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.

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.

Wandlebury visit

On Sunday August 1 Cambridge Natural History Society will be visiting visit Wandlebury Country Park. The aim of this visit is to record in two new meadows that have been acquired by Cambridge Past, Present & Future. The main focus will be on botanical recording, but we will also record other flora and fauna that we encounter. The meeting is suitable for beginners as there will be help with identification.

All welcome, but if possible let Jonathan Shanklin (jdsh [AT] bas.ac.uk) know that you plan to come. Meet at the cycle stands at the Wandlebury car-park (TL492532) at 2 pm. There is a good cycle route from Cambridge, though there is a hill to climb! That’s because Wandlebury is 74 m above sea level (243 ft) compared to 6 m (20 ft) for Cambridge.

For cycle routes see https://www.cyclestreets.net – this shows that the route from the City Centre (junction Sidney Street and Petty Cury) to Wandlebury is 4 1/4 miles (almost 7 km) in an almost straight line and would take 40 minutes.

Trumpington Meadows Field Studies

Our next field studies visit to Trumpington Meadows takes place on Thursday, July 22, meeting at 6:30pm.  These visits aim to record the flora and some of the fauna of Trumpington Meadows, and introduce beginners to our local wildlife. 

Meet at the entrance opposite Addenbrooke’s Road on the Hauxton Road out of Cambridge TL441539 – see https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/295355#map=16/52.1643/0.1081

All welcome – it is helpful if you can let Jonathan Shanklin (jdsh [AT] bas.ac.uk) know if you plan to come.