14 October 2023: ‘The Charnwood (and other) Spiders’, presented by Alan Cann – Spider expert Alan Cann discusses Leicestershire spiders. After refreshments he will talk about our most unusual spider. Along the way, you’ll hear about ants and eyes, DNA and ice ages, and lost relics of the landscape. Please feel free to bring along any spiders that need identification!
Bring Your Own Refreshments
The Committee has taken the decision not to open the kitchen for refreshments. It has long been thought that it was unfair to our volunteers to miss out on a large section of the talk either preparing or clearing up. We still believe that it is important to have a break to stretch our legs and socialise, so suggest that you bring your own refreshments as a number of other organisations have successfully trialed.
2023 Indoor Meetings
11 November 2023: The PETER GAMBLE MEMORIAL LECTURE – ‘Tales of the River Bank’, presented by Ian Gamble (Peter’s son) – Ian’s presentation will be a combination of his own and his father’s images taken over fifty-plus years, looking at the course of the River Lin from Ulverscroft through to Quorn. It will be looking particularly at Swithland Reservoir, Buddon Wood and Buddon Brook Meadows and the changes that have taken place in the wildlife throughout their lives.
09 December 2023: ‘The Knepp Rewilding Project’ presented by Kate Moore After generations of farming the 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in the Low Weald of Sussex, the decision was made in February 2000 to sell the dairy herds and farm machinery and put the arable land out to contract. Fast forward to 2002, a vision to rewild Knepp was launched by sending a ‘Letter of Intent’ to Natural England. It was some time before this idea became fully supported, but finally, in 2010, the project received Higher Level Stewardship funding. Knepp is now a leading light in conservation and Kate will talk to us about her recent experiences in visiting the estate and some of the wildlife which thrives there.
There is parking for about 11 cars at the Church Room and along Church Lane. Alternatively, use the main Quorn car park off nearby Station Road. Meetings begin at 7:30pm and finish about 9:30 pm. Visitors are very welcome for whom there is a charge of £5.00. Members will be charged £2.00. Don’t forget to bring your own refreshments.
Previous Programmes since 2015 included:
09 September 2023: ‘The Maasai Mara’, by Steve Woodward – Maasai Mara is the Kenyan extension to Serengeti (in Tanzania), a vast area that is home to spectacular numbers of herbivores and their predators. Steve’s talk is based on a week’s safari camp holiday during which they saw a wealth of birds and mammals, including a successful hunt by the brotherhood of four Cheetahs that featured on BBC programmes in 2019.
Saturday 1 April 2023 – AGM: followed by All About Trees – presented by Ann Brown: Ann, a Club Member, will give a fascinating talk where she will describe some of the biggest, oldest and even loneliest trees from around the world.
Saturday 11 March: The Ecology of Bradgate Park – presented by Steve Woodward. We would like to thank Steve for stepping in at short notice and look forward to his talk on one of the regions most iconic locations.
Saturday 11 February 2023: Opening Pandora’s Box – An Ecology of Loughborough University – presented Richard Fenn-Griffin: Richard is the (fairly) newly appointed Arborist at Loughborough University and he is passionate about the Natural History on the campus. His talk will help us understand the ecology of the University grounds.
Saturday 14 January 2023: The Isles of Scilly – presented by Nigel Slater: Nigel is a passionate bird watcher and wildlife enthusiast who loves sharing with people the things he has discovered, so they can experience them too. He has been to the Scillies over 30 times and just loves being there. If you have not been, this is an ideal talk to come and see what the place is all about. It’s not just the wildlife, but history, culture and Island life.
ZOOM – Wednesday 21 December 2022: Members’ Evening: This evening will feature a variety of short talks from our Members. If you wish to give a small presentation, this would be very welcome. Please contact Sue Graham to discuss or book a slot.
ZOOM – Wednesday 16 November 2022: The North Coast – A Botanical Odyssey presented by Dr. Ian Evans: Ian will describe his exploration of the north coast of Sutherland over recent years from Cape Wrath in the west to the boundary with Caithness in the east, with some trips inland to hills, etc. There will be lots of striking scenery and some animal life as well as plants. Ian is a long-time Member (c1962) and former Chair of the Club.
