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4th November: Hobson’s Brook

The title of the talk on 4th November is Biodiversity of the Hobson’s Brook Corridor

Dr Steve Boreham will talk about the biodiversity of the area surrounding Hobson’s Brook, a chalk stream and historic water course that rises at Nine Wells springs. As a geologist, ecologist and Trustee of Hobson’s Conduit Trust, he will also discuss conservation initiatives and threats to this important green corridor that leads in to the heart of Cambridge City.

The talk is ONLINE via Zoom and will start punctually at 7:30 p.m.

Members and those on the mailing list will be emailed login details nearer the time. To be added the mailing list, email webmaster [at] cnhs.org.uk

To become a member, which brings further benefits, see the website: http://www.cnhs.org.uk/membership/

28th October: A Choice

Jonathan Shanklin, the speaker for our next online talk, on Thursday 28th October, is well-known both to members of CNHS, being a past President and having been involved in the Society for many years. He is also known more widely as one of the team who discovered the ozone hole in 1985.

He is offering the audience a choice of titles:

  • Marvel at the Moon
  • The Flora of Antarctica (and South Georgia & Falklands)
  • The Natural History of Comets
  • An astronomer in Antarctica

Do join us for this talk on Zoom. Even if he does not give the talk you would choose, it will be informative and entertaining. He is an extremely knowledgeable speaker and able to speak authoritatively on all these subjects. He adds that “all will contrive to include mention of climate change and the ozone hole”.

Members and those on the mailing list will be emailed login details before the meeting.
To be added the mailing list for events email webmaster [at] cnhs.org.uk
To become a member, which brings further benefits, see the website: http://www.cnhs.org.uk/membership/

October Field Studies

A small party of members met at Bryon’s Pool for the October field studies visit to Trumpington Meadows.  The weather was mild and whilst there had been a little morning rain the afternoon was dry.  Jonathan had done a quick recce and thought that there might be a struggle to find many fungi, but was proved wrong.  The report of this visit, and reports from previous visits to Trumpington Meadows are elsewhere on this website in the Trumpington Meadows 2021 Diary.

The next visit is scheduled for Sunday 28th November and will focus on bryophytes. CNHS members and those on the CNHS mailing lists will be sent details of meeting place and time.

Waxcaps at Trumpington Meadows

Wildlife Trust Cambridge Group talks

The Cambridge Local Group of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire has a programme of monthly online talks this autumn.

The first is on Monday 25th October 2021, when Keira Wingader will talk about “The natural history of the Dingy Skipper butterfly”.

On Monday 29th November 2021, Henry Stanier will give a presentation on “Stonechat research at the Great Fen”.

The December talk is earlier in the month than usual, on Monday 13th December 2021, when Iain Webb will talk about “Planning the return to in-person events”.

All talks are online at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are available through the Wildlife Trust’s events page. Tickets cost £3.09 for Wildlife Trust members, and £4.68 for non-members, of which £2.50 and £4.00 (respectively) goes directly to supporting the local Wildlife Trust’s work. 

Trees for Streets 14th October

The second talk in the CNHS autumn programme is this Thursday, 14th October 2021 when Simeon Linstead, the Project Director for Trees for Streets, will explain this scheme to get more trees planted in cities by encouraging local involvement, and why this is important.

Members and those on the mailing list will be emailed login details before the meeting.
To be added the mailing list for events email webmaster [at] cnhs.org.uk
To become a member, which brings further benefits, see the website: http://www.cnhs.org.uk/membership/

Hunts FFS

Huntingdonshire Fauna and Flora Society (http://www.hffs.org.uk/) have sent us details of their autumn programme. Please note the information regarding covid precautions.

Dates of forthcoming meetings

All the meetings will start at 7.30pm and will be held at the Countryside Centre at Hinchingbrooke Country Park in the Kestrel Room.

14th October – “Air Pollution and its Effects on Wildlife – the Answer is Blowing in the Wind”   by Gordon Wyatt.

Gordon will attempt to summarise and demystify the complex issue of air pollution; including how the pollutants of concern have changed over the years, and the growing scientific understanding of the various ways in which air pollution impacts upon wildlife.

18th November – Details to be confirmed, but probably Bats by Aidan Matthews

2nd December – Christmas meeting. Details to be announced near the time, so we comply with the latest Covid advice.

2022 meetings on 20th January, 17th February and 26th March – AGM are to be arranged.

