Gamlingay Wood - 15th May 2022

The first field meeting of the year was held on 15th May at Gamlingay Wood. James Bonfield and Peter Walker led the meeting, which was attended by 12 members, round a piece of ancient woodland and saw the rich flora of the wood. The walk started with a short history of the wood and its ancient origins with its first being recorded in the Doomsday Book.

The Bluebells were mostly over but a number of Early Purple Orchids and Tweayblade were seen. There are a mixture of soils from sandy to clay which support different types of Flora from Bracken, Primrose and Foxgloves to Bluebells and Oxlips. The trees are mainly fairly young consist of Oak, Ash, Field Maple with plenty of Hazel and Hawthorn.

The weather was a little damp but it did not curtail the visit which was greatly enjoyed by all.

Bracket Fungus   Early Purple orchid    

 Julian Limentani, photos ©Peter Lake.




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




1.  Apologies:

Hilary While, Dr Tim Reed, Don Jeffries, Jane and Alan Moores, Owen Mountford, Alan Robbins and Martin Baker.

Twelve members were in attendance plus a further four on Zoom.

2.  Minutes of the previous AGM held on 28th March 2020:

     Were circulated to members prior or the meeting, they were approved and signed.

3.  Matter arising:

     None were raised.

4.  Chairman’s Remarks

     These were circulated. No comments were raised.

5.  Secretary’s Report:

     This appears in the Annual Report and was circulated. No comments were raised

6.  Treasurer’s Report:

    Was circulated to members. Current account: £2,464.78. Publications account £6,085.76

     A question was asked as to why the publications income had not been put into the publication account. Stuart Irons explained that the bank had frozen the publication account and it had taken many months of form filling and visits to get it unfrozen in January 2022. Next year’s accounts will reflect this.

7.  Election of Officers and Committee Members:

The Officers were elected unanimously.

President:                                                Sheila Wells

Vice-president                                          Hilary While

Chairman                                                 Gordon Wyatt

Secretary                                                 Julian Limentani

Treasurer and Membership secretary          Stewart Irons

Annual Report Editors                               Barry Dickerson and Gordon Wyatt

Programme Secretary                               Peter Lake

Publication Secretary                                Barry Dickerson          

The Ordinary Members of the Committee retiring by rotation are: Jane Croft and Heather Twinn

The remaining members are: Tim Reed, Mick Twinn, Mike Drew and Andrew Frost

Nominations for new members are: None were received. Voting was unanimous in favour.

8.   County Recorders:

      The only Recorders retiring were for mammals; Henry Arnold and Don Jeffries.

      Refer to the Annual Report or the website: for the full list of recorders.

9.    Any Other Business:

       No other business was raised. Hilary While wrote to thank the Committee for carrying on during the challenges that Covid had presented the |Society.

10.  Date of next meeting: 25th March 2023



Following the AGM on 26th March 2022 Martin Davies spoke on the “Wild Canadian Rockies. He introduced, the well-illustrated talk, by explaining that the Rockies were a small part of Canada. The mountain ranges were a series of parallel mountains starting at the west coast with three major mountain ranges and between them dessert like areas in the rain shadow of the first range of mountains. The mountains are up to about 13,000 feet.

The rivers flow to the west and to the east going both to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The first settlers were confronted with these very high barriers of rock. These were also a barrier to plants and animals, so the flora and fauna on each side were very different.

The West side has giant sequoias and many species of sparrows and buntings ranging to sage grass scrub in British Columbia where there is semi-dessert with Canadian Quails and Rattle Snakes. Around Calgary, in the east, there are large pastures with Savannah Sparrows.

Martin who has worked in Calgary for several years presented many beautiful slides of the variation in the fauna and flora in that area of the world and how it compares with our British flora and fauna.

The quality and of the photography and the clarity was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all.

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:

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.