ANHSO Termcard

Lecture Programme 2016

Indoor meetings are held in The Old School Room, in the grounds of St Peter's Church, First Turn, Wolvercote, OX2 8AQ. First Turn is served by the Oxford Bus Company number 6 bus which runs every 20 minutes. The venues for other lectures are as noted.

Lectures are at 7.45 pm on Tuesdays. (At ordinary lectures, admission is £2 for non-members, members free. At the Bernard Tucker and Warburg lectures, admission is £2 for all.)

You may also be interested in the Oxfordshire Flora Group programme.

1762nd meeting
Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College, Oxford,

Tuesday 7th February 2017 7.45 pm

Warburg Memorial Lecture
Joint with BBOWT

Species, Speciation and Taxonomic Complexity: Insights from the European Flora

Professor Simon Hiscock
Director of the Oxford Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum

Defining individual taxa as species, subspecies or varieties is frequently confounded by ongoing evolutionary processes, including local adaptation, hybridization, polyploidy and apomixis. These processes are especially frequent in certain families, including the Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Poaceae, often leading to extreme taxonomic complexity. Prof. Hiscock will discuss the evolutionary processes that generate taxonomic complexity in the notoriously 'difficult' genera Sorbus (Rosaceae), Senecio (Asteraceae), and Orobanche (Orobanchaceae), paying particular attention to examples from the British Flora.

1763rd meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 7th March 7.45 pm

Annual General Meeting
1764th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 4th April 7.45 pm

Recording the invisible

Peter Newbold

Peter Newbold will give an introduction to the Mammals of Oxfordshire and an overview of how to identify and record this elusive taxon.

After studying Environmental Science at Southampton University, Peter has been a professional ecologist for over ten years, working for Natural England, the RSPB and more recently as a private consultant with BSG Ecology (a local consultancy). He was one of the founding members of the Oxfordshire Mammal Group and is their Survey and Data officer.

1765th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 2nd May 7.45 pm


Jocelyne Hughes and Chris Mason

The talk will cover: identification of Swifts and differences between them, House Martins and Swallows; causes of recent population decline; what is being to to help; how local people can assist; and an outline of the Oxford project.

Dr Jocelyne Hughes is Director of Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques at the Department of Continuing Education in Oxford. Chris Mason is Coordinator of the Cherwell Swifts Conservation Project. Both are project partners in the RSPB-led Oxford Swift City Project.

Jocelyne Hughes and Chris Mason will lead a Swift walk around Wolvercote in place of the June talk; see the Field Programme below.

1767th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 4th July 7.45 pm

Mountain flowers of Chile

Dr Caroline Jackson-Houlston

A travelogue presentation about the plants found in mountainous regions of Central Chile, based on an Alpine Garden Society tour there in January 2017. Many of these are high-alpines from volcanic screes, and Chile is still a centre of vulcanic and seismic activity. However, because of its latitude, plants at comparatively high elevations may enjoy more temperate conditions.

Caroline Jackson-Houlston is a recently retired lecturer in English Literature from Oxford Brookes University but has a life-long interest in botany and has led several botanical trips to the Balkans.

1768th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 5th September 7.45 pm

An Introduction to Britain's Spiders

Lawrence Bee

An illustrated introduction to the 37 families of British spiders focussing on field identification of spiders.

Lawrence Bee is an ecological consultant and educator. He is the author of the Field Studies Council fold out chart on House and Garden Spiders and is joint author of the 'Britain's Spiders' WILDGuide due for publication in late Spring 2017.

1769th meeting
Syndicate Room, St Antony's College, 62 Woodstock Road,

Tuesday 3rd October 7.45 pm

Orchid Observers: investigating the impact of climate change on the UK's orchids
Professor Sally Shuttleworth, Dr John Tweddle and Kath Castillo
Orchid Observers

Understanding how the UK's flora and fauna is responding to climate change is one of the key challenges of our time. This illustrated talk reviews the findings of the Orchid Observers citizen science project. This collaborative research project draws together information from historical museum specimens and contemporary field observations to investigate how flowering phenology within the UK's charismatic and ecologically important orchids may have been influenced by climate over the last 150-years. The speakers discuss what our findings mean for the future of the UK's orchid populations, along with the vital roles that the UK's dedicated communities of online and field-based citizen scientists play in this and related research.

Examples of historical orchid specimens from London's Natural History Museum will be available to view after the talk, along with free copies of a field guide to 29 of the UK's wild orchids.

Sally Shuttleworth is Professorial Fellow in English at St Anne's College, Oxford. Dr John Tweddle is Head of the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity, Natural History Museum London and Kath Castillo is Orchid Observers Project Officer.

1770th meeting
Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB
Wednesday 25th October 7.45 pm

Bernard Tucker Memorial Lecture
Joint with OOS
The Shearwater's World
Professor Tim Guilford

The lecture will explore some of the challenges that these incredible migratory seabirds face, and how modern technology is helping us discover more about them.

Tim Guilford is Professor of Animal Behaviour at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. His research interests include animal warning signals and how birds navigate. He has a strong interest in promoting the public understanding of biological science through TV and radio.

