Remember, remember the 5th of November
Amazing Insects and Spiders in Beds - some neglected, others not: Another Bedfordshire Natural History Society Conference of interest to specialists and enthusiastic naturalists alike.
Following the success of our 2014 Conference the planning for our next one is proceeding well and is loosely linked to the ‘Greensand Country' initiative. The format will be much the same as in 2014 with four talks in the morning and three in the afternoon. There will be a coffee/tea break mid-morning and lunch will be provided. The venue will again be at the Marston Vale Forest Centre, which has plenty of good (free) parking and excellent facilities, as well as being easily accessible for those coming from distance. In 2014 we had 100 delegates, with some coming from as far away as Leicester, Norwich and Isle of Wight!
We have another excellent line up of highly acclaimed specialists with two talks on beetles, two on Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, sawflies etc.), two on some interesting fly groups and one on spiders. The list of speakers (though not the running order) is as follows:
Mark Gurney [The Lodge, Sandy]
Ground Beetles (Carabidae):
John Walters [Buckfastleigh, Devon]
Bees, wasps and Ants (Aculeates):
Rosie Earwaker & Bex Cartwright [The Lodge, Sandy]
Guy Knight [Liverpool]
Malcolm Smart [Wolverhampton]
Soldierflies and Bee-flies (Stratiomyidae and Bombylidae):
Martin Harvey [Bucks]
Tom Thomas [Luton]
Where: The Forest Centre, Millennium Country Park, Marston Moretaine, MK43 0PR
When: Saturday 5th November 2016. Doors open at 09.30 for 10.00 prompt start. Finish at 16.30.
Cost: £15 for BNHS and Bedfordshire Bird Club members. £20 for non-members. (This includes a buffet lunch as well as other light refreshments)
To book: please complete and return this application form: .doc, PDF
County Recorder Changes
We have several changes in County Recorderships. Rosie Earwaker and Bex Cartwright have been appointed as joint County Recorders for Hymenoptera (except bumblebees). David Anderson has returned to the role of Mammal Recorder. Macro and micro moth recording is now merged under Andy and Melissa Banthorpe, David Manning having retired. All contact details are HERE.
Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire
The book Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire is now published and available for £20 + £3.75p&p
It is a superbly illustrated and up-to-date account of Bedfordshire's 27 species of wild orchid flora. There is an order form and flyer describing the contents of this exciting publication HERE (.docx) and HERE (.pdf) .
The book was launched at the Forest Centre, Marston Vale Millennium Country Park on Saturday 25th April where the authors signed copies.
Read about this exciting project on the Bedfordshire Orchid Group's blog
New: The book has recently been reviewed in the British Wildlife magazine by Peter Marren. A copy of the review can be read HERE (.pdf).
Try before you buy? Copies of Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire can be purchased directly from a number of outlets across Beds and its neighbouring counties. If you prefer to browse through books before buying them then you may like to visit the following places where copies can be inspected and purchased:
Since 1946 the BNHS has appointed experts in their groups to be County Recorders. As the title suggests they keep the county's records and help with identification when needed. They also produce an annual report for the Bedfordshire Naturalist and present a verbal report at the AGM. They will therefore be pleased to receive details of what you have seen. (If you need help with this there is an article HERE). Please do get in touch.
Our online forms allow records to be sent directly to the relevant County Recorder as well as going into a database to allow your records to be retained, retrieved and mapped. If you have records to report for any of the following groups just click on the relevant picture below to send them in. To access all of Adnoto's facilities click HERE
If you prefer the use the comprehensive online data system called Living Record it can be accessed HERE. It has an overview leaflet HERE.
Although centrally developed for use all over England, Wales and Scotland, it has a local flavour to it. Here we present the BNHS-branded portal for Bedfordshire and Luton naturalists to use.
Keith Balmer has written some introductory notes HERE.
Bedscape Photo Archive
Help build this archive of our changing countryside by uploading photos of rural Bedfordshire to Bedscape. Old photos especially welcome.
For the Record
The County Recorders will be glad to receive your records. If you are unsure how to record wildlife, this article may help you...
Check to see when each butterfly species was first spotted in 2016...
Here are several technological aids to help you with your recording:
Grab a Grid Reference
from aerial photos and Ordnance Survey maps, Search by postcode or placename. Verifying grid refs. Overlay VC30 and Beds boundaries.
BNHS Records Online
Map 5071 species within 1,079,988 BNHS records on the NBN Gateway with our easy-to-use interface HERE.
Google Earth Overlays
We have a set of 1km squares, 10km squares, Bedfordshire boundary and VC30 layers for use in Google Earth.
Map Your Records
This simple tool lets you to plot a set of records in Google Earth, as squares or with markers. You can even define your own plotting styles.
Here is a selection of articles about some of our fascinating local species...
Hoverflies are beautiful and fascinating and there is something to be seen all year round. John O'Sullivan helps us to get started...
Our Recorder for Bumbleebees, Colin Carpenter, introduces us to this group of familiar and interesting bees.
Chris Malumphy writes about this over-looked group of interesting insects that he has recorded in Bedfordshire. BJENH Paper added
Can you help to put lichens on the map...?
Alan Outen has written an introductory article to this group of insects that you may not have noticed before.
The society produces many quality publications such as a newsletter (Wild About Beds), books and two annual journals (the Bedfordshire Naturalist and the Bedfordshire Bird Report).
Wild About Beds No. 178 (Spring 2016)
Wild About Beds (the newsletter of the BNHS) no. 178 is now available.
Members that have opted-in will still receive a paper copy for their own archives, but these colour read-only versions are available to all online. Recent back issues: No.177, No.176, No.175, No.174, No.173, No.172, No.171, No.170, No.169, No.168, No.167, No.166 (The million-record map can also be viewed at high resolution HERE (3MBytes PNG). No.165
To avoid possible offence older back issues have been taken offline as they contained links to the old BedsLife website which is now under new ownership and contains adult material. Hopefully these will be restored once the PDFs can be edited.
Bedfordshire Naturalist 2014
The Society's journal, The Bedfordshire Naturalist 2014, published in two parts, has recently been distributed to members.
Part 1 covers species groups other than birds. Part 2 covers only birds.
Non-members may purchase copies for £10 each from Mary Sheridan or at a BNHS or Bird Club meeting.
1946-1998 Journals Online!
Copies of all Bedfordshire Naturalists for the period 1946 to 1998 are now available here online as searchable PDFs!
53 years worth of Bedfordshire wildlife history are available at the click of a mouse.
An amazing resource for education and research...!
The New Flora of Bedfordshire
The new county flora for Bedfordshire has now sold out.
To read more about this publication please click HERE.
Grab one before it's too late...
Most copies of Steve Cham's book about the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Bedfordshire have now been distributed but a few are still available, at only £5 + P&P (originally £25).
To obtain your copy contact Peter Glenister
Copies are also available on most weekdays from the Wildlife Trust office in Priory Country Park Visitor Centre. Call 01234 364213 to reserve a copy and to check when someone will be there.
Fundraising and Offers:
Here are ways to help with raising funds for the BNHS and possibly also help yourself:
BNHS members get 10% off microscopes or other items appropriate for invertebrates such as handlenses and magnifiers at the checkout of this online store.
The BNHS receives a further 10% as "cash-back" sent to the treasurer.
To obtain a checkout code contact our Treasurer or Membership Secretary.