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.)

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.

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

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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 28th 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.