock. Speaking at the annual Herts Bird Club / British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) conference on March 10, he warned that the use of baited carcasses and cruel traps to kill Buzzards and Red Kites – as well as rare Hen Harriers and Golden Eagles further north in the UK – remained all too common.

'Birds of Hertfordshire' acclaimed among Britain's best local atlases

Birds of Hertfordshire, our beautifully illustrated account of population trends among more than 300 species recorded in the county, has been judged one of the best local bird atlases in Britain.

A panel of experts convened by British Birds magazine placed our book on a shortlist of the top six county bird atlases. It was then awarded fourth place in the final judging.

Herts Bird Club - BTO Conference 2018

Don't miss this year's Bird Club / BTO conference, which is taking place on Saturday 10 March 2018 at the offices of Affinity Water, Tamblin Way, Hatfield AL10 9EZ from 2 until 5.30pm. A packed programme of presentations includes RSPB investigator Guy Shorrock talking about efforts to crack down on illegal raptor poisoning and

June Crew recognised in New Year honours

June Crew

We are delighted to report that June Crew, a stalwart contributor to natural history in our county, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's New Year honours list.

The medal recognises her "voluntary service to Natural History and the community in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire".

Woodland Trust and BTO honour HNHS members

(c) Judith Parry / WTML

Congratulations to HNHS member Andrew Steele on winning the Woodland Trust's national Acorn Award – and to former Herts Bird Club Chair Ken Smith on being awarded the British Trust for Ornithology's prestigious Tucker Medal.

The Woodland Trust award recognises Andrew's work recording butterflies at Heartwood Forest, where he walks a fixed monitoring route every week from April to the end of September. The BTO's Tucker Medal is awarded for outstanding service to the Trust.

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