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Recent AGMs and Field Weekends

AGM and Field Weekend, 2014

red squirrel at the feeding stationred squirrel at the feeding station
Saturday's beginner's workshopSaturday's beginner's workshop
Spot three arachnologists in Glen Fincastle!Spot three arachnologists in Glen Fincastle!
Our 2014 AGM and field weekend was held at the magnificent, if at times soggy, Kindrogan Field Studies Centre, in Scotland.

At Friday night's AGM, when five new trustees were elected to BAS Council (transforming both the age and sex ratio!) arachnological loyalties were tested by the knowledge that, just outside, red squirrels and a pine marten were visiting the Centre's feeding station. Fortunately though, they were captured on CCTV for us to enjoy after the meeting.

Saturday was shared between a beginner's workshop, based around and at the Centre, and collecting trips rather further afield.

We were accompanied for much of the weekend by a film crew from Windfall films, working on the BBC4 Documentary Spider House.

On Saturday night, talks by council members Richard Wilson and Alastair Lavery (newly elected as vice-president) followed Jan Beccaloni's annual competition - this year for our most prized piece of arachnological 'kitsch'!

Richard talked about his recent work on upland rarities - and particularly Semljicola caliginosus - in the northern Pennines. Richard has received BAS grants to help fund this work - click here to find out more about the grants available to support members' research projects. Alastair's fascinating talk was about his work on spider fauna of the Falklands - far from just a species list, his talk ranged from the likely geographical origins of the different species and the predicted spread and impact of recent colonists. To read more about his important work there in the BAS journal Arachnology - (Volume 16 (2): 37-60).

After breakfast on Sunday, the long journey south began for many but for other southerners some enviable extra days in Scotland were rewarded by fantastic sunny weather and great spider hunting.

The weekend's write-up and species list will appear in a future issue of our Newsletter.

The magnificent Kindrogan FSC CentreThe magnificent Kindrogan FSC Centre
The Windfall crew 'eavesdropping' on the workshopThe Windfall crew 'eavesdropping' on the workshop
The 2014 AGM at KindroganThe 2014 AGM at Kindrogan

AGM and Field Weekend, 2013

Spidering at Andrew's WoodSpidering at Andrew's Wood

2013's AGM weekend took place at Slapton Ley in South Devon - in glorious sunshine.

As usual, a range of activities and events took place over the weekend. The AGM was dispensed with on the Friday evening and we now have a new president - Helen Smith. Check out her website on her Dolomedes plantarius work.

The Saturday was given over to fieldwork and workshops in the morning and afternoon and two talks in the evening; George Thomas on spiders on agricultural land and Helen Smith on the Fen Raft Spider.

Callilepis nocturna female - Prawle PointCallilepis nocturna female - Prawle Point

Throughout the weekend Ted Lovesey had his spider paintings on show and on the Saturday Dave Penney had a range of stunning fossil spiders in amber on display.

George Thomas's lectureGeorge Thomas's lecture

... and we still found time to visit the local pub.

Discussion session after the lecturesDiscussion session after the lectures

A full write-up and species list for the weekend can be found in the Spring 2014 Newsletter.

(Photos by Martin Askins and Richard Gallon.)
Xysticus kochi female - Slapton Ley shingle beachXysticus kochi female - Slapton Ley shingle beach
Talavera aequipes male -Slapton Ley shingle beachTalavera aequipes male -Slapton Ley shingle beach

AGM and Field Weekend, 2012

Snowdon from Traeth GlaslynSnowdon from Traeth Glaslyn

2012's AGM weekend was held at Plas Tan y Bwlch in the Snowdonia National Park.

Richard Gallon, our man on the ground, had sorted out a range of sites to visit, including Hafod Garregog NNR and the North Wales Wildlife Trust's reserve at Traeth Glaslyn. As an alternative to Traeth Glaslyn, some members opted to take part in a spider identification workshop. On the Saturday evening Sarah Henshall presented a talk on the spider fauna of exposed riverine sediments followed by Ian Hughes talking on conservation and translocation of Eresus cinnaberinus and Sitticus distinguendus.

The weekend's write-up and species list appeared in the July issue of our Newsletter.

AGM weekend attendees - in their spider guisesAGM weekend attendees - in their spider guises
(Photos by Richard Gallon.)
Dolomedes fimbriatus at Hafod GarregogDolomedes fimbriatus at Hafod Garregog

AGM and Field Weekend, 2011

Belstead House Study CentreBelstead House Study Centre

2011's AGM weekend was held at Belstead House in Suffolk.

This year Paul Lee furnished us with a range of sites to visit ranging from woods to heaths and shingle beaches. Despite wet weather over the preceding days, the rain held off allowing a full day in the field on Saturday, though the vegetation was wet to the sweep net. Mark Nowers (the local RSPB warden) gave us a run-down of a selection of the sites on the Friday evening and over the weekend Sara Goodacre spoke on sex ratio bias in spiders and Dave Penney on spider palaeontology in the 21st. century.

The weekend's write-up and species list will appear in a future edition of the Newsletter.

AGM weekend attendees - and their spider impersonationsAGM weekend attendees - and their spider impersonations

B.A.S. Meetings Secretary, Jan Beccaloni.

Intrepid spider recorders in the fieldIntrepid spider recorders in the field
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