Programme of Events

Picture of a fly orchid
This programme forms part of the Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Action Plan to increase involvement in the study and conservation of our wealth of wildlife. For more information about biodiversity in Bedfordshire, follow this link... Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Action Plan

FIELD MEETINGS: Bring stout footwear and suitable clothing to all field meetings

In bad weather, the leaders may cancel the event if conditions are unsuitable. Please check early on the day.

Key:
(B) = Indicates meetings organised in conjunction with our ornithological section, the Bedfordshire Bird Club.
(F) = Particularly suitable for families and young people
(L) = Bring food to meetings marked thus. Lunch will be eaten at car park area. If joining the meeting for the afternoon arrive by 1.45pm.

REGRETTABLY NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED and children under 16 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Unfortunately, some field trips will not be suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Please contact the leader in advance if you have any concerns about accessibility.

MAPS: O.S. Landranger 152, 153, 165 & 166 cover Bedfordshire.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The BNHS thanks all who have kindly given permission to hold field outings and to visit their properties.

Visitors are always welcome. A small charge is requested for refreshments at the talks and possibly on other occasions too. Donations are always welcome

October 2017
Sunday 8th October
OLD WARDEN
10am (F) Joint meeting with Herts & Beds Fungi Group, Beds Natural History Society and a limited number of members of the public.Despite dry conditions this proved a productive site last year as well as an interesting venue.The site is charming early 19th century landscape garden, with plants from all over the world, ponds, bridges, rose arbours, miniature buildings, a grotto and fernery, and a tiny, thatched Swiss Cottage. The adjoining woodland and lakeside picnic area are also accessible to us. Meet at 10:00am in the Shuttleworth collection main car-park (SG18 9EP Grid Ref TL150448). The normal entrance charge (£8) is being waived for those attending this meeting but please ensure you are punctual in order that we can enter the site from the free car park as a group. If you are late you may have to pay the normal admission charge! There is a restaurant, bar, tea-room and toilet facilities are available and as there is plenty here to occupy people for the day you may wish to bring lunch or purchase refreshments there. Please book with Alan Outen to reserve your place before midnight Wednesday 4th October: alanouten@virginmedia.com 01462 811374.Leader: Alan Outen. MAP
Sunday 15th October
BROMHAM
11am – 4.30pm (F) Bromham Mill Apple Day. Visit the BNHS stand at Bromham Mill, TL010507, MK43 8LP. See our nature table where you can touch the preserved material. Marvel at the photographs of the local wildlife. Test your knowledge with the quiz. (There may be an entry fee.) MAP
Tuesday 17th October
MAULDEN
8pm A Tale of Trees: the battle to save Britains ancient woodland by Derek Niemann, a freelance writer. Based on his book, this is a story of how we are a nation that loves its ancient woods and trees. We prize our sturdy, noble oaks, lofty pines, bluebells and primroses, badgers and dormice. But only a generation ago we were all set to wipe them out. In just 40 years, more than a third of our ancient woods were destroyed. How and why did this happen? Derek tells us a story of tragedy and heroism, ingenuity and blindness. It will inspire everyone to go out and explore the precious ancient woods that remain, and delight in their richness. Derek will bring copies of the book for sale (hardback £12), and he would be delighted to sign copies should anyone wish. MAP
Tuesday 31st October
MAULDEN
8pm The Complete Owl by Dr Michael Leach, Professional wildlife photographer, revealing the life of our resident British Owls including dramatic high-speed in-flight photography. MAP
November 2017
Tuesday 21st November
MAULDEN
8pm Our changing orthopteran fauna by Peter Sutton, National Recording Scheme Organiser for the Orthoptera since 2002, originally a research chemist by trade, now teaching science at a Bedfordshire school. This talk will attempt to provide an overview of the British and Irish orthopteran fauna, and discuss some of the dynamic changes that have been observed in recent years, including: the changing distribution of species that have responded to climate change and other factors, the current status and conservation management of some of our rarest orthopterans and recently naturalised species and potential new species that may become established in the future. MAP
Monday 27th November
LONDON
11am Visit ZSL Library to see selected highlights of the collection such as items by the artist Edward Lear, the ornithologist John Gould, the oldest book in the library (1551) and some archival material, all of which gives a flavour of ZSLs history since its founding. Please book with Julia Powell by Nov 17th juliacpowell800@gmail.com or 01582 661328.
Tuesday 28th November
MAULDEN
8pm Swifts - the one bird we can all help by Edward Mayer, Swift Conservation. Following his last visit in 2007, Edward will update us on the latest ways we can help this iconic species. MAP
December 2017
Sunday 3rd December
HEATH & REACH
11am - 3pm Rushmere Christmas Fair. Visit the BNHS stand to see the Nature Table, displays and quizzes. Park in the Rushmere car park, SP912284, LU7 0EB. Parking £3.00 (coins only). MAP
Sunday 3rd December
HENLOW
8:30am Morning walk round East Beds area for wintering species. Park and meet at Henlow Bridge Lakes, TL188379. Leader: Greg Nunn. MAP
Tuesday 5th December
MAULDEN
