ANHSO Termcard

Lecture Programme 2018

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.)

If you have hearing difficulties which you think may impair your enjoyment of a lecture, please email the Programme Secretary in advance and we will reserve seats in the front row of the lecture venue for you.

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

1772nd meeting
Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College, Oxford,

Tuesday 6th February 2018 7.45 pm

Warburg Memorial Lecture
Joint with BBOWT

Oxfordshire's Threatened Plants

Dr Camilla Lambrick and Peter Creed BA, FRSA

This fifteen-year project has studied the fates and fortunes of 400 or so of the rarest plants in the county. The rate of loss of species has risen sharply from about one per decade to over ten per decade in the 1970s to 90s. Some of the loss has been due to habitats becoming unsuitable - as arable fields are now too clean for wild-flowers. Too much nutrient enrichment also makes habitats unsuitable, particularly water courses. Management is often important - small acid-loving plants have been shaded out on the Chiltern Commons when grazing has ceased. Active measures may be stemming the tide, and species are even returning - last year the Loddon pondweed returned to the Thames, and dioecious sedge was refound at the Lye Valley in Oxford.

Dr Lambrick studied botany at Cambridge and in New Guinea before she came to Oxford in 1978. Here she worked briefly for BBOWT as an orchid warden, and was involved in starting the Oxford Conservation Volunteers. In 1993 she set up ANHSO's Rare Plants Group, now the Oxfordshire Flora Group, which works in partnerships with many bodies to carry out monitoring, experiments and introductions to protect endangered plants in the county. From 2000-07 she was employed to carry out biological surveys on the Local Wildlife Sites by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre.

As a graphic designer, publisher and wildlife expert, Peter Creed brings a keen eye for detail and a passion for wildlife into all of his design projects. He provides a wealth of experience of printed and online wildlife media to NatureBureau and hosts an image library of thousands of flora and fauna. He is also much in demand for leading wildlife walks and giving lectures.

1773rd meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 6th March 7.45 pm

Annual General Meeting

To be followed by a short talk on Plant Curiosities of New Zealand by Frances Watkins

1774th meeting
At the Syndicate Room, St Antony's College, OX2 6JF.
Tuesday 10th April 7.45 pm

The challenges facing butterflies, moths and nature
Dr Jim Asher

Butterflies and moths are suffering impacts from changes in climate, habitats and plant communities, alongside wider challenges to nature. The talk will describe these challenges, some of the actions being taken to tackle them, locally and internationally, and where we are able to demonstrate success.

Dr Asher is butterfly recorder for Berks, Bucks and Oxon, author/co-author of several books on butterflies and national chair of Butterfly Conservation, the world's largest insect conservation charity.

1775th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 1st May 7.45 pm

Wildlife Experiences in the Upper Thames Region

Malcolm Brownsword

This presentation covers the highlights of almost half a century of observing local wildlife. It includes dormice, reptiles, rare orchids, rare butterflies, moths and other insects, great-crested newts and other amphibians, moths and wildlife observed in Mr Brownsword's garden.

Mr Brownsword is a retired chemist whose interests include horticulture, natural history and photography.

1776th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 5th June 7.45 pm

The legacy and impact of the life of William "Strata" Smith

Owen Green

William Smith is best known for his great geological map of 1815. Less well appreciated is his lasting legacy in crafting and defining the sub-disciplines of stratigraphy (the correlation and ordering of stratified rocks) and bio-stratigraphy (the correlation of rocks by the use of their fossil content). Smith's work allowed the locations of coal formations to be predicted, fuelling the Industrial Revolution and giving birth to applied geology.

Owen Green has worked in the Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford, since 1989. Initially helping to establish the Palaeobiology Laboratories, and for the past 10 years as Manager of the Geofacilities laboratories. Research contributions include re-examining the world's oldest putative microfossils. He is author of A manual of Practical Laboratory and Field Techniques in Palaeobiology, and is currently writing a book for the Royal Microscopical Society. He is Chair of the Oxfordshire Geology Trust.

1777th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 3rd July 7.45 pm

St Margaret's Institute, 30 Polstead Road, Oxford OX2 6TN.
(Venue TBC) Members: Free, Visitors: £2

Botany in the Maritime Alps and The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell

Marcus Bicknell & Graham Avery

During the peak of the periods of Victorian post-Darwin enlightenment, ingenuity and discovery, Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) started life as a curate in a London slum before moving to the Italian Riviera and the Maritime Alps where he wrote and illustrated highly-respected botanical books. Then his exploration uncovered in the high mountains some of the most important archaeological finds of the 19th century, the rock engravings of the Mont Bégo area. He captured the ideals of an early Europe - even including the development of Esperanto as a language - and he is remembered today at Bordighera's Museo Bicknell and the Musée des Merveilles in Tende, France.