ZOOM – Wednesday 26 October 2022: White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Project presented by Dr. Tim Mackrill: In 2019, the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England began a five-year reintroduction project to restore breeding White-tailed Eagles to England after an absence of over 200 years. In this talk Tim will describe the progress so far, including how the young eagles have been tracked across the UK, and even into continental Europe using the latest satellite tracking technology. He will also explain how the released birds are learning to live successfully in the English landscape and describe the team’s expectations and hopes for the future. Tim is an ornithologist with the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, leading the charity’s work on White-tailed Eagles, Ospreys and other species in England. He formerly ran the Rutland Osprey Project for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
ZOOM – Wednesday 21 September 2022: Update on the latest Project of the Loughborough Naturalists’ Club by Margaret McLoughlin and Hazel Graves. The LNC is a Recording Club and Margaret and Hazel will discuss the Club’s latest project, wildlife recording at a new venue for the Club in Charnwood Forest. Recording on this organic farm commenced in February 2022. They will share some of the start-up experiences, current progress and finds, and plans and hopes for the future.
ZOOM – Saturday 9 April 2022 – AGM and Members’ Evening: after the formal aspect of the AGM, a number of Members will give short presentations. If you think that you could give a short talk by Zoom (we can guide you through the process if you are unsure), then please contact Sue Graham, ideally by the end of March, so that we can book you in. Thank you.
ZOOM – Saturday 12 March 2022 – Behind the Curtain – presented by Tim Sexton: For over 40 years the Iron Curtain divided Europe. Along stretches, the physical barrier was set 5km in from a country’s actual border, creating a ‘No Man’s Land’ free from human inhabitants. With little disturbance, wildlife thrived. When the Iron Curtain fell many of these areas became protected as national parks. Tim looks at the wildlife of one such area – Podyji National Park in the Czech Republic.
ZOOM – Wednesday 16 February 2022 – Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles in Britain – presented by Ben Driver: From Common Toads to Slowworm, Nottinghamshire’s special landscapes are home to at least 8 out of 13 species of our native amphibian and reptiles, and some ‘alien’ ones too. Learn about these fascinating, and sadly dwindling, creatures and how we can best protect and cherish them.
ZOOM – Saturday 8 January 2022 – The Condor’s Feather – presented by Mike and Paula Webster: This well-known local naturalist couple spent many periods over the last few years exploring parts of South America photographing and filming birds. Join them for a sneak preview of their new book “The Condor’s Feather”, due to be published in February 2022 by the September Publishing company. You can also watch some of their super films on YouTube – The Condor’s Feather.
ZOOM – Wednesday 15 December 2021 – Members’ Presentations with short talks by: Ann Brown – Ann’s Garden Wildlife; Dave Robinson – Wildlife Highlights; Steve Woodward – preview of the Grace Dieu publication ‘More Than Meets The Eye’; Hazel Graves – Hazel’s Forays into Flies.
ZOOM – Saturday 13 November 2021 – Rockpooling – presented by Jeff Blincow: Jeff has enjoyed bird-watching all of his life. His interests broadened to all aspects of wildlife and he became a member of the conservation team at Yardley Chase in Northamptonshire where he has surveyed beetles, fungi and Great-crested Newts. He has lectured about wildlife since 1980 on many topics, has travelled widely, and his interests in South America in the 90’s led him to be one of the founder committee members of the Neotropical Bird Club. Our rockpools offer a wide range of habitats in constantly changing conditions creating the most biodiverse environments in Britain. Our long coastline and complex tidal systems offer many fabulous rockpooling sites to visit. We will tour some of the best places to go and focus on the low tide zones where the most interesting species occur.
ZOOM – Wednesday 13 October 2021 – Beaver Reintroduction Project, Derbyshire – presented by Henry Richards: The Living Landscapes Officers for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust look after their nature reserves in the Trent Valley and works as project lead on the Beaver release project at Willington Wetlands Nature Reserve. Join us for a tour of the habitats found on this wonderful nature reserve and hear all about how the release of Beavers will help shape the reserve.
ZOOM – Saturday 11 September 2021 – Slugs and Snails – presented by Brian Eversham: Brian has been the CEO of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire since 2009; prior to that he was their Conservation Director for 12 years. Before that he was Head of Zoology and Research Co-ordinator at the National Biological Records Centre, CEH Monks Wood. He has helped introduce several landscape-scale conservation projects and is the author of 250 scientific papers and reports. His talk will give an introduction to land and freshwater molluscs, their distribution, diversity, ecology and behaviour – how slugs and snails interact with each other and with other wildlife.
ZOOM – Wednesday 18 August 2021 – Members’ Evening – Cancelled
ZOOM – Wednesday 28 July 2021 – Members’ Evening: with short talks by: Dave Robinson – A Day on the Farne Islands; Sue Graham – Burton Mere Wetlands, Cleaver Heath and Cors Goch NR; Ed Darby & Elspeth Cranston – Eustalomyia festiva and other flies in our garden; Steve Woodward – Reindeer and other Wildlife of Scotland.
