Almost 100 HNHS members and guests gathered at Woolmer Green Hall on Saturday 17 November for a fascinating series of talks and a chance to meet fellow wildlife enthusiasts at our annual conference and AGM. Photograph, left-right, Dave Willis, Ronni Edmonds-Brown (chair), Richard Ball, Charlie Bell & Adam Ellis.

Charlie Bell got us off to a great start. She is the Project Officer for the Hertfordshire Living Rivers Project an ambitious joint Environment Agency & Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust enterprise which hopes to achieve landscape scale nature conservation in our river valleys. She explained the aims of the project, the current work programme and the difference we all hope it will make.

Our county recorder for aquatic crustacea, Adam Ellis, continued the watery theme. He introduced us to our native White-clawed Crayfish and an amazing series alien species of crayfish now living in English freshwaters. These species were introduced to the UK for food production but inevitably escaped or were discarded and have made their homes in our rivers and ponds

The tea break gave everyone a chance to network and buy our new range of Christmas and greetings cards.

After the break Richard Ball, our 1875 Award Winner  last year, spoke about his long association with natural history in Hertfordshire and some of his most significant acheivements.
In the final talk Dave Willis introduced us to the amphibians and reptiles found in Hertfordshire and the work of the Herts Amphibian and Reptile Group.

The HNHS 1875 Awards for 2012 were awarded to Gerald Salisbury - an outstanding Hertfordshire naturalist and Jack Fearnside for an outstanding contribution to natural history in Hertfordshire.

The 1875 Awards, named after the date the Society was founded take the form of an engraved crystal, see here for  more details here of the awards and this year's winners.

The Society's Annual General Meeting was held after the tea break. Ronni Edmonds-Brown (Chair) and Linda Smith (Secretary) introduced the Report of the Management Committee and accounts for 2011/12 which were published in the Hertfordshire Naturalist 2012. Details here.