UTB Members' Day and AGM 2018

The UTB Member's Day and AGM will be held at the Benson Parish
Hall, Benson, Oxon, OX10 6LZ on Saturday 27th October.

Free parking is available at the parish hall, or on the adjacent playing field.

Find the location on Streetmap or Google Maps.

09:45Doors Open - Registration and Coffee 
10:15Introduction and WelcomeNick Bowles
10:25Review of Upper Thames Moths in 2018Jan Haseler
10:50Review of Upper Thames Butterflies in 2018Nick Bowles
11:15Holtspur Bottom Reserve – latest newsTony Gillie
11:50The National Conservation Strategy and the Regional Action Plan 2018 to 2025Steve Wheatley
12:20The background and progress of the RSPB Otmoor Marsh Fritillary reintroduction projectDavid Wilding
Vote in our annual photographic competition, have a go at the quiz, buy raffle tickets, and view the displays. Richard Lewington will be selling his artwork, and Aurelian Books will have a bookstall.
  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Minutes of last AGM and matters arising
  3. Chairman's Report
  4. Treasurer's Report and approval of accounts
  5. Election of Officers
  6. Any Other Business (previously notified)
14:35Butterfly Dance PerformanceCatherine Burfield
14:45White Admiral – a local perspectiveJulia Huggins and Peter Eeles
15:25Wing colour and patterning in butterflies and moths – the importance of predationJohn Thacker
16:05Tea and raffle 
16:35Photographic Competition ResultsPete Thompson
 Quiz results and winner 
17:00Round Up of the Day and Closing RemarksNick Bowles


Steve Wheatley is Butterfly Conservation's Senior Regional Officer for the South-East. He is leading the Bradenham Duke of Burgundy project in the Chilterns.
David Wilding has been working on Otmoor for 14 years, starting as Warden and progressing to Site Manager. In the past he has worked for many organisations including the Forestry Commission (New Forest), BTCV and the North Cascades National Park Service.
Nick Bowles is Chair of Upper Thames Branch of BC.  He is our Chalk Hill Blue species champion and a voluntary Conservation Officer for Bucks.  Nick is also a regular contributor to British Wildlife magazine.
Jan Haseler is Vice-President and Excursions Secretary of Reading and District Natural History Society, a regular volunteer at BBOWT's Moor Copse Reserve, and a member of the transect teams at Lardon Chase and Aston Upthorpe.
Dr Tony Gillie is a member of the Upper Thames BC committee and has been instrumental in a number of initiatives relating to our Holtspur Bottom reserve, including growing and planting Dark Mullein in the Holtspur area to support the nationally scarce Striped Lychnis moth.
Dr John Thacker is an ordinary member of the Upper Thames branch of BC, joining in 2014. He is a retired medical research scientist with a lifelong interest in wildlife and in photography (recently with some time to pursue both). His talk will contain a little history, a whiff of scandal, and questions about eyes and eyesight, as well as pictures of butterflies and moths in which some audience participation is hoped for.


As usual, there will be two parallel competitions, and the winners in each will be selected by popular vote:
  1. Members’ competition – open to members (apart from recent winners of the overall ‘best in show’ prize, who have been individually notified.) You can enter a maximum of ten images across all categories, but in the case of UK Butterflies, it’s now a maximum of just six. There will be six categories, as shown below.
    1. UK butterflies
    2. Overseas butterflies
    3. Moths
    4. Immature stages
    5. Newer Entrants (see Hairstreak No. 103 for full details)
      All photos entered for these first five categories should be without digital alteration. For this purpose, ‘digital alteration’ means making changes to the subject matter by digital means – such as removing or replacing parts of the image, deleting grass stems or blemishes. It does not preclude the use of cropping, brightness and contrast adjustments, or some degree of sharpening that happens anyway in most cameras and printers. All these are allowed.
    6. Digital creativity
      This is your opportunity to be really adventurous and show the beauty of our insects in a very different way. Alterations to lighting, colour and background – or the use of distortion, collage, superimposed images or anything else you can think of – are all specifically encouraged in this category.
    All Members’ Competition prints should have an overall maximum size, including mount, of 19 x 13cm. There will be prizes for the most popular photos in each category, though only one prize per photographer, and an additional prize for ‘best in show’. All photos entered should be prints, taken in the wild since last year’s Members’ Day. Please write the photographer’s name and telephone number on the back, plus the category being entered. Mounting on card, and adding a title, can enhance any photo, but this is optional.
  2. Recent Winners’ Competition - open to recent winners of the overall ‘best in show’ prize. Recent winners of the members’ competition have put on an inspiring display in recent years, and we are asking each of them to contribute any 6 prints, preferably mounted on grey card, with an overall maximum size, including mount, of 30 x 25cm.
By entering our competitions you are giving UTB permission to use (with acknowledgement) any of your images in our newsletters or electronic media.

Pete Thompson


Your food offerings are welcome! In the hope that we can continue to feed everyone at lunchtime and teatime on Members’ Day, I am asking again ALL members who are attending on the day to bring along a contribution. It can be either savoury or sweet. If possible, it would be helpful if you could let me know what you might bring during the week before the meeting. Also, if you could help behind the scenes, please to come and see us in the kitchen. I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing you on the day.

Gillian Oldfield – 01993 891565
(all messages left on the answer-phone will be listened to!)