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 .
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!
10 SUNDAY WALK – BURY FIELD COMMON, NEWPORT PAGNELL – Ann Jones
Meet at 1015 for a 10.30am start
Ann Jones will show us around her local patch, which the society usually visits in the summer months. In early spring we may see lapwing, stonechat and possibly little owl. The common is one of the best local sites for seeing raptors too.
Meet at the car park off Queen’s Avenue, Newport Pagnell MK16 8QT – SP 874439 -jump.sized.jogging
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 Nick will share his work over the last 4 years working with a passionate group of farmers in the Central Chilterns Farmer Cluster, including exciting case studies of their chalk grassland and hedgerow projects, ecological advice packages and chalk stream restoration works. We will also hear how CCB has supported new volunteers to carry out practical conservation work, ground-breaking wildlife surveying, and how they support young people to get their first experience of conservation.
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.’