1777st meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 5th December 7.45 pm

"The Holly and the Ivy": Forest Vert

Dr John Langton
St John's College, Oxford

Forests (and chases) were areas over which land use was regulated to provided cover and forage for hunting quarry - mainly deer. Special laws, courts and officers ensured that vegetation cover ('vert') contained adequate supplies of holly, ivy and other berry-bearing plants for winter deer-feed, which, with measures to enable deer to move freely, produced very distinctive landscapes over the large areas of England subject to Forest Law.

Dr. Langton was official fellow in geography at St. John's College and lecturer in human geography in the Oxford University School of Geography and Environment 1980-2009.

venue tba
Tuesday 6th February 2018 7.45 pm

Warburg Memorial Lecture
Joint with BBOWT

title tba

Field meetings 2017

Glyme Farm Herbarium
Admiring Salvia pratensis, Meadow Clary at Glyme Farm
Photo by Geoff Moxon
The riches of the Herbaria of the University of Oxford
Photo by Geoff Moxon

Some outdoor sites may be unsuitable or hazardous for the disabled or infirm. Please contact the organiser in advance to discuss any apecial requirements. Note, also, that dates may sometimes have to be changed, depending on the season.

All field trips are free to members and a charge of £2 will be made to non-members.

Any general queries about the field programme can be sent to the ANHSO Field Secretary and you should also get in touch to find out details of the meeting place. For queries on the day phone 07917 163235. The Field Secretary always welcomes any comments, ideas or requests for future topics or events.

Saturday 27th May, 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
Bridewell Organic Gardens
Ian Gourlay

Ian Gourlay will lead a walk around Bridewell Organic Gardens, a therapeutic gardening project and wine producer in a beautiful walled garden setting near Witney. On completion of the tour we will be able to enjoy tea and cake (and possibly wine tasting) in the gardens. For those wanting to make a day of it, there is the option of bringing a picnic and staying to explore the nearby ancient ash avenue, healing well and woodland. Meet at Bridewell Organic Gardens, 300-400m along the road leading south out of Wilcote village (grid reference SP375151, nearest postcode OX7 3EB; this will take you to Wilcote, after which you will need to drive on to the gardens). From the direction of Witney, take the North Leigh / Roman Villa turn then head for Wilcote / Finstock, pass Bridewell Farm and look for signs at the vineyard gate for parking. Bridewell Organic Gardens need to apply for a licence 24 hours in advance to allow sale of alcohol, so if you think you might like to buy any local wine (£10) or bubbly (£15) please let the field secretary know in advance so that he can notify Brideswell (the licence costs £25 so will only be put in place if there are sufficient numbers of people interested in buying wine).

Saturday 10th June, 10.00 pm to 12.00 noon
Greenfield Farm, Christmas Common
Andrew Ingram

We are invited by Andrew Ingram on a morning walk around his farm at Christmas Common. The first part of the walk will lead down from the farm into the local meadows, which are rich in wildflowers and orchids, and Andrew will tell us about the farm's history and the establishment and management of the wildflower meadows. We will then return via the beech wood, where we will be told about the problems of growing hardwoods in the Chilterns (Andrew is a major vendor of Christmas trees). Meet at Greenfield Farm, OX49 5HG (SU710918), about a mile south-west of Christmas Common - follow signs to the 'Tree Barn'. The walk will be approximately 1.5 miles long, with a rise and fall of around 200 feet and will take around 2 hours - please bring appropriate clothing and footwear.

Tuesday 20th June, 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm
Earth Trust, Little Wittenham
Dr Kerry Lock

Dr Kerry Lock, Head of Research and Skills at the Earth Trust, will take us on an early evening tour of part of the Earth Trust's landholding at Little Wittenham. We will walk down past the arboretum and arable fields, to Paradise Wood, and then complete a loop around the grasslands adjoining the wood. Kerry will tell us all about the Earth Trust's work during the walk, and will be available for questions. Meet at the Earth Trust centre car park, Little Wittenham, OX14 4QZ (SU562926). Please bring suitable footwear and clothing for the walk.

Tuesday 27th June, 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm
Swift Walk around Wolvercote
Chris Mason & Jocelyne Hughes

As a follow-up to their talk, swift experts Jocelyne Hughes and Chris Mason will lead a walk and talk around Wolvercote. They will tell us about swift behaviour, the reasons for their decline and what people can do about it practically. The walk is intended to be an evening stroll, with plenty of stops to watch swifts and talk, in between searching for swift nests. Meet outside Wolvercote Village Hall, 1 Wolvercote Green, Oxford, nearest postcode OX2 8AB (on intersection between Godstow Road and Wolvercote Green). Street-side parking should be available in the surrounding roads.

Sunday 8th October, 1.30 pm to 4.00 pm
National Fungus Day, Harcourt Arboretum
Molly Dewey and Judy Webb

Come and join the Fungus Survey of Oxfordshire with a fungal foray at Harcourt Arboretum to celebrate National Fungus Day. Meet in the Harcourt Arboretum car park, entrance off the A4074 through Nuneham Courtenay, SU55519874, approximately 300m south from nearest postcode OX44 9NY.

Email the Field Secretary for more details of field meetings or to book or to get a booking form for coach trips.