Lockdown Learning: Learning with LNHS

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Learning Through Lockdown

The London Natural History Society (or LNHS as it is commonly known) is a local natural history society within the UK concerned with recording the wildlife of London, covering a circular area covering a 20-mile radius from St. Paul's Cathedral. The society aims include to foster the appreciation and study of London's wildlife and natural environment and assisting in the conservation of wildlife in the London area by helping to record London's wildlife. Society activities include running both indoor and outdoor events throughout the year (outside of pandemic times) and producing a number of publications, including the annual London Naturalist and London Bird Report.

Keiron Brown is chair of the Ecology & Entomology section of the LNHS and keen to apply the lessons learned through FSC BioLinks to good use in his volunteer work with the LNHS. In this article he explains how LNHS adapted to virtual event delivery in 2020 and what they have planned for 2021.

LNHS Goes Virtual

During late summer 2020, the LNHS decided that if we could no longer get people to come to field or indoor meetings due to COVID-19 restrictions, that we would bring our natural history offering people in their homes. From there, the LNHS Virtual Natural History Talks series was born.Mayfly Larvae ZSL

The talks were a huge hit and in 2020 we covered subjects including water vole reintroductions, mapping London’s flora, using iRecord, identifying reptiles, avian eavesdropping on human speech and the flora of London’s pavements. All of our previous talks are now available to catch up with on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx8DQybWBQYxbEdLNA3kfCg

Coming up in 2021

Aestivating Earthword Frank AshwoodWe’re pleased to announce that the virtual talks are now a permanent addition to our events calendar, and will now take place fortnightly from January to October each year on Thursdays at 6:30pm. Our 2021 talks programme covers a broad range of species groups, from earthworms to whales to tobacco plants! We have talks from as far as Australia, as well as talks covering subjects closer to home such as urban foxes. We also have a series of 3 talks about wildlife gardening from the Ecology & conservation studies Society.

The full 2021 programme is listed below. All talks are free to attend and delivered via the Zoom videoconferencing platform. We welcome society members and non-members to the talks – anyone with an interest in natural history is welcome!

18/02/21 Riverfly Monitoring in Greater London Joe Pecorelli, Zoological Society of London
04/03/21 Nesting Birds on Hampstead Heath Jeff Waage, London Natural History Society
18/03/21 Urban Foxes Prof. Dawn Scott, Keele University
01/04/21 Bats in Churches Claire Boothby, Bats in Churches Partnership
15/04/21 When Will It Flower? Plants & Climate Change Alistair Fitter
29/04/21 London HogWatch Chris Carbone, Zoological Society of London
13/05/21 The Earliest Botanic Gardens of the Middle East Shahina Ghazanfar, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
27/05/21 The Globe-trotting Plant Genus Nicotiana (Tobacco) Mark Chase
10/06/21 Are Gardens Good For Birds? Mike Toms (joint event with Ecology & Conservation Studies Society)
24/06/21 CSI of the Sea - What Causes Cetacean Strandings? Rob Deaville, Zoological Society of London
08/07/21 Bird Census Methods for Gardens: A 30-year study Dave Dawson (joint event with Ecology & Conservation Studies Society)
22/07/21 Microworld: How Microfossils Unravel Ancient Natural Histories Anke Marsh, LNHS
05/08/21 Gardening For Wildlife: The Sheffield BUGS Project Ken Thompson (joint event with Ecology & Conservation Studies Society)
19/08/21 The Wildlife of Copped Hall Gardens & Epping Forest Peter Warne 
02/09/21 Discovering Gilbert White in London Stephanie Holt
16/09/21 Blue Whales of the World - And Closer To Home Susannah Calderan
30/09/21 Kittiwakes on Lundy Kirsty Neller
14/10/21 Gardening For Earthworms Keiron Derek Brown, Earthworm Society of Britain
28/10/21 Managing Landscapes for Wildlife: Lessons from Australia Lizzy Crotty

You can find out more about the programme and add your email to our mailing list through the LNHS website: https://lnhs.org.uk/index.php/activities/virtualtalks

Images: Aestivating Earthworm - Frank Ashwood, Mayfly Larvae - ZSL.