Keswick Natural History Society August 2011
Enclosed with this Newsletter is your Renewal slip for 2011/12. On it we are asking for your email
address (if any). There’s no need to repeat your email address if you have been receiving emails
from us from time to time during the last year – we won’t delete any we have. Please either post the
slip with a cheque to our Treasurer or bring it completed with payment to the first meeting.
Alan Thompson (Newsletter Editor). Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 80471
1. Society Changes
Your Committee has seen 2 main changes this year – following Pat White’s retirement as Secretary,
David Thomason switches from Chairman to Secretary and also takes on responsibility for the
programme of Field Trips. Our new Chairman is Alan Smith who will be well-known to members
as a regular speaker and who also happens to be Chairman of Keswick Lecture Society.
Note also the change in venue for all Lectures which are now at Crosthwaite Parish Rooms (near
the Co-op). Also the meeting point for all outings is the car park by the old Keswick Railway
Finally, we were sad to hear some weeks ago of the death of Marianne Godfrey, a founder member
of this Society; a short obituary appears at the end of this Newsletter.
2. Lecture Programme for 2011 – 2012
NB Indoor meetings are on alternate Thursdays at 7.30pm in our new
venue of Crosthwaite Parish Rooms.
Sep 29 Watching Whales & Dolphins - from Baja California to the Bay
Rob works for Natural England as a Senior Reserves Manager, looking after several National
Nature Reserves in South Cumbria and North Lancashire. He is also an enthusiastic volunteer
Marine Researcher for Marinelife, a charity devoted to broadening the understanding of Cetaceans
in British and European waters, through survey and research and by providing advice to
Rob’s talk comes highly recommended and is a PowerPoint slide show of the pleasures of whale
and dolphin watching at home and abroad, and the work of Marinelife in Cetacean survey and
monitoring in European waters.
Oct 13th Golden Eagles in SW Scotland
Regular members will know Chris well from his talks on red kites, ravens and others. He is the
RSPB Area Manager for Dumfries & Galloway. This talk will cover the past, present and possible
future of golden eagles in SW Scotland. It will also focus on the ecology and biology of the species
in the area and will largely be illustrated by local photographs. Chris has studied golden eagles in
the area for 30 years and has an intimate knowledge of them and their place in the region. As
always, he will bring to this talk his tremendous enthusiasm for his subject which always makes for
a thoroughly lively and enjoyable evening.
Oct 27th Recent Revelations in Cumbria’s Flora
Jeremy is another speaker making a welcome return to Keswick, having given us a much-
enjoyed talk on Mountain Flowers of the Rockies a few years ago. A good deal of fieldwork
in Cumbria in recent years has added greatly to our knowledge providing additions to the
county list of flora. While some are new arrivals, many are clearly long-established but
overlooked, some surprisingly widespread. Several orchids are featured, whilst many of the
species discussed are hill or mountain species. There is even a Cumbrian 'world-first' to
Nov 10th The Dipper – a much-loved bird at risk
One in four pairs of dippers have disappeared in recent years. Peter, who has been involved
with dippers for 50 years, has made a study of dippers on the upper reaches of the River
Lune which aimed to discover possible reasons for this decline and suggest ways in which
this attractive bird can be helped.
Peter is new to the society but has lectured extensively, in particular in recent years on
cruise ships for P&O, Saga and Fred Olsen
Nov 24th Cumbria’s Woodlands & their current condition
Edward is Director of Cumbria Woodlands and also owns a small ancient woodland himself.
His talk will give a brief history of woodland management in Cumbria, with details of
current issues – problems and opportunities – and some of the work going on to tackle the
problems and make the most of opportunities.
Dec 8th Nature Photography around Cumbria/Xmas Buffet
Jan 12 Mines & Minerals of Cumbria
Ian runs the Keswick Mining Museum and his talk gives an introduction to our mining
and mineral heritage, from the coming of the German Miners in 1564 who came at
the request of Queen Elizabeth 1 to mine copper, through to the discovery of
Wolfram in 1900. Cumbria has been mined for 20 different minerals over the years!
Jan 26th The North Pennines AONB and Global Geopark
The North Pennines is one of England’s largest Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and
has also been designated a UNESCO Global Geopark due to its geological importance.
Chris, its Director, will talk about the varied landscape, biodiversity and geology of the area
and will also cover the work done to conserve and celebrate this special place.
Feb 9th The Vendace – the UK’s Rarest Freshwater Fish
Derwentwater is the only body of water in the UK in which a native population of vendace
survives. (A Bassenthwaite Lake population is now considered to be extinct). The
monitoring of this population will be illustrated in the talk. Recently, conservation measures
have been taken to preserve this species both locally and in Scotland, work with which Ian,
in his role working for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Lancaster, has been closely
Feb 23rd The Fascinating World of Dragons & Damsels
Dragonflies and damselflies are amongst nature’s most beautiful creatures and we will hear
about their basic biology and also focus on the Cumbrian species, and how/where to study
them. Until his retirement last year, David was Senior Curator & Collections Manager at
Tullie House Museum, Carlisle.
Mar 8th Island Hopping
Brian & Sophia Fuller
Members will recall the stunning close-up photography of Brian & Sophia in their talk
“Autumn Glory” in 2009. This is a new talk they have created which takes them initially to
the Farne Islands but then to several Scottish Islands. They will show a wide range of birds,
mammals and flowers, particularly the machair flora, as well as butterflies and other
Mar 22nd AGM: followed by a presentation by Carol Minks