More than 75 HNHS members and their friends attended the Society's Autumn Meeting and AGM on Saturday 4 November at the Affinity Water offices in Hatfield.
One theme to emerge from a series of well-received presentations was the value – in both conservation and money-saving terms – of grazing animals used to restore and maintain sensitive habitats in nature reserves.
We are sad to report the death of former HNHS Secretary John Scivyer, who died peacefully at home on 26 September aged 88, after a long battle with renal failure.
John is remembered as a kind, generous supporter of the Society's work and – with his wife Doreen – a regular attender at meetings until they moved from their home in Potters Bar to Rugby in 2014. He was Hon. Secretary of the HNHS from 1991 to 1999 and also volunteer warden of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust's nature reserve at Fir and Pond Wood for many years.
An estimated 3,000 people came together over the weekend of 29 and 30 July to celebrate the variety of local wildlife. The Festival of Wildlife in Panshanger Park near Hertford was organised by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, in partnership with Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and hosted by site owners Tarmac.
The family-friendly Festival, which was free, featured guided walks and expert talks as well as a whole host of conservation activities.
The destructive Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) is about a centimeter long (see picture) and its root-eating grubs are heartily loathed by gardeners, especially strawberry growers.
But the county beetle recorder, Trevor James, would like to hear from HNHS members who have seen it in Hertfordshire and can specify the locality (place name and grid reference to at least 4-figures, please) the year and, if possible, an actual date.
Trevor is close to completing a Hertfordshire beetle atlas – thought to be the first if its kind mapping a county's Coleoptera – which HNHS expects to publish next year.
The butterfly season is well underway and our beautiful new book Butterflies of Hertfordshire and Middlesex has been gathering fresh plaudits – including strong endorsement from natural history diarist Rupert Evershed.
Writing his monthly column in the Herts Advertiser he describes the book, by county recorder Andrew Wood as: "...an outstanding and thorough record of our local butterflies, but also a fantastically helpful and practical guide to actually going out and finding butterflies for yourself."