Covid advice and restrictions

We have taken advice from various organisations and the NHS. We are therefore applying the following Covid restrictions at our winter (indoor) meetings.

We ask that you only attend if you have been double vaccinated and also ask that you wear a cloth face mask during the meeting. Clear visors are not acceptable. These are frowned upon by the National Health Service because they do not restrict air flow around the nose and mouth. The doors and windows will be open to allow circulation of air throughout the room. It is probable that the room will be cold with the air circulating, so wear adequate clothing to keep yourself warm. Chairs will be spaced apart, but couples who live together can move the chairs next to each other. There will not be any refreshments served after the meeting, so if you think you might need a drink please bring your own. You will be asked to leave the meeting as soon as possible after the talk has finished, so please minimise getting together in groups, especially indoors. 

Do not attend the meeting if you have received a positive Covid test within two weeks of the meeting. Do not attend the meeting if you have any symptoms that could relate to Covid: Headache, Sore throat, Continuous Cough, loss of taste or smell, a high temperature or generally feeling unwell. 

At present we plan to see how well the October meeting is attended and depending on how good the turnout is we will decide if we should continue with the following meetings. If the following meetings go ahead they will be subject to change, even at short notice, because the Covid and possible Flu situation can change rapidly. We want to keep members as safe as possible, so we will follow the latest guidelines issued at the time of each meeting. Members will be notified by e-mail to let you know if the following meetings are going ahead, so please check before each meeting just in case we have to cancel at the last minute.

Outdoor events

There are three outdoor events in the CNHS autumn programme.

Saturday 16th October: Fungal foray at the Botanic Garden Booking essential and limited to 15 participants. To book, please email Jonathan Shanklin <jdsh@bas.ac.uk>

Sunday 17th October: Field study at Trumpington Meadows. This will focus on fungi.

Sunday 28th November: Field study at Trumpington Meadows. This will start at 11 a.m. to look at bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).

Members and those on the mailing list will be emailed details.

Autumn talks

The future of nature conservation and the Wildlife Trusts’ 30:30:30 vision

The first talk in the autumn programme will be on Thursday 7th October at 7:30 p.m. and, like the spring talks, it will be held via Zoom.

We are delighted that Brian Eversham, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, will give a talk in which he will outline new approaches to conservation and the aim of increasing the area of land protected for nature by 2030.

Photo shows The Great Fen © Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire


Members and those on the mailing list will be emailed login details nearer the time.
To be added the mailing list for events email webmaster [at] cnhs.org.uk
To become a member, which brings further benefits, see the website: http://www.cnhs.org.uk/membership/

Sewage Saturday

On Saturday 4th Sept from 11am, by the footbridge on Jesus
Green, Little Blue Dot will be floating a number of giant model poos
down the Cam to raise awareness of river pollution in Cambridge and across England. The idea is to have an event that’s funny, shocking and with a serious underlying message. See Twitter for updates: @lil_blue_dot

You are invited to take part:

1) Come and take photos and put them on social media
2) Hand out leaflets to passers-by
3) Join the procession along the river bank to accompany the floating sewage – music, dress-up, bring signs

The event is to highlight how bad river pollution is. Every single river in England is polluted beyond legal limits.

To find out more, including what you can do about this problem, go to:
Friends of the Cam https://www.friendsofthecam.org/
River Action UK https://riveractionuk.com/
Watch the film by George Monbiot at https://rivercide.tv

Trumpington Meadows report

The report of the visit to Trumpington Meadows on Sunday 22nd August is now available on the Trumpington Meadows 2021 Diary webpage. Jonathan Shanklin, who organises and leads the field studies, reports that “The highlight here [the Byron’s Pool meadow] was however a Wasp Spider, with the yellow bands more cream coloured than usual. It captured a cricket whilst we watched, quickly immobilising it and returning to its web.” Reports of the visits in May, June and July are available on the same page.

The next visit is scheduled for Sunday 26th September when the focus will be on trying to identify lichens and galls. For details of the visit and meeting place, join the CNHS mailing list by contacting webmaster [at] cnhs.org.uk . Please make sure that your server doesn’t block bulk mailings.

For those interested in how the area has changed, the diary of the CNHS survey visits in 2012 is also available here and there was a report in Nature in Cambridgeshire volume 55. This is the annual journal of local natural history, with articles on a wide range of topics. An index to the first 50 issues is available on their website and back copies can be downloaded as pdfs.