HUNTINGDONSHIRE FAUNA & FLORA SOCIETY

SPRING/SUMMER PROGRAMME 2022

 

Subject to changes nearer the time if there are new restrictions due to Covid. Please check emails, if this is the case.

 

Sunday 15th May                  2.30pm                        Gamlingay Wood

Leader: James Bonfield/Peter Lake

Gamlingay Wood is a Wildlife Trust ancient woodland, rich in flora and insects. From the A428, take the B2040 turning at Eltisley to Waresley. Just after leaving Waresley, there is a track to the left which takes you to the parking by the wood. Grid reference TL241537

Sunday 19th JUNE              2.30pm                       Somersham Local Nature Reserve

Leader: Peter Lake

Somersham Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is a wonderful example of how nature reclaims places if left alone. This was part of the railway line from Cambridge to March, built in 1848 for the transport of coal and agricultural produce before closing in 1967. The nature reserve of 12 hectares includes areas of woodland, grassland and wildflower meadows, a lake and wet woodland. The disused railway line is designated as a County Wildlife Site to recognise the importance of its neutral grassland within the county. The site is jointly owned by Cambridgeshire County Council and Somersham Parish Council. Park on Springfield in Somersham and car share if possible. Grid reference: TL365781.

Sunday 17th JULY              2.30pm                        Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve

Leader: Stuart Irons

Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve was originally owned by Charles Rothschild in the early 20th century and earlier in history it was made famous by the poet, John Clare in two poems ("I love thee Swordy Well"). This much maligned site (previously a quarry, refuse tip and race track) has been restored by the Langdyke Trust and is now rich with plants and insects during the Summer months. From the A1(M), take the A47 turning east and then take the turning north (Langley Bush Rd) towards Upton and stay on this road until you reach a crossroads. Turn right at the crossroads and the site is on the left (Stamford Stone).

Grid reference: TF115031.

Sunday 14th AUGUST        2.30pm                        Bainton Heath

Leader: Stuart Irons

The Langdyke Countryside Trust and the National Grid are working together near the village of Bainton to manage a twenty acre site owned by the National Grid. The site was a former tip for waste fly ash from power stations in the north of England, but has since been colonised by a fascinating variety of flowers, mosses, lichens, insects and birds. It also hosts strong breeding populations of summer migrants, including nightingales, cuckoos, chiffchaff, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, and willow, sedge, reed and grasshopper warblers. Bainton Heath also has a strong and varied population of dragonflies, butterflies, beetles and other insects. Due to the unique nature of the site, many species of moss and lichen are present which are not normally natural to Cambridgeshire. The area also contains a small wood and a large pond. Meet at St. Marys Church, Church, Barnack Road, Bainton PE9 3AE.

Grid reference: TF092059.

Sunday 18th SEPTEMBER            2.30pm                        Woodwalton Fen  

Leader: Peter Lake

Woodwalton Fen is part of the Great Fen project and it being linked up with Holme Fen. The plan is to look at both the original fenland and to look at how some of the newer areas are progressing. Meet at Jackson Bridge, at the bottom of Ramsey Heights Road.

Grid Reference: TL227258

Sunday 16th OCTOBER                2.00pm            Waresley Wood (To be confirmed)

Leader: Alan Robbins/Sheila Wells

For our Fungi Foray this year, we are planning to visit Waresley Wood.

 

When attending Field Meetings please wear sturdy footwear and clothing appropriate for the site conditions and weather. For further information about the summer programme please contact either Peter Lake on 01763-261554 or Barry Dickerson on 01480-475689.

 

For further information about the Society please go to http://hffs.org.uk/


DOWNLOAD THE ABOVE PROGRAMME AS A PDF

 

JANUARY MEETING

Our next meeting is on 20th January at 7.30pm. We are planning to hold this meeting by Zoom. If you have not used Zoom before enter the word 'Zoom' into your search engine and you should get the statement to 'Download Zoom'. Follow the on screen instructions and an Icon will appear on your desktop. When you want to join the meeting a link will be sent to you via e-mail. All you need to do is to click on the link and you should be connected automatically.

The title and subject of the talk is below:

Protecting and Enhancing Wildlife across the East of England by Mike Drew

Anglian Water own and manage 49 SSSIs including 10 major sites, of which Grafham Water is one. Mike will be talking about their work across the region, from North Lincolnshire to Colchester, including the Nightingale, Pool Frog and Osprey projects, and how they work in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts to protect and enhance wildlife.

The talk will start at 7.30pm. Further instructions will be sent with the link to the talk.

Peter has asked if you could tell him if you plan to attend the meeting, so please send an e-mail to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stuart would also like to remind you that subscriptions are now due. For a list of subscription rates please see the HFFS web site at www.hffs.org.uk. If you do not have Stuart's postal address to hand please get back to me or refer to last year's Annual Report.

With reference to the Annual Report I still have many pages that require filling. Several regular reports have not been received at present from the County recorders, so I would be grateful to receive these as soon as possible and definitely before the end of the month. We are aware that field work was limited once again, but a couple of pages is better than nothing.

 

HUNTINGDONSHIRE FAUNA & FLORA SOCIETY

WINTER PROGRAMME 2021-2022

Dates of forthcoming meetings:

14th October - Air Pollution and its Effects on Wildlife – the Answer is Blowing in the Wind by Gordon Wyatt

18th November - All you would like to know about bats by Aidan Matthews, of the Wildlife Trust.

