The new venue for our Autumn meeting and AGM, Woolmer Green Hall, proved a great success with over 100 members and guests attending.
Our Chairman, Trevor James, introduced the proceedings.
First up was Dr Juliet Osborne (photo left), a pollination ecologist at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, talking about honeybees and bumblebees. She introduced us to the bees and her research work on the ecology of insect pollinators and pollen movement between plants. Amazingly she can track bee movement patterns across the landscape using tiny radio transmitters attached to the bees. The overarching practical aims of the research are to conserve and promote bee populations and to protect and promote wild flower and crop pollination.
Laura Gravestock (photo right) then introduced us to the long term study to monitor wildlife at the new Heartwood Forest being developed at Sandridge by the Woodland Trust. Members of the monitoring group are recording the annual survival of the saplings and birds, butterflies, spiders, flowering plants and veteran trees across the whole area. They have also set up specific plots for long term monitoring.
Chris Dee gave us an update on the Hertfordshire Bird Atlas.The survey work for the BTO National Atlas has now finished but the work is continuing in Hertfordshire to revisit some of the tetrads with poor coverage in both the winter and breeding seasons. The Herts Bird Club plans to publish a new Herts Avifauna in 2013.
The tea break gave members a chance to browse the HNHS Bookstall, buy raffle tickets and collect their copies of The Hertfordshire Naturalist 2010 and the Herts Bird Report 2009.
After the break and AGM (see below for details) Judy Adams (photo right) drew on her experiences as Chief Executive of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust for her presentation ‘Making a Difference? Hertfordshire’s Wildlife in the Noughties!’.
Having trained in biology, education and ecology in Canada and then in Britain, Judy Adams’ working career has largely been spent in conservation and recreation; initially leading groups of children and adults into Epping Forest, then working for Lee Valley Regional Park Authority developing and managing country parks, nature reserves and visitor centres. In retirement, she is using her experience to promote Epping Forest and its conservation and encourage others to enjoy and value it.
Our last talk was a tour de force from Sergeant Jamie Bartlett on ‘Tackling Wildlife and Rural Crime’. Jamie has been an officer with Hertfordshire Constabulary for the last 25years. For 23 of those years he has held the, ancillary, role of "Wildlife Crimes Officer" Last year Jamie was appointed to a new role, purely dedicated to coordinating the Constabulary's response to rural, wildlife, environmental & heritage crime. This role has now developed into a small team of officers working within these areas of crime and anti social behaviour, ensuring that Hertfordshire police are one of the leading Police Forces within this specialist area of work. It was chastening to hear the extent and range of criminal activities adversely affecting our wildlife and habitats and we were all encouraged to do our bit to help.
Presenting the HNHS 1875 Awards for 2011 Trevor James paid tribute to Peter Oakenfull, an outstanding Hertfordshire Naturalist (photo left) and Richard Ball (photo right), for his outstanding contribution to natural history in Hertfordshire. Full details here.
The Society’s AGM was held at 15.30. Our retiring Chairman, Trevor James, presented the report from the management committee for 2010-11 and Treasurer, Ken Pearman presented the summary accounts.
Members voted the following people to serve on the Management Committee:
Chair: Dr Ronni Edmonds-Brown (photo left), Treasurer: Ken Pearman, Secretary and Registrar: Linda Smith, Chair, Herts Bird Club: Ken Smith, Recorders’ Committee: Sarah Jane Scott, Editor, The Hertfordshire Bird Report: Ted Fletcher, Editor, The Hertfordshire Naturalist: Stuart Warrington, Special Projects: Steve Chilton (publicity), Alan Gardiner (website), Tim Hill (events), John Murray (monitoring).