NEWSLETTER No. 42 -  Spring 1999



Retiring Chairmanís Message : Cover
Chairman's Message, Spring 1999 2
Events 3
Field Trips 4
Educational Tours at Stratford Butterfly Farm 5
Supermoth is it a bird ? 6
Butterflies lead the way 7
Moths of the Wyre Forest Royal Ordnance site 8
Silver-washed Fritillary - Valezina 9
Letters 10
Review: O.S. street atlas of the West Midlands 10
Minutes of the Annual General meeting 11
Annual Review of WM butterflies and moths 12 - 19
Millenium Atlas Coordinators speak 20 - 24
Conservation Corner 25
Instructions for Contributors 26
Health and safety 27
Dates for your diary 27


Retiring Chairmanís Message


I never did remember much about the ďmanagement" training that I was given at various times during my 40 years in industry. Being a technical guy, I got my kicks from tackling the many and varied technical problems that came my way, the management bit was just something that had to be done to make the wheels go round. But I did enjoy working with all sorts of people, all the many characters that inhabit the complex social structure of a modern industrial company.

However there was one management training tenet that remained firmly fixed in my mind, a rule for every newly appointed manager - "Identify your replacement." Thus it was that when Ian Duncan approached me asking to be shown what the West Midlands had to offer in the way of butterflies, a little "flag" was raised in my mind. Ian is a Geologist by profession, a long-time birder and is deeply committed to the cause of conservation, and when the day arrived for our tour of local butterfly sites, good fortune smiled upon us. It was a warm, sunny July morning, we walked the Malvern Hills transect and various other sites round about and every possible species that could be seen was seen, and not only seen but positively flaunted! He was hooked! A confirmed butterfly man! The little "flag" now became an illuminated sign and the rest, as they say, is history.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my couple of years in the Chair. I have enjoyed the involvement with the conservation aspects of the job (and hope to continue with them) and I've even enjoyed most of the other "making the wheels go round" aspects of the job, but especially I've enjoyed being involved with people, the characters who make up our happy band, and we do have some characters!

Thanks to everyone who willingly did the little jobs (and big ones) that I asked them to do, those who phoned to pass on some interesting bit of information or to share in some moment of lepidopteral pleasure. Thanks also to those who didn't moan when I got it wrong and to those who said "Well done!" on the occasions when things went well. I know that you will all give Ian the same support that you have given me and that being so, the West Midlands Branch will soar to new heights of excellence over the next few years.

Digby Wood


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