Celebrating 50 Years

On Saturday 12 May 2018 members of Basildon Natural History Society and invited guests celebrated the society’s 50th Anniversary.

The audience enjoyed a presentation by Dr Rodney Cole, the retiring Chair of BNHS, entitled ‘Half a Century of Remarkable Achievement’. The presentation celebrated the fine achievements of the society over 50 years, not least the continuing management of Marks Hill Wood on behalf of Essex Wildlife Trust. Gordon Reid, the former long standing chair of the organisation, also contributed by explaining his part in the transfer of the Marks Hill Wood Nature Reserve and Willow Park from ownership by the Basildon Development Corporation, to Essex Wildlife Trust, enabling the land to be freely used by the people of Basildon.

Dr Cole also highlighted the recording and monitoring of local wildlife as an important aspect of the society’s work, for example moth trapping meetings and butterfly counts provide valuable scientific data for county and national monitoring. The data has also been used to oppose development plans on sensitive sites.

Professor Germain Greer, the guest speaker, gave an inspiring address entitled ‘Earthlings Unite! You have nothing to lose but your planet’ about her own conservation projects both here in the UK and in Australia. Professor Greer added that everyone should get involved in an environmental project whether large or small and praised members of Basildon Natural History Society for working together voluntarily to preserve areas of the local landscape.

There was also exhibition of photographs and paintings by members. The day culminated in a guided tour of the Marks Hill Wood Reserve to see the flora and fauna and appreciate the excellent work carried out by Basildon Natural History Society volunteer work parties.

Here are some photographs taken at the event, courtesy of Miriam Heppell.

Gordon Reid, Professor Germaine Greer and Dr Rodney Cole
Guests start to fill the hall whilst others admire the photographic display
Professor Greer addresses guests at the Green Centre Wat Tyler Country Park
Guests gather in the car park before heading into Marks Hill Nature Reserve for the tour
Dr Rodney Cole tells the group about the history of the reserve and its geological features. In the background is one of the superb information boards installed as part of the Langdon Living Landscape Project.
Pecks Pond, one of the reserves many success stories. The pond was created at the base of a spring line in the early 1980’s and with careful managment it has continued to flourish . On the day of the tour the pond was covered in a magnificent carpet of water violets.

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