Tuesday Talks, 10 February
Last Tuesday night saw the Wharfedale Naturalists play host to two of their prominent Members who both delivered magisterial Lectures on their respective subjects.
The first Speaker to mount the podium was our Membership Secretary Roz Lilley who is also a volunteer for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to which our Society is affiliated. Roz took us on a virtual tour of the Trusts diverse Reserves scattered around our great County explaining how they are managed and what their particular highlights are in the way of wildlife. She explained that the Trust is run by a body of Volunteer Trustees and 90+ paid Staff but rely heavily on volunteers who help with the day to day managing of these reserves. Showing a stunning array of Power Point slides the Speaker took us to such places as Spurn Point that fragile finger of land that juts three and a half miles out into the Humber home to Buckthorn, Marram Grass andSea Rocket. Then we had a look at a living seas project a coral reef just off the Yorkshire Coast just like Australia’s great Barrier Reef.We also went to the Flamborough Cliffs where there are Puffins Razor bills and Guillemots. North Cave Wetlands, Potteric Carr and many others. These are all managed in different ways often using flocks of Sheep,Cattle or Ponies which do it in an organic way. As well as managing these reserves the Trust also encourages the use of “Wildlife Corridors” to enable creatures to move around and not to be trapped in one place. Outreach to young people is very important to the Trust and working with like minded organisations to improve the environment for many species such as butterflies and dragonflies, bats and many other creatures that inhabit our world. Roz Lilley gave an inspiring talk as she always does and received a rich applause for her efforts.
Next up on the podium was areal Wharfedale Naturalists veteren Mr. David Alred who regaled us with some of of his African Memories gleaned from his many adventures in that great continent. Delivered in his usual informed manner and spiked with the usual drips of Wry Alred humour and observations our second Speaker dwelt on such creatures as Lions ,elegant Cheetahs, Gennet and Impala. Riding around in vehicles as you have to on these Safari trips we were shown how lions and hyenas make kills and how nature does a complete clear up afterwards. Large Vultures may be repugnant to some folk but they are nature’s dustbin men and usually after they are done very little is left that would cause disease. Dung is also dealt with by dung beetles who inturn are preyed on by birds. The slides featured Ground Hornbills; Superb Starlings;Storks and Stone Curlews. Othe birds were Hammerpots and black winged Stilts.We saw Elephants Giraffes and Hippos spoting in a pond. We also were introduced to Zebra and Wildebeeste Bayse Oryx and many others. It had been a real treat of an evening altogether and both speakers well earned a handsome ovation.
Join us in a fortnights time when a national Trust office will ask if we can do better looking after wildlife.
Photo by Kevin Pluck (Flickr: The King.) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons