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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.

Volunteers wanted

The Museum of Zoology is looking for Visitor Engagement Volunteers, who are based in the galleries when they are open.

Visitor Engagement Volunteers play a valuable role in maintaining museum security during opening hours by supervising visitors in the galleries, and supporting the front of house staff. They

  • Provide a warm welcome to visitors
  • Interact with visitors in a helpful manner
  • Act as a guide to the Museum
  • Help with museum special events
  • Maintain security in gallery spaces and follow health and safety procedures
  • Participate in light cleaning tasks in the galleries
  • Support other volunteers

For more information and to apply visit https://ucm.volunteermakers.org/get-involved/museum-of-zoology/visitor-engagement-volunteer-museum-of-zoology/19/

Trumpington Meadows field study

With the nights beginning to draw in our visits to Trumpington Meadows return to Sunday afternoons. Our next field studies visit is on Sunday, August 22, meeting at 2pm at the Byron’s Pool car park, by the cycle stands TL438548 CB2 9LJ.

It is an easy cycle ride from Cambridge: Trumpington Road, then Church Lane and Grantchester Road. If you cross the river you’ve gone too far. The Cyclestreets route planner shows the distance as three miles from Cambridge Market and can be used to plan other routes.

The field studies visits aim to record the flora and fauna of the area and introduce participants to it. Although the flowering season is drawing to an end, there will still be many species in flower and if the weather is fine we might see butterflies and other insects. The going is fairly easy and often on paths. All welcome. Wet weather is currently forecast, but that may change in the coming days.

Creeping Thistle Rust Fungus

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire are running a trail to monitor the effectiveness of using Creeping thistle rust fungus Puccinia punctiformis to manage the spread of Creeping thistle Cirsium arvense on their nature reserve.

They would very much appreciate it if when you are out and about on a walk or talk you could have a quick look at the local creeping thistle and see if you can spot the Rust fungus in question.

If you do find it, please contact trumpingtonmeadows@wildlifebcn.org with good quality co-ordinates for the plants.

Details are in the attached document which will open in a new window.

CNHS AGM

The AGM takes place on Thursday, 17 June at 7:30pm by Zoom.

As well as the formal business of electing the Officers and Council there will be reports from the Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Programme Secretary and on the Conversazione and Website. In addition the President will present his illustrated review of the year.

CNHS members have been sent the Zoom link.

If you wish to join the Society, please do so and you will be sent the link.

NatHistFest 2021

It will come as no surprise that it was not possible to organise a Conversazione this spring. However, we are pleased to announce that plans for an online NatHistFest in November 2021 are being finalised.

Like last year’s NatHistFest, this will consist of a variety of exhibits on any aspect of natural history, presented as photos with captions, as a short PowerPoint presentation or as a pdf.

Details of the event and how to book an exhibit will be posted on this website, and emailed to those who have exhibited in the past, soon. In the meantime, do start thinking about possible exhibits and taking photos for them, now the days are longer and the weather improving.

Cambs Mammal Spot

CambsMammalSpot’ is a major new project from Cambridgeshire Mammal Group to record the wild mammals in Cambridgeshire. This is part of an overarching exercise being undertaken jointly with the Wildlife Trust. It aims to collect data on mammal signs and sightings to create a visual understanding of the population and diversity of the mammal species in the county, and particularly to determine their IUCN’s Red List status. It will increase knowledge of what species of wild mammals are where in Cambridgeshire and how many we have.

Cambridgeshire Mammal Group notes that we cannot hope to conserve and enhance the environment for our wild mammals unless we know what we’ve got, where they are, and how many we’ve got.

Two apps — MammalMapper (https://www.mammal.org.uk/volunteering/mammal-mapper/) and iRecord (https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/) will be used to receive records of wild mammals (alive and dead, native and non-native) however obtained – whether from sightings or signs or trail cams.  Anyone can join in — both apps have training built-in — expertise in tracks and signs is not necessary!  All the records will be shared, including with the Mammal Society and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre.

Links to further information are on the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group website: http://www.cambsmammalgroup.org.uk/