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NEWSLETTER No. 7 -  Summer 1982

WEST MIDLANDS BRANCH, BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION

Contents

Editorial Cover
Local News 2
1982 Recording Scheme 3
Displays 4
Butterflies of Yore 5
Letters Page 6
Membership 3

 

Editorial

It is a great pity that so few branch members are able to attend the A.G.M. of the main society, which is held every March in London. This is the one chance in the year to meet the national committee and hear at firsthand of the progress of the BBCS over the past twelve months. On a less formal basis, it is an ideal opportunity to chat with fellow enthusiasts from all over the country. All in all, the A.G.M. is generally of great interest and well worthwhile.

This year's meeting was no exception to this rule, and two important decisions were made of which branch members should be made aware. The first relates to the butterfly reserves that have been established by the Society in the West of England. It had been a matter of concern to some of us in the West Midlands branch that the whereabouts of these reserves had been shrouded in a cloak of secrecy and that no arrangements had been made to allow controlled access to BBCS members. While appreciating some of the reasons behind this, many of us felt that this policy was not in the long term interest of butterfly conservation. As we have remarked in a previous editorial, if public interest in butterflies is to be aroused there has to be some means by which they are allowed to see what it is we are seeking to conserve. This, of course, is recognised by the leading conservation bodies like the RSPB and the RSNC and reflected in a fairly open policy of access to reserves for their members. We are pleased to be able to report that this point was accepted by the national committee and controlled access to BBCS reserves in future will be allowed. Details of how this will work in practice will presumably be announced in a future BBCS News, in the meantime we would suggest that any members interested in making a visit should get in touch with Roger Sutton, the Society's Recorder who has a responsibility for those reserves already established.

The second decision, which is of direct relevance to branches, was the announcement of the appointment of Brian Higgs, the current Society Librarian, as Branch Liaison Officer. This post was something that we, together with other branches, had requested and the national committee had been quick to respond. The establishment of local branches has been a major growth point within the BBCS over the past 3 years and has led over this period to a doubling in the Society's membership. The BBCS now seems poised to take off in a much bigger way and the next few years will be a testing time for all of us involved in the work of the Society. It will be important to evolve a new working relationship between branches and the national committee, almost certainly necessitating changes in the Society's constitution, and the Liaison Officer clearly has a key role to play in this. Much rests on his shoulders and branches will be looking to Mr. Higgs for the initiative and drive that will be very necessary to ensure that a united and stronger Society emerges at the end of the day.

The other really important news to announce is that, this Spring, we will be promoting, in conjunction with WARNACT and the Extramural Dept. of Birmingham University, a Butterfly Year Day School to be held at Warwick University. A number of outside speakers have been booked for this occasion and the cost to participants has been set as low as possible. The Day School is not for experts but for people who enjoy butterflies and would like to hear about practical ways in which they can help them survive. We hope that the maximum number of members will join us on this day and that the event will be a great success. Full details and booking sheet is included with this newsletter.

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