News archive

November 2016

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Pair of Scottish crossbills at nest

Coach trip to Lynford Arboretum (Norfolk) and Lackford Lakes (Suffolk)

Our first stop will be at Lynford Arboretum for an hour or so where target birds will be hawfinch, lesser spotted woodpecker and crossbill.

We will then move on to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve of Lackford Lakes. The SWT describes the reserve as a wildlife oasis with a landscape of lakes, reeds, meadow and woodland. We will be looking for pochard, teal, gadwall, goldeneye, goosander, grebes including possibly the scarcer species and divers are also possible. There is also a gull roost, and goshawk, siskin and crossbill are also found there.

There are no facilities at the Arboretum but Lackford Lakes has a visitor centre, toilets and hides.

Do dress for the weather with stout footwear, remembering that it may well be cooler at the coast or in the country than in central London, and bring a packed lunch.

Please note that a £3 donation is requested for Lackford Lakes to help keep up the good work that is being done there.

Booking essential. Contact Derik Palmer on 07768 121 435, or email
Paid up Central London Local Group members £18.00, non-members £20.00.
Meet outside Embankment Underground Station.
Coach leaves at 8am.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

'The Plight of the Bumblebee' by Dr Nikki Gammans, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

'The Plight of the Bumblebee' by Dr Nikki Gammans, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Our speaker, Dr Nikki Gammans from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, is leading the Short-haired bumblebee Reintroduction Project.

This is is a pioneering programme to recreate flower-rich grassland in South-East England and reintroduce the bumblebee Bombus subterraneus back to the UK - a species that became extinct in Britain around 1988.

Nikki will talk about bumblebee decline and describe this fantastic project which shows how the process can be reversed. She will talk about the glorious new flower meadows that have been established in carefully selected locations and how she spends the summer collecting queen short-haired bumblebees in Sweden for carefully-monitored release into these sites.

One of the release sites is the RSPB's Dungeness reserve in Kent. Nikki will update us on the latest news of the project and the positive indications that this special bumblebee is finding its new home to its liking.

The short-haired bumblebee project is led by a partnership of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the Swedish government, the RSPB, Natural England, and Hymettus which is dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates, many of which provide ecological services fundamental to public health, food production and public well-being.

Do come - Nikki will have available lots of information about bumblebees, bumblebee ID charts and booklets, and seeds for wildflowers that bumblebees are particularly partial to.

Venue: St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, Knightsbridge, SW1X 0BD
Price: There is an entrance fee £4 (RSPB members & RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & students (NUS).
The talk starts at 6.45 pm
Everyone is welcome, no need to book

Tea, coffee and biscuits available before the talk.
Doors open 6.15 pm

How to find us: Easy to get to (near Harrods)
Tube: Kightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) 5-8 mins' walk; Sloan Sq (District & Circle Lines) 15 mins.

Bus: 9, 10, 52 (Knightsbridge); 14,74,414,C1 (Brompton Rd, passing western end of Beauchamp Place); 19, 22, 137, 452, C1 (Sloane St, passing eastern end of Pont St).

Parking: some around the church (free after 18.30); we are outside the congestion charge zone.

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