ZOOM – Wednesday 16 June 2021 – Members’ Evening: with short talks by: Steve Woodward – Why Bother with Grasses?; Hazel Graves – Sussex in May 2021; Peter Proudlove – Bats of Charnwood in Members’ Gardens; Dave Robinson – Recents Sightings, and Margaret McLoughlin – general sightings.
ZOOM – Wednesday 19 May 2021 – Members’ Evening: with short talks by: Dave Robinson – Charnwood Lodge Butterfly Surveys 2018-2020; Graham Smith – Graham’s Garden Goldies; Janet Killinback – Birds on my Feeders; Steve Woodward – I Love Wasps and Margaret McLoughlin – Recent Charnwood Lodge Sightings.
ZOOM – Saturday 10 April 2021 – AGM and Members’ Evening: after the formal aspect of the AGM, a number of Members gave short presentations: Dave Robinson – A Nose-dive into Pheromones; Annie Smith – A Feast of Caterpillars; Mike and Paula Webster – Marmalade, Marmite and Mandarins, and Steve Woodward – Not Quite Extinct – Wall Whitlowgrass.
ZOOM – Wednesday 10 March 2021 – ‘Mustelids’ Presented by Derek Crawley: Mustelids – the weasel family, the main carnivore group in the UK consisting of six native and one introduced species. We will be having a brief look at the behaviour of each of the group and comparing their styles and interaction with each other. Derek is the county mammal recorder for Staffordshire, and was the founder chair of the local mammal group, also acted as lead for the now published National Mammal Atlas by the Mammal Society.
ZOOM – Wednesday 10 February 2021 – ‘The Leicestershire and Rutland Swift Project’ presented by Peter Williams: Peter is Secretary of the Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society and a founding member of the Leicestershire & Rutland Swift Partnership. His talk will focus on the particular nature of Swifts, the difficulties currently faced by them – a reduction in numbers by half in 20 years, and what the Partnership is doing to try and address these losses.
ZOOM – Saturday 9 January 2021 – ‘Invasive Species – Leicestershire’s Riversides’ presented by Adrian Lane: From childhood, Adrian has always been fascinated by canals and waterways. When he grew up he got his “dream job” managing the waterways through Leicester. This eight-mile corridor contained the usual suspects of “plants in the wrong places”. However, the arrival of one in particular required a different approach. He ended up managing a team, selling the importance of the aquatic environment to a wider audience. He reluctantly left this job a couple of years ago, but that has allowed him more time to tell some of the fascinating stories of Leicester’s Riversides.
ZOOM – Wednesday 16 December 2020 – ‘Yellowstone and Iceland in Winter’ presented by Peter Jones and Sue Wilson: Peter and Sue are well known photographers and run “Wildwatch Tours”. Both of these tours took place in winter 2016, with local guides, travelling by snow mobile in Yellowstone and they spent most of the Iceland trip exploring the south coast. Their superb photos will show the landscapes and wildlife to be found in both places.
ZOOM – Saturday 14 November 2020 – ‘The Wildlife of Calke Park’ presented by Bill Cove: Bill has been associated with Calke since 1972, first whilst working for the Harpur Crewe family on their Home Farm and then for 21 years as the manager of its outside areas for the National Trust. He has an unrivalled depth of experience of the place and its wildlife. With wonderful photographs he will lead us around this beautiful area of South Derbyshire Parkland.
ZOOM – Wednesday 21 October 2020 – ‘It Started as a Mothing Challenge at Charnwood Lodge’ presented by Margaret McLoughlin: As a Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust Volunteer, Margaret joined with others to undertake a recording effort on the site. This is an overview of this effort and its results.
ZOOM – Saturday 12 September 2020 – Members’ Presentations – Please contact Sue Graham if you wish to offer a 20-30 minute presentation. If you are unsure how to do this by Zoom, we can arrange a short ‘practice run’ for you beforehand.
18 April 2020 – CANCELLED – AGM + Members Presentations: As always, the AGM will form only a small part of the evening, which will leave the remaining time to enjoy some short presentations from our members and guests.
14 March 2020 – CANCELLED – Invasive Species – Leicestershire’s Riversides: From Childhood, Adrian Lane has always been fascinated by canals and waterways. When he grew up he got his ‘dream job’ managing the waterways through Leicester. This 8-mile corridor contained the usual suspects of ‘plants in the wrong places’. However, the arrival of one in particular required a different approach. He ended up managing a team, selling the importance of the aquatic environment to a wider audience. He reluctantly left this job a couple of years ago, but that has allowed him more time to tell some of the fascinating stories of Leicester’s Riverside.
