Programme

Spring programme

From September through to the end of April, the Society normally holds indoor meetings every Tuesday at The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Bradwell Abbey. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we have been advised by the City Discovery Centre that the Cruck Barn is unavailable for hire until further notice.

Instead, the Committee has decided to arrange meetings via Zoom.
The room will open at 7.30 for an 8pm start. The link will be sent out to members in advance of the meetings. Visitors are also very welcome. Contact Linda Murphy for advice on Zoom or visitor access to meetings (lindamurphy49@btinternet.com). 

Information about how to access and use Zoom is available here:
Joining a meeting: MKNHS Zoom participant user guide Part 1_Joining a meeting
Zoom features to use in a meeting: MKNHS Zoom participant user guide Part 2_In a meeting.  Part 2 also includes some guidance on meeting etiquette.

April

6th Easter Break – No meeting

13th The Willow Tit: Britain’s fastest declining bird – Paul Bellamy
The willow tit is described as the UK’s fastest declining songbird and its close relative – the marsh tit – is not fairing much better. The RSPB’s Paul Bellamy will give us some tips on identification and ask what can be done to help these birds.

20th Chilly in Chile – Di Parsons
Society member Di Parsons visited Chile in the summer of 2019 in pursuit of birds and a solar eclipse. This evening she will share these and other wonders with us.   

27th Members Evening
Details to be confirmed

Summer programme

During the summer, the Society normally holds outdoor meetings every Tuesday from end April / beginning May through to the end of August, and we hope this will be possible again during 2021.  Initially though we will begin in May with virtual walks, where a member will guide us around a local area through Zoom.

The May sessions will be on Zoom, (at 8.pm unless otherwise stated) Please check the Society website for later walks information, COVID restrictions etc.

When restrictions start to be lifted, it would be helpful for members to arrive 15 minutes before the walks are due to start, so we can run through the risk assessment as appropriate.

May
(All meetings via Zoom)

4th  Seldom-seen Little Linford Wood – Phil Sarre (BBOWT Warden)
This presentation will take the opportunity to focus attention on aspects of the wood that are seldom seen because they are off the beaten track, inconspicuous, ephemeral or rare.

11th  Urban birding MK and Bucks (and a bit of beyond) – Sue Hetherington
Our “urban jungles” hold unexpected birding secrets. Bring your virtual binoculars on a virtual urban birding field trip looking for peregrine falcons and ring-necked parakeets.

18th  Wildlife Photographs:  Discussion and a Quiz – Bob Phillips
A series of Wildlife Photographs taken in and around Milton Keynes. These will be shown in sets of 10 photographs to be identified. At the end of each set of 10, the answers will be given and there will be some information and discussion around where each photograph was taken. Bring a pen/pencil and paper for the Quiz

25th  Otmoor in Spring: a virtual tour – Linda Murphy
Linda Murphy will take us on a virtual tour of Otmoor, a wetland reserve near Oxford managed by the RSPB. After an introduction to the site, we’ll explore the trails on the reserve looking at the birds, plants and other wildlife as we go. We’ll also spend some time at the hide and the two viewing screens. The focus will be on spring/summer highlights.

June

1st North Loughton Valley Park Joe Clinch
We hope this will be an outdoor event, start 7.00pm

The planned walk will include the site of the Roman Villa at Bancroft, the North Loughton Valley Park, and the Windmill at Bradville. There should be a reasonable range of birds, insects and plants, and it is hoped that the Bradville bee orchids will still be in flower.
Meet at the Parks Trust North Loughton Valley Park car park at Bancroft Park, Constantine Way off Millers Way at SP 826 404 (NB not the adjacent Bancroft Park Residents Club private car park at MK13 0RA)

8th  Aston Clinton Ragpits – Di Parsons
On Zoom, at 8.00pm.

15th  Stanton Low fields – Martin Kincaid
Outdoor event, 7.00pm
Open grassland and scrub next to Grand Union Canal. A chance to look at two recently created limestone scrapes and surrounding landscape, rich in wild flowers and insects.
Meet at the car park off Wolverton Road, SP 838419.

22nd  Mothing at Howe Park Wood – Gordon Redford
Outdoor event, 20.45hrs till late.
A midsummer mothing session almost 50 years to the day since John Wickham, who sadly died last year, began 7 years of moth recording here using the Rothamsted trap. As a tribute to that and to John and Margaret’s life-long support of the Society, locating traps close to the site of the old trap will allow us to compare records half a century apart.

Please note later start and join us ‘mothers’ for a late night (weather permitting).
Fold up chairs, warm clothing, refreshments, hot drinks recommended.
Meet in car park by St Giles Church off Portishead Drive, Tattenhoe, MK4 3ES, SP828340.

26th (Saturday) Evenley Wood Gardens, Northants – Martin Kincaid.
Outdoor event:
11.00am – 4.00pm.
A chance to visit these beautifully landscaped gardens, with woodland, meadows and streams, rich in wildlife. The owners have kindly granted us free entry in exchange for our records, so please come ready to record. Excellent facilities including café and toilets.

Please meet at car park at 11am sharp as we need to enter the site together. Postcode: NN13 5SL(Grid ref: SP596349).

29th Rammamere Heath and King’s Wood – Mike LeRoy
Outdoor event, 7 pm
Heathland, ancient woodland, grasslands and seasonal ponds, on acid greensand and chalky boulder clay. Adders and tree pipit on the heath, woodland birds, white admiral and purple hairstreak butterflies. Small-leaved lime, hornbeam, oak and birch trees. Parts of a National Nature Reserve, some in Tarmac’s private ownership. Some paths rough or sandy.

No roadside parking. Share a car if you can. Pay for parking at Stockgrove car-park off Brickhill Road.
Grid Reference: SP 92031 29391; ¼ mile north-west of postcode LU7 0AR which is at Fox Corner on road from A5 to Heath & Reach.

July meetings to follow

Please note that clause 7 of the Society’s constitution reads: “the Society will exercise due care when arranging its meetings and activities for the benefit of members. Members taking part in any meeting or activity do so at their own risk.”

 

Summer Walk descriptions

In 2020, because of the coronavirus, it wasn’t possible to hold our usual programme of summer walks for groups of Society members. Instead walk leaders provided descriptions of the walks they would have led with information about the route and descriptions of the wildlife that may be seen. You can use these to explore the sites on your own or with family or friends. If you aren’t able to visit the sites in person, use these descriptions to find out more about the wildlife in and around Milton Keynes. The walk descriptions can be found here.

There are also links to other self-guided walks exploring wild places around Milton Keynes here: Other Walks