We are delighted to report that June Crew, a stalwart contributor to natural history in our county, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's New Year honours list.
The medal recognises her "voluntary service to Natural History and the community in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire".
Congratulations to HNHS member Andrew Steele on winning the Woodland Trust's national Acorn Award – and to former Herts Bird Club Chair Ken Smith on being awarded the British Trust for Ornithology's prestigious Tucker Medal.
The Woodland Trust award recognises Andrew's work recording butterflies at Heartwood Forest, where he walks a fixed monitoring route every week from April to the end of September. The BTO's Tucker Medal is awarded for outstanding service to the Trust.
With great sadness we have learned of the death of the eminent Hertfordshire geologist John Catt, aged 78.
John worked on soil research at Rothamsted Research and was an Honorary Professor of Geography at University College London. He was county recorder for geology for many years until 2016. Importantly, he was also the contributing editor of our critically acclaimed book Hertfordshire Geology and Landscape.
Michael Clark, giving the 2017 Gerald Salisbury Memorial Lecture, provided a fascinating overview of his commitment – spread across half a century – to badger conservation and preserving traditional varieties of apple.
Speaking to around 80 members of the HNHS and Welwyn Natural History Society on 22 November, he looked back to a time when badgers lacked legal protection and the authorities showed little interest in preventing illegal trapping and gassing.
More than 75 HNHS members and their friends attended the Society's Autumn Meeting and AGM on Saturday 4 November at the Affinity Water offices in Hatfield.
One theme to emerge from a series of well-received presentations was the value – in both conservation and money-saving terms – of grazing animals used to restore and maintain sensitive habitats in nature reserves.