Warm congratulations go to this year's winners of the Society's prestigious 1875 Awards. The announcement that they have been made to county ant recorder Phil Attewell and to Steve Blake, a key contributor to the work of Herts Bird Club, was made online following the Annual General Meeting.
Phil, honoured as an outstanding Herfordshire Naturalist, has been ant recorder for half a century, having taken on the job when he was still at school. His tenure has seen the list of confirmed species for the county almost double from 13 to 24. He has also taken the lead in a project to relocate Wood Ants in Hertfordshire more than 60 years after they were last recorded.
Steve is a leading figure among the 'Tyttenhanger birders' and heavily involved in efforts to protect the county's last colony of Tree Sparrows that nests near the gravel pits. His is also a moderator of the Bird Club's popular website and in charge of its Twitter feed, alerting birders to interesting new sightings. He wins the award for an outstanding contributor to natural history in Hertfordshire.
Phil Attewell will, however be the last winner of an '1875' Award for outstanding naturalist. HNHS Chair Peter Tallantire announced at the AGM that from next year it is being re-named the 'Trevor James Award' in memory of Hertfordshire's much-missed plants and beetles recorder who died this summer.