Marcus Bicknell (great-great-nephew of Clarence Bicknell, and chairman of the Clarence Bicknell Association) will introduce the documentary film 'The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell' of which he was the producer.

Graham Avery (St. Antony's College, Oxford) will speak on Clarence Bicknell's work as a botanist, his exchange of herbarium specimens (some of which are in the Oxford Herbaria), and his role in a European network of like-minded botanists.

1778th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 4th September 7.45 pm

Every Picture Tells a Story
Peter and Margaret Preece

A presentation on natural history covering kingfishers, butterflies, insects, and many mammals.

The Preeces have been photographing wildlife for about 18 years after taking early retirement and have had their work published in many magazines.

1779th meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 2nd October 7.45 pm


1780th meeting
Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB

Bernard Tucker Memorial Lecture
Joint with OOS
Details to be announced
1781st meeting
At the Old Schoolroom, Wolvercote.
Tuesday 4th December 2018 7.45 pm

Bats in Wytham Woods
Dr Danielle Linton

Dani Linton has coordinated box checks looking for bat roosts rather than bird nests across Wytham Woods for over a decade, amassing a dataset of over 2500 day roosts, containing seven species and c.18,000 bat occupations. This talk will provide an introduction to her research on the social organisation, breeding ecology, and population dynamics, of woodland bats.

Field meetings 2018

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 17th March, 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
Lower Windrush / Rushy Common Nature Reserve
Lucy Kennery

Lucy Kennery will lead a circular walk around Rushy Common Nature Reserve and the surrounding Lower Windrush, and tell us en route about her role as the Lower Windrush Valley Project Manager. After the walk we will visit a bird hide to see what birds we can find over the lake (cake will be available here for a donation and attendees are encouraged to bring a thermos flask of tea!). Meet at Rushy Common Nature Reserve car park (SP38080741, just under a kilometre south-east along Tar Road from nearest postcode OX29 6UJ). Further information and detailed directions available at:

Saturday 21st April, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm
A walk through Wytham, its history and possible futures
Keith Kirby

Wytham Woods are a product of their history and in particular the influence of a few key individuals. We will explore the spring flora and current management of the woods, but also the way that what we see reflects the actions of the Fifth Earl of Abingdon (early 19th C), Colonel Raymond ffennell (early 20th C) and Professor Charles Elton (mid-20th C). Ash dieback has now been confirmed in the Woods so they are on the brink of another major change, whose long-term effects we can only start to speculate on. Meet at Wytham Sawmills car park (SP468085, nearest postcode OX2 8QQ). Please note that dogs are not allowed in Wytham Woods.

Saturday 12th May, 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
Wychwood Forest, Cornbury Park
Sharon Williams

Join Wychwood Forest project director Sharon Williams for a walk through the ancient woodland at Cornbury Park. We will be told about the history and aims of the Wychwood Project, and may be able to spot a few ancient woodland indicators en route! Meet at entrance to the path at SP358166 (postcode OX7 3DQ). Please be aware that there are no car parking facilities at the meeting point, so it is advisable to park in Finstock / Hill Crescent (OX7 3BT) then join the path from Finstock to walk north to the meeting point, finally crossing the main road (or make your own alternate arrangements). This will be a joint outing with the Wychwood Flora Group.

Saturday 7th July, 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
Corn cleavers and birds at College Lake, Tring
George Bray & Leo Keedy

A visit to one of BBOWT's flagship reserves, College Lake, with a focus on viewing the corn cleavers and other rare arable plants growing there, and the methods employed for growing in the nursery. We will also be joined by College Lake Warden Leo Keedy, who will talk about the site's background and show us some of the best places to view wetland birds within the reserve. Meet at the College Lake visitor centre (HP23 5QG, SP93141436). There is also a cafe on site for anyone who would like to have lunch and then continue birdwatching!

Tuesday 7th August, 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm
Ewelme Watercress Beds and Local Nature Reserve
Tom Stevenson & Ann Truesdale

Ewelme Watercress Beds and Local Nature Reserve, at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, were dug out by the Smith family in the late 1880s, and were a local industry for around a hundred years. Today this historic site has been transformed into a nature reserve. Join Tom Stevenson for a history and nature walk around this fascinating site and see a short film of the old watercress industry. Meet at the visitor centre on The Street (OX10 6HJ, SU641916). Car parking available along The Street, but car sharing encouraged if possible. Tea or coffee will be available for a £1 donation.
Pre-booking by Sunday 5th August is required ( as our hosts would like to have an idea of numbers beforehand.

Saturday 13th October, 1.30 pm to 4.00 pm (TBC)
National Fungus Day, Harcourt Arboretum
Judy Webb & Caroline Jackson-Houlston

Come and join the Fungus Survey of Oxfordshire for their annual foray at Harcourt Arboretum in celebration of 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.