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.
We are sad to report the death of former HNHS Secretary John Scivyer, who died peacefully at home on 26 September aged 88, after a long battle with renal failure.
John is remembered as a kind, generous supporter of the Society's work and – with his wife Doreen – a regular attender at meetings until they moved from their home in Potters Bar to Rugby in 2014. He was Hon. Secretary of the HNHS from 1991 to 1999 and also volunteer warden of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust's nature reserve at Fir and Pond Wood for many years.
An estimated 3,000 people came together over the weekend of 29 and 30 July to celebrate the variety of local wildlife. The Festival of Wildlife in Panshanger Park near Hertford was organised by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, in partnership with Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and hosted by site owners Tarmac.
The family-friendly Festival, which was free, featured guided walks and expert talks as well as a whole host of conservation activities.