8 February 2020 – New Lount Nature Reserve: John McDonald is the Chairman of Coleorton and New Lount Volunteer Group which was formed some 9 years ago to assist the Leicestershire County Council with managing New Lount Nature Reserve. He will talk about the history of the site, the development of the Nature Reserve, followed by an insight into its major habitats, and then some information on the work of the Volunteer Group.
11 January 2020 – The Work of the Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital: Sue Bonnington is one of the volunteers at the Wildlife Hospital. The talk will be about the work of the Hospital and the wildlife they care for.
14 December 2019 – Members Evening + Mince Pies: Can you volunteer to give a presentation, perhaps for 20 minutes on a subject of your choice, and help make this an informative and entertaining evening? Please contact Sue Graham.
9 November 2019 – The Wonder of Willow: Tim Sexton is one of the managers at Attenborough Nature Reserve. People are often surprised at the importance of the willow tree for wildlife, in particular a vast diversity of insects. His talk covers the history of willow growing in the Trent Valley, its commercial use and how willow is a ‘wildlife champion’ at the Reserve.
12 October 2019 – The Wildlife of Transylvania: Jamie Gould is a naturalist and Park Ranger living in the Charnwood Forest Area. Her talk will look at some of the unique wildlife of the traditionally farmed region of Transylvania, which contains some of the most species-rich grasslands in Europe.
14 September 2019 – Target: 200 and Tweets: Bruce White runs a U3A birdwatching group and is also Chairman of one of the local groups of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. He will describe some of his exploits in attempting to see 200 different bird species in a calendar year, outlining some of the places and wildlife he saw on his journey.
13 April 2019 – AGM: followed by Members Short Talks and Exhibits
9 March 2019 – Abruzzo, Italy’s hidden wilderness – Ian B Gamble: Ian will show us some of the wonderful wildlife and stunning scenery of this little-known part of Italy.
9 February 2019 -Extremadura and the Gredos, Spain – Pam Darby: this talk is about a beautiful area of central Spain, its lovely scenery and fantastic wildlife.
12 January 2019 – Pushing up the Daisies; Churchyard Wildlife – Steve Woodward
8 December 2018 – Leicester Cathedral Peregrines – Jim Graham: Jim, President of LROS, was instrumental in the installation of the nesting box for the pair of resident Peregrine Falcons in Leicester. He has been monitoring and studying the pair since 2014 and has watched hundreds of hours of video. We will hear how the project developed and see some amazing footage of the pair as they attempt to breed at the Cathedral.
10 November 2018 – Helping Hedgehogs – Colleen Powell. With the use of her display boards and the many artefacts collected during the 30 years of helping hedgehogs, Colleen will be keeping us amused, entertained and educated telling us some of her many hilarious stories.
13 October 2018 – Spreyside: A Place for All Seasons – Richard Pegler. Richard has been visiting Spreyside every year since 2010. This talks shows the wonderful wildlife that you can expect to find in the region.
15 September 2018 – three short talks by Members: Helen Ikin and Steve Woodward.
14 April 2018 – AGM followed by Members Short Talks and Exhibits
10 March 2018 – Kelham Bridge from Sewage Farm to Nature Reserve – Baz Forgham
10 February 2018 – Learning to Love Slugs and Snails – Dave Nicholls
13 January 2018 – Garden Wildlife – Jack Perks
9 December 2017 – Aliens Amongst Us – Chris Hollis
11 November 2017 – Plant Galls – Chris Leach
14 October 2017 – One Hundred Years of Bird Ringing – Ian Gamble
9 September 2017 – An Introduction to Planning Ecology – Rupert Simms
8 April 2017 – Annual General Meeting followed by Members’ Short Talks and Exhibits
11 March 2017 – POSTPONED – Aliens Amongst Us – David C Hollis
11 February 2017 – Veteran Trees – James Lee
14 January 2017 – Recent Ramblings of a Natural History Photographer – John Tinning
10 December 2016 – Life of the Badger – Gerald Hall
12 November 2016 – Mustelids – Val Williams
8 October 2016 – A Botanist in the Western Cape – Ian Whitehead
10 September 2016 – All About Caterpillars – Paul Waring
9 April 2016 – Annual General Meeting followed by Members’ Short Talks and Exhibits
12 March 2016 – Extinctions, Reintroductions and Aliens – Nigel Slater
13 February 2016 – Life Around the Seashore – David Goldsmith
9 January 2016 – Fear No Weevil: Beetles and Beetling in VC55 – Graham Finch
12 December 2015 – Fish of Britain – Jack Perks
14 November 2015 – Wildlife Around Ashby – Martin Vaughan
10 October 2015 – Springtime in Provence – Ian Gamble
12 September 2015 – Peak District Wildlife – Paul Hodson