SCARBOROUGH FIELD NATURALISTS
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HULL SCARBOROUGH CAMPUS ON 10TH DECEMBER 2013.
The President, Robin Hopper, welcomed the 28 members and guests present. Apologies for Absence: David Bowen, John Hume.
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting for 2012: These were displayed andsigned as a correct record.
Matters Arising: The Treasurer, Brian Walker, explained the circumstances surrounding the Legacy Fund and where it was held in the bank account.
Correspondence: None received relating to the AGM. The YWT Winter Programme had been received.
Secretary’s Report: The Secretary, Ian Glaves, gave a short account of the year’s activity, stressing that attendance at meetings was lower than in the previous year, down from an average of 23 to 19. He also outlined the work of the Committee. A copy of his report is appended to these minutes. The Report was adopted unanimously (proposed: Mick Carroll, seconded Brian Walker).
Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer, Brian Walker, displayed an income and expenditure account, concluding that the Society had made a small profit over the year. Changes had been made to the banking, with the N.S.&I. account being closed. A copy of his report is appended to these minutes. As the finances were healthy, the Treasurer proposed that membership fees should be simplified and reduced. Single membership would be £15, and joint/family membership £20. His report, and the new fee structure, were adopted unanimously (proposed: Mick Carroll, seconded: Janice Morritt).
Honorary Life Membership: A proposal had been received by the Committee that Honorary Life Membership should be awarded to Nan Sykes, for her services to Botany in North Yorkshire. Mick Carroll gave a short account of Nan’s achievements and publications, which were showing no signs of stopping despite her 90 years of age. The proposal was passed unanimously. (proposed: Mick Carroll, seconded: Pauline Popely).
Election of Officers and Committee: The President, Secretary and Treasurer had all agreed to stand again, and as there were no further nominations, their re-election was passed without dissent. Janice Morritt, and Melanie Earle also agreed to a further term on the Committee. There had been one new nomination for the Committee, that of Louise Thompson. Louise was elected unanimously (proposed: Mick Carroll, seconded: Brian Walker).
The Officers and Committee for 2014 will therefore be:
President: Robin Hopper.
Past President: Mick Carroll.
Secretary: Ian Glaves.
Treasurer: Brian Walker.
Committee: Melanie Earle, Janice Morrit, Pauline Popely, Louise Thompson.
John Hume had tendered his resignation earlier in the year.
The AGM was concluded and a short break followed.
The Invited Presidential Address was given by Dr Phil Wheeler of the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, The University of Hull. His talk was entitled “Dissecting the Decline of a Farmland Icon”, and was about the Brown Hare. The research was a collaboration between the University and FERA at Sand Hutton, and involved studying hares on the North York Moors.
Dr Wheeler outlined the life history and habits of hares, and then proceeded to describe the research into the impact of various farming practices on hare populations. The species had declined by up to 80% since the early 1900’s, but was making a slight recovery in the last two decades. The factors influencing populations were many and complex, but fewer field boundaries, less unfarmed land, less woodland, small field margins and more livestock as part of greater agricultural intensification were at least in part responsible for the decline. Dr Wheeler outlined some of the study methods, involving night-time counting, radio tagging, and 3D telemetry used to gather data. He concluded that recovery to early 19th century levels would take landscape scale habitat creation.
After questions, the President gave a vote of thanks, and the meeting closed at 9-20pm.