Christmas Social evening with seasonal refreshments. Bring along a selection of your photos (on a CD or memory stick) and some food to share. Doors open 19:30pm. MAP
Tuesday 26th December
WOBURN
9.30am - 12 noon (F) Boxing Day Walk through Woburn Park. Meet at the Woburn Village car park, opposite the church in Park Street, SP950331, MK17 9PG. Leader: Mary Sheridan. MAP
January 2018
Tuesday 16th January
MAULDEN
8pm One moth, ten thousand researchers: the story of Conker Tree Science by Michael Pocock, ecologist at the Biological Records Centre at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. The impact of Cameraria ohridella, a leaf-mining moth on horse-chestnut trees, means it is one of the most noticeable non-native invertebrates in Britain. The moth is remarkable is so many ways: it was discovered as new to science in the 1980s, spread rapidly across Europe and first established in Britain in 2002. From 2010 it has been the subject of a citizen science project, encouraging people to record its damage and rear its parasitoids, making new scientific discoveries. Setting citizen science in the long history of biological recording, Dr Pocock will describe how knowledge gained from this tiny moth via citizen science helps us support tree health and biodiversity monitoring. He undertakes research on interactions between different species, and how these form complex ecological networks, and he supports biological monitoring, increasingly developing methods to allow more people to engage with nature and contribute to real science through citizen science. MAP
Monday 29th January
LUTON
10:30am Visit Wardown House Museum situated in the beautiful landscaped Wardown Park. The house was formerly the home of the Scargill family, then a military hospital and is now a museum and gallery. Glimpse an insight into a wealthy family home, including the natural history collection, during the Victorian period. Meet in entrance. Please book with Sheila Brooke by January 23rd on 01525 873396 or brooke.se@btinternet.com MAP
Tuesday 30th January
MAULDEN
8pm The Magic of Spurn by Lizzie Bruce, FSBO Committee Member. Find out why Spurn Bird Observatory claims to be the UKs mainland migration hotspot. MAP
February 2018
Wednesday 14th February
HEATH & REACH
11am - 3pm (F) Visit the BNHS stand in the Visitor Centre, Rushmere CP to see the Nature Table, owl pellet dissection, displays, quizzes and more. Take part in the Wildlife safari (weather permitting). Park in the Rushmere car park, SP912284, LU7 0EB. Parking £3.00 (coins only). Leader: Julia Powell MAP
Tuesday 20th February
MAULDEN
8pm Wildlife Crime - How You Can Make A Difference by a member of Birders Against Wildlife Crime. This is a group of volunteers who believe that we can all do something to help combat wildlife crime, by being "eyes in the field". People like us are skilled and alert observers that actively seek out areas that the general public do not often visit and have with us powerful optics and many have a camera/smart phone. So we are in a good position to spot “wildlife crime”. They will explain their "3Rs" and other campaigns (including Hen Harrier Day) and will want to know what concerns you have about the state of our wildlife today. MAP
Sunday 25th February
HARROLD
08:30am walk in Harrold-Odell CP for local wildfowl. Meet in the car park on Carlton Road, Harrold, MK43 7DS, SP957567. Leader: Richard Bashford MAP
March 2018
Sunday 11th March
TRING
10:30am (F) Walk around College Lake formerly a quarry, now a BBOWT reserve with chalk grassland, woodland, scrub and hedgerows as well as marsh and open water. Introductory talk by a ranger followed by a self-guided walk. Entrance and parking on the left of the B4388 250m north of the canal bridge at Bulbourne. HP23 5QG, SP935140. Leader: Sheila Brooke. MAP
Tuesday 20th March
MAULDEN
7:30pm BNHS Annual General Meeting. After a short AGM, the Officers and Recorders will present their annual reports. NOTE START TIME. MAP
Tuesday 27th March
MAULDEN
8pm Reclaiming South Georgia by Prof Tony Martin, Team Leader of the 6 year programme to eradicate rats on this UK Overseas Territory. MAP
Wednesday 28th March
TOTTERNHOE
10:30am Walk on Totternhoe Knolls to find wintergreen Man Orchids (illustrated in Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire, copies of which are still available) and migrating birds. We will also look at the management of the site and the new grazing regime now that different grazing compartments have been set up to accommodate the flock of 25 Herdwicks brought in from the Lake District. Park in the NT Car Park SP986217, LU6 1QU. Leader: Richard Knock. MAP
April 2018
Wednesday 11th April
THERFIELD HEATH
10:30am (F) Walk on Therfield Heath where there is a large colony of Pasque Flowers and other spring chalk grassland wildlife on this SSSI site. Approach Royston on A505 until round about at TL333403. Take Royston exit road. Turn first right up the hill and take car park on right at TL336401. Meet in the car park which is only a short walk away from the Heath. Leader: Graham Bellamy. MAP
Tuesday 17th April
MAULDEN
8pm Genetic Engineering-what is it and do we need it? by Peter Lillford CBE, visiting Professor at the School of Engineering, Birmingham. An explanation of the basic science and how it developed focussing on work with plants although Peter is willing to discuss human and animal experiments. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Food Science and Technology and Royal Society of Arts and has won several prestigious awards in the arena for Food Science MAP
Sunday 22nd April
PEGSDON
8am Morning walk over Pegsdon Hills for spring migrants. Park and meet in car park of Live and Let Live Inn, Pegsdon, TL121303. Finish around 11.00am. Leader: Jon Palmer. MAP
Sunday 29th April
BROOM
7am Early morning birding around Broom Gravel Pits for spring migrants. Park and meet at end of Kings Road, off High Street, Broom, TL172433. Finish by 12.00 noon. Leader: Stefan Baltruschat. MAP