Closure of Virgin Money Giving and its implications

HNHS and Herts Bird Club members who pay their subscriptions online via Virgin Money Giving will share our disappointment that the charity fundraising site is being closed down this autumn by parent company, Virgin Money. We have been informed that it will cease operating at the end of November.

The HNHS management committee is considering ways of introducing online applications, including the possibility of an online facility for paying subscriptions, and will report to members as soon as the available options have been fully explored.

Exhibition to reveal nature through a microscope

The Quekett Microscopial Club –  the UK's 'learned society' for everyone interested in microscopes and microscopy – is bringing its annual exhibition to Hertfordshire in October.

Normally held at the Natural History Museum in London, the exhibition features exquisite images of wildlife and the natural world that are too small to be perceived by the human eye alone.

Herts Wood Ant reintroduction resumes

Work to reintroduce the impressive Southern Wood Ant (Formica rufa) to Hertfordshire has resumed this spring at Bishop's Wood near Rickmansworth.

Until the reintroduction programme started in 2019, the species had not been recorded in the county since the 1950s. Nests have been relocated from Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire (where the species is plentiful) through a partnership between Three Rivers Council, Hertfordshire County Council's Countryside Management Service and Phil Attewell, county ant recorder and last year's winner of the HNHS 1875 Award for an outstanding Hertfordshire naturalist.

'Lockdown birding' yields highest haul of Herts records

An entire night huddled in the garden listening for over-flying ducks, leaning from a bedroom window to hear Whimbrel and an extravagant cry of 'YES!' on sighting a Starling were among the more eccentric moments of 'lockdown birding' recalled at the 2021 Herts Bird Conference on Saturday 20 March.

Yet despite outdoor movement restrictions in response to the Covid pandemic, the number of species seen in Hertfordshire in 2020 is expected to equal the 198 recorded the previous year and may – once rarity verfication is complete – pass the 200 mark.

The conference, jointly organised by the Herts Bird Club and British Trust for Ornithology – drew an online audience of over a hundred who heard how the lockdown had stimulated bird watching and recording, even though travel was largely banned. No fewer than 23,000 records were submitted – an increase of 6,000 on the previous highest total.