As well as being the West Cambridgeshire Reserves Manager for the Trust, Aidan is an active member of the Bedfordshire Bat Group and is on their Committee as the National Bat Monitoring Programme Co-ordinator and the trainer for roost visits. He will share his extensive knowledge about this fascinating group of mammals and the many and varied species that are found in our local area. He will also demonstrate some of the technology that is used for monitoring bats.

2nd December - Christmas meeting. Details to be announced near the time, so we comply with the latest Covid advice.

20th January - TBA

17th February - TBA

26th March - Annual General Meeting

All meetings will be at the Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Kestrel Room and will begin at 7.30pm

Conditions:

We have taken advice from various organisations and the NHS. We are therefore applying the following 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 will 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. 

If Barry does not have your e-mail address please send it to him as soon as possible. We cannot send a letter by post to those who have not supplied an e-mail address to update you every time the situation changes. We will endeavor to keep the website up to date as far as is reasonably possible, so you can keep up to date with any changes in the situation. Barry can also be contacted by phone on 01480-475689.

 

HUNTINGDONSHIRE FAUNA & FLORA SOCIETY

WINTER PROGRAMME 2021-2022

Dates of forthcoming meetings:

14th October - Air Pollution and its Effects on Wildlife – the Answer is Blowing in the Wind by Gordon Wyatt

18th November - All you would like to know about bats by Aidan Matthews, of the Wildlife Trust.

As well as being the West Cambridgeshire Reserves Manager for the Trust, Aidan is an active member of the Bedfordshire Bat Group and is on their Committee as the National Bat Monitoring Programme Co-ordinator and the trainer for roost visits. He will share his extensive knowledge about this fascinating group of mammals and the many and varied species that are found in our local area. He will also demonstrate some of the technology that is used for monitoring bats.

2nd December - Christmas meeting. Details to be announced near the time, so we comply with the latest Covid advice.

20th January - TBA

17th February - TBA

26th March - Annual General Meeting

All meetings will be at the Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Kestrel Room and will begin at 7.30pm

Conditions:

We have taken advice from various organisations and the NHS. We are therefore applying the following 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 will 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. 

If Barry does not have your e-mail address please send it to him as soon as possible. We cannot send a letter by post to those who have not supplied an e-mail address to update you every time the situation changes. We will endeavor to keep the website up to date as far as is reasonably possible, so you can keep up to date with any changes in the situation. Barry can also be contacted by phone on 01480-475689.

 

FEBRUARY MEETING

The February meeting will take place on Zoom at 7.30 on 17th February when Brian Eversham will talk on "Wildlife Recording in Changing Times" This wide ranging talk brings a bit of history of recording, landscape history and climate change and draws on examples from most groups of wildlife, to offer something for everyone. Brian will also go into recent work recording local elms and goldilocks buttercups.

Please contact Peter Lake to join the meeting on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

HUNTINGDONSHIRE FAUNA & FLORA SOCIETY

WINTER PROGRAMME 2021-2022

Dates of forthcoming meetings:

14th October - Air Pollution and its Effects on Wildlife – the Answer is Blowing in the Wind by Gordon Wyatt

18th November - All you would like to know about bats by Aidan Matthews, of the Wildlife Trust.

As well as being the West Cambridgeshire Reserves Manager for the Trust, Aidan is an active member of the Bedfordshire Bat Group and is on their Committee as the National Bat Monitoring Programme Co-ordinator and the trainer for roost visits. He will share his extensive knowledge about this fascinating group of mammals and the many and varied species that are found in our local area. He will also demonstrate some of the technology that is used for monitoring bats.

2nd December - Christmas meeting. Details to be announced near the time, so we comply with the latest Covid advice.

20th January - TBA

17th February - TBA

26th March - Annual General Meeting

All meetings will be at the Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Kestrel Room and will begin at 7.30pm

Conditions:

We have taken advice from various organisations and the NHS. We are therefore applying the following 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 will 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. 

If Barry does not have your e-mail address please send it to him as soon as possible. We cannot send a letter by post to those who have not supplied an e-mail address to update you every time the situation changes. We will endeavor to keep the website up to date as far as is reasonably possible, so you can keep up to date with any changes in the situation. Barry can also be contacted by phone on 01480-475689.

 

 

Portholme Fritillaries 2021

Over Christmas 2020 the Great Ouse flooded significantly so much so that Portholme flooded to a depth that it was possible to windsurf over it. The waters returned in mid-January and remained for several weeks.

A large puddle remained across the path that goes from the Godmanchester lock to Brampton. This extended over part of the area where the large concentration of Fritillaries grow. It remained from February and still had not completely dried up in mid-April when the ground around was still saturated.

The Fritillaries on the dry areas grew as usual but in the area that remained wet they seemed to be much later in coming up and many had no flower, those that did had smaller flowers and a much higher percentage were white.

It will be interesting to see next year, if it doesn’t flood for such a long period if they return to normal and there are fewer white ones.

Normal Dry Area Wet Area Drying Out

 

Huntingdonshire Fauna & Flora Society - AGM 2021

The AGM was held by email and post this year and the members of the committee are as follows:

  Committee
Gordon Wyatt (Chairman)
Julian Limentani (Secretary)
Stuart Irons (Treasurer/Membership)
Peter Lake (Programme Secretary)
Henry Arnold (Report Editor)
Barry Dickerson (Communications)
Heather Twinn      
Tin Reed
Jane Croft
Mick Twinn
Mike Drew
Andrew Frost

 

Hunts Fauna & Flora Society Facebook Group

The Society now has a proper Facebook group forum on which you can post your sightings and interact freely with other members. Take a look here, sign yourself up, and get posting! The Sightings page on this site will no longer be updated.