Trevor James awarded Gilbert White Adult Award

We are proud to announce that Trevor James was awarded the Gilbert White Adult Award for an outstanding contribution to biological recording which is helping to improve our understanding of the UK’s wildlife:

Trevor has been a county recorder for both plants and beetles in Hertfordshire for 40 years. Almost entirely self-taught, he is the author of Flora of Hertfordshire (2009) and of Beetles of Hertfordshire (2018). Trevor has made an outstanding contribution to the taxonomic and geographic understanding of plants and beetles, both at county level and nationally.

Trevor James said: “I became hooked on wildlife recording as a youngster, and found it rewarding contributing to the bigger picture of our knowledge, firstly with birds and then with other things. It led to my later career as a naturalist in a local museum, then setting up Hertfordshire’s local records centre and finally working alongside the UK BRC at Monk’s Wood for the NBN Trust!

“In the meantime, I also became an organiser of plant recording in Hertfordshire and then with the BSBI nationally. I had also taken up the study of Coleoptera locally while I was in a local museum and have kept that on ever since. For me, the main driver is finding real facts to back up conservation effort. Part of it is also the camaraderie of working alongside others with similar interests.”

Gerald Salisbury Lecture 2018

On Wednesday 28th November Trevor James presented the annual Gerald Salisbury Lecture to a packed audience. Trevor’s talk was entitled ‘What do beetles tell us about our world'.

We heard that beetles are highly habitat specific and sensitive to change and are therefore good indicators. The presence and variety of species can tell about ecological diversity, how long-established a habitat might be and how our world is changing environmentally.

One of the key messages was that a ‘habitat’ for beetles’ is not what we would usually think of as a habitat. Instead Trevor described our habitats found in Hertfordshire and the beetles that inhabit them, from larger flowing water habitats of wetlands and woodland complexes to synanthropic habitats such as haystacks, dung heaps and micro-habitats such as cowpats and fungi.

There was a total of 2,483 species recorded in the recently published Beetles of Hertfordshire, reliably recorded from the County up to February 2018, when it went to press. This compares with the 1,542 species that were listed in the first summary of the County’s beetles, published in the Victoria County History in 1902, an addition of some 941 species since that date. 

Trevor’s new book, Beetles of Hertfordshire is available to purchase via the HNHS bookshop.