Leaders: Keith Alexander and Jon Cole (Martin Albertini for the moth trapping). (This is also a National Insect Week event: see http://www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk/.)
Meet at 10:00am for 10:30 prompt start. The event is free but parking at Burnham Beeches is £3 for the day. To help with planning the day it would be useful if would-be attendees could please register by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably by Monday 18 June.
The main (Main Common) car park is off Lord Mayor’s Drive, near Farnham Common, Bucks. For detailed directions and other suggestions for travel see the website given above. The post code (café) is SL2 3PS. Please see the BENHS draft risk assessment for field events on the BENHS website. The Google Map below is for illustrative purposes and may not necessarily point to the main car park.
This is a meeting of the BENHS “Saproxylic Group” run jointly with the “Bucks. Invertebrate Group”. The Saproxylic Group aims to bring together members with an interest in the natural history of deadwood invertebrates. Burnham Beeches is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), National Nature Reserve (NNR) and European Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The reserve is around 220 hectares, primarily noted for its ancient beech and oak pollards and the range of flora and fauna associated with old trees and decaying wood.
Other notable features include; wood pasture, valley mire, heathland, beech woodland, coppice woodland, three ponds, three stream systems, a large open grassland recreation area and three Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The reserve is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation and is a public amenity area. Further information and a downloadable site map are available at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/greenspaces/burnham-beeches-and-stoke-common/Pages/default.aspx.
Permission has been gained to collect voucher specimens on the assumption that this not be excessive and that records will be presented to the reserve (via BENHS). After an initial introductory talk by Dr Helen Read we will spend most of the day in any of the appropriate habitats, either in groups or individually. The emphasis of the day will be on exploring the site, identifying the key features, and listing and recording the species found (sampling kit not provided).
If you wish to work through lunch it is recommended you bring your own. There is a small cafe next to the main car park but it is often crowded at weekends. We will reconvene at the meeting room on site (some 10 minutes walk from the main car park) around 3 pm for discussion and specimen identifications. A small number of microscopes will be available. It is intended that some vane traps will be strategically erected some days before the event with catches examined on the day, but this will be dependent on prior weather conditions.
Moth trapping: the Bucks Invertebrate Group will be running traps on the evening/night following the saproxylics event. If interested, please indicate this in your registration message and contact details will be forwarded to you.
Important note: biosecurity is taken seriously at this reserve so please ensure that sampling instruments and especially footwear are cleaned, and if possible disinfected, before arrival.