From Tuesday 5th September, we are back to our usual autumn/winter indoor venue:
Cruck Barn, Bradwell Abbey, Alston Drive, Milton Keynes MK13 9AP
Meetings open with refreshments at 7.30pm, for an 8.00pm start. Meetings are free for members. There is a charge of £2.00 for non-members.
The occasional weekend walks that the Society has been running will also continue in the Spring
The programme below combines both indoor meetings and weekend walks. Unless specified otherwise, all events in the programme are indoor events at the Cruck Barn.
A printable pdf of the Spring programme (January- April) can be found here
Please note that clause 7 of the Society’s constitution reads: “The Society will exercise due care when arranging its meeting and activities for the benefit of members. Members taking part in any meeting or activity do so at their own risk”
A full Risk Assessment can be found here .
10 SUNDAY WALK – FLOODPLAIN FOREST NATURE RESERVE
Meet at 10.15 for 10.30 start
Mid-winter is often the best time at FFNR for wildfowl. Goosander and pintail might be seen along with more common species. Led by Martin Kincaid.
Meet at Manor Farm Court, Old Wolverton. MK12 5NN – SP807417 – sour.truly.bounding
12 CHRISTMAS PARTY
An opportunity to meet and chat to other members. Please bring something to share for the buffet and something to drink. Plates and cutlery will be provided, but bring your own glass! If you are not sure what to bring, have a word with Di or Martin K.
9 THE MID-SHIRES ORCHARD GROUP – Claire Conway-Crapp
Our first indoor meeting of the year is a celebration of apples and orchards! Claire Conway-Crapp is Chair of the Mid-shires Orchard Group who look after orchards in four counties, including some local to us. She will talk not only about the practicalities of orchard management but also their place in culture. Wassail!
13 (Sat) WEEKEND WALK – RSPB OTMOOR – Linda Murphy/Martin Kincaid
Meet at 1245 for 1.00pm start
A rare visit to this superb wetland site near Oxford. Mid-winter is a good time here to look for wildfowl, raptors, starling murmurations…and butterfly eggs!
Meet at the RSPB car park at the end of Otmoor Lane, Beckley OX3 9TD – SP 570126 – pull.correct.drumbeat. (Charge for non-RSPB members). Please car-share if you can.
16 BAN THE PLOUGH AND SAVE THE WORM! – Chris Baker
MKNHS member Chris Baker is a longstanding consultant to the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations, promoting food and nutrition security to developing nations. Tonight, Chris will explain the benefits of conservation agriculture (CA), which can lead to increased food production and enhanced biodiversity.
23 PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION
Our annual contest to find the ultimate nature photograph! Please submit your entries for this year’s competition by 16th January.
30 RIDING THE WIND AND SUN FOR 50 YEARS & OTHER STORIES – Dr Derek Taylor
Our very own Dr Derek Taylor has worked in renewables and ultra-low energy building design for over 50 years. He will explain how renewable energy has grown from almost zero to become the dominant form of energy and the least expensive form of electricity.
6 AN INTRODUCTION TO FRESHWATER FISH – Gary Fowler
Society member Gary Fowler is known as a very knowledgeable birder… but he is also a keen angler. Gary will give us an illustrated talk on freshwater fish, among our most overlooked animals, starting with those species found in our local waters.
11 SUNDAY WALK – TONGWELL LAKE – Alan Nelson
Meet at 1015 for 10.30 start
Alan will lead us around his local patch where he conducts a monthly WeBS bird count. Recent MKNHS visits have turned up redpolls, siskins and a variety of winter wildfowl.
Meet at the car park off Yeomans Drive, Blakelands. MK16 0LX – SP866421 – defaults.focus.imprinted
13 SUMMER PLANNING
Our annual session to organise the Society’s summer activities. Please come along with ideas and be prepared to lead one or more walks if possible. To avoid delays, we will make sure all planned walks have a definite meeting place agreed on the night.
20 THE JOHN WICKHAM LECTURE: SEAHORSES IN THE UK – Neil Garrick Maidment
Seahorses are enchanting creatures but people are often surprised to find that two species occur in British waters. Neil Garrick-Maidment is the Founder of The Seahorse Trust and will tell us about the challenges of conserving these enigmatic animals.
27 PER-WHO? BUTTERFLIES AND OTHER EMOTIONS IN OXFORD AND THE AMAZON – Ayla Webb
Ayla Webb discusses her general disappearance from the Society over the past four years. Expect some vaguely interesting stuff about Vapourer moths and some genuinely exciting stuff about the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon’s Lepidoptera Project – her experiences living and working at a field station in the Peruvian Amazon. Expect butterflies and mantises!
5 AGRICULTURE ON MARS AND THE MOON! – Professor Nigel Mason
Nigel Mason is Professor of Molecular Physics at the University of Kent and an eminent astrobiologist. This evening he will speculate on the feasibility of human agriculture in our solar system. We will see soil samples and undergo a taste test!
12 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
19 URBAN FOXES – Professor Dawn Scott
Professor Dawn Scott is one of Britain’s leading mammal ecologists, specialising in interactions between humans and wildlife. She is a familiar face from appearances on TV programmes such as Springwatch and is perhaps best known for her longstanding studies of urban foxes. We are delighted that she joins us tonight to talk on this subject.
26 THE CENTRAL CHILTERNS FARMER CLUSTER PROJECT – Nick Marriner
Two years ago, Nick Marriner of the Chilterns Conservation Board told us about his work on this important, local conservation project. This evening he will update on its progress and achievements to date.
2 EASTER BREAK – NO MEETING.
9 MEMBERS NIGHT
Offers of talks of 10-20 minutes to Martin Kincaid or Di Parsons please. We will have an update from our Plant Recording Group.
16 BIRDS AND THEIR EGGS – Douglas Russell
Following on from his very enjoyable talk in 2022, we welcome back Douglas Russell, Curator of Birds at the Natural History Museum, Tring. Douglas’ new book is due for publishing and he will tell us about his research into the nests and eggs of birds worldwide.
23 ECLIPSES OF THE WORLD – WITH WILDLIFE – Sheridan Williams
In this talk postponed from December 2023, Sheridan Williams will tell us about his travels to see total eclipses around the world, together with some of the outstanding wildlife he has encountered in the processs.
30 FIRST OUTDOOR MEETING (see Summer Programme)
For any forthcoming Society activity, each member who is planning to participate should assess his/her own risk and that of their household having regard to his/her own health and circumstances. This requirement is in accordance with the Society’s Constitution that states ‘Members taking part in any meeting or activity do so at their own risk.’