Are you a regular attendee and/or exhibitor at the BENHS ANNUAL EXHIBITION and Brad Ashby Memorial Lecture?
Or have you never been to the Exhibition as getting to London on a Saturday in November is problematic?
Either way, this year’s event is for you!
As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic it has been decided that the BENHS Annual Exhibition and the Brad Ashby Memorial Lecture 2020 will go ahead but, in a new departure for the Society, both will be delivered on-line rather than at a physical venue.
The Annual Exhibition is a major event in the Society’s social calendar as, over its 125 year or more history, it has offered the opportunity for members to gather from across the country (and overseas), to catch up with acquaintances, make new contacts and to admire the entomological activities of others achieved over the last year or so.
It is therefore not a decision taken lightly to move this event on-line, however, continued concerns over the risks of travelling to London, using public transport and social distancing, which would need to be applied within the venue, combine to make a ‘virtual’ exhibition and lecture a sensible alternative.
Indeed we hope that this new approach will actually enable a greater number of members to participate and extend the reach of the event considerably.
Virtual exhibits are consequently welcomed and encouraged from members only of the BENHS. As usual these exhibits can be set specimens, drawings, artworks, posters, novel items of equipment, historical items, curiosities or light hearted trivia – as long as it can be submitted in advance as a digital photograph.
Digital photographs at the highest resolution possible in any popular format (e.g jpg, tif, png) accompanied by notes should be submitted to Les Evans-Hill by midnight on Friday 23 October 2020 at the very latest. These will then be posted to the new Members Only pages of the BENHS website and will go live from Saturday 7 November 2020 and remain available to view until midnight on Friday 20 November, as this year’s virtual exhibition.
Further details of the Brad Ashby Memorial Lecture, which is delivered in partnership with the London Natural History Society, are provided here. We can confirm that it will be presented by Dr Ian Wallace, the current National Biodiversity Network’s ‘Terrestrial Wildlife Recorder of the Year’ and renowned caddisfly enthusiast. Ian will be drawing on his experience as the national caddisfly recording scheme organiser, to explore wider issues relating to wildlife recording and conservation in the UK. The lecture will be given live over the web at 2.00pm on Saturday 7 November.
How to submit a virtual exhibit.
Please prepare a display as you would normally for such an event (e.g. a small case of pinned insects or a piece of artwork) and then photograph it and e-mail to Les Evans-Hill as described above. (If you are unsure of what is required, examples of this type of exhibit will be available on the Members Only web pages to assist you.)
Please also provide a written set of notes describing the significance or reason for exhibiting, following these guidelines:
- Include your name, postal and e-mail addresses.
- Give an indication of the significance of what is exhibited, why it is interesting, what is shown.
- For specimens, give the locality (including the county), date of capture (in the following format: 22.iii.2020), whether they were at light. Where possible also give the grid reference and the vice-county name and number.
- Use current scientific names; as well as italicizing or underlining these, please also give the family name and authority. (Please do the same for any foodplants cited if possible.)
- For British Lepidoptera, please also provide the current checklist number as given in ‘Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles’ (Agassiz et al., 2013); these are available widely online.
- Please provide separate notes for each of the following exhibit categories and indicate on the file name which category you are submitting it under:
- British Butterflies
- British Moths (macro and micro)
- Channel Islands Lepidoptera
- Foreign Lepidoptera
- Other Orders
- Unidentified specimens
- Photographs of living insects being entered for ‘The Best Photograph or Set of Photographs’ competition and Illustrations.
Please note, photographs of invertebrates submitted under the ‘Unidentified specimens’ category may prove impossible to identify accurately to species level.
Photographs of dead specimens of threatened, scarce or reintroduced insects will not be welcome and will not be posted to the website exhibition. The Code for Insect Collecting, endorsed by the BENHS, suggests that a pair of specimens of such species is sufficient. Similarly, long series of any insect taken from a single locality will not be welcome unless legitimate extenuating circumstances (eg an approved and possibly licensed, scientific study) are supplied to the BENHS Council. Any specimens associated with the commercial trade in insects will also not be welcome.
As in previous years, the exhibits and accompanying notes will be published in the British Journal of Entomology and Natural History. In some instances, this may also mean exhibitors may be contacted post-exhibition for further information, to request further images be taken of individual specimens, or to request selected specimens be brought to a future Exhibition for examination.
In these extraordinary circumstances created by the Covid-19 emergency please support your Society by participating in the exhibition and lecture if at all possible, either by providing a virtual exhibit or by attending the lecture and exhibition across the web. Your feedback on whether this new approach has been successful and whether it could be used to augment a return to a physical exhibition in subsequent years will also be most welcome. Please submit any thoughts or comments through the on-line form.