The Committee meets two or three times a year, to arrange the programme of talks and field trips and otherwise as necessary. If you think you might be interested in joining the Committee, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are they?
Members of the Committee have provided some background information as to how and why they decided actively to support TNHS by joining the committee:
Peter Shallcross, Chairman
Peter has been the chair of the TNHS since March 2018 and a member since the 1980s.
His fascination for butterflies has lead to an interest in all wildlife and ecology, and he is constantly amazed by the hidden details and beauty of nature. Within the constraints of being a conventional dairy and arable farmer, he encourages wildlife where possible by creating habitats in his farm. He is a board member of the Nadder Valley Farmer Cluster, which aims to increase the understanding and encouragement of wildlife by local farmers in their farms. He also spends too much time in bringing back dutch elm disease resistant elms into the landscape.
His aims as a chairperson are growing the membership of the society, help preparing a programme of events of interest for the members and developing community projects.
Contact: 07974 140848
Dick Budden, Treasurer In 2015, after a career in industry, Dick moved into a house just outside Tisbury that faces south over a wildflower meadow stretching down to the Nadder; there was a rickety bridge across the river and marshland from there to the railway line. Reclaiming all this from the totally overgrown state it was then in, and managing it for wildlife, is a full time occupation (apart from managing the Society’s accounts, that is).
As a child I became interested in wildlife both from my mother's influence and at my school where we regularly made aware of the natural history around us.
Much later I married and became a 'Camp Follower' moving house and home every 2 years or so with my military husband. We lived in Kent, Germany, Northern Ireland, North Yorkshire, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia experiencing amazing scenery and varied wildlife.
On settling into Tisbury I joined the TNHS and became a volunteer for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust at Oysters Coppice. David Swift, the charming founder of the Society was chairman when I arrived and Peter Thompson took over a couple of year's later. I must have joined the committee shortly after that and of course Peter Shallcross became our present Chairman in 2018. So I have been on the committee for between 25 and 30 years. Time I went!! (Definitely not, Debbie, you're much too valuable to us. Ed)
In 2002 I applied for a Millenium lottery grant to join an Earthwatch project and was lucky enough to visit Chile on a project trying to save the Chilean river otters, all expenses paid. The otters are illegally hunted for fur and their habitat is being destroyed. We trapped one which then had a radio transmitted fitted before she was released back into the river. The otters' fate there is uncertain. The payback for the grant was for the volunteers to do something for their own communities on their return and I chose to survey 4 miles of the River Nadder for Water Voles. I spent the following spring and summer months in waders with a variety of helpers and we found a healthy population and they are still there.
I then became interested in dormice and obtained a licence to handle and record them. I still do this at Oysters Coppice and in the woods at Stourhead and the records get sent to the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species who hold the National records. I am still the joint warden of Oysters Coppice with my husband Andrew.
Contact: 01747 871311
Elizabeth Forbes, Website manager
No, I'm not a nerd! No one was more surprised than me that with Weebly's help, the TNHS website took shape sometime back in 2015 (can it really have been that long ago?!). I offered to do this because having spent a lot of time in this area when I was growing up, having time in my retirement to stop, look and listen in this wonderful landscape has been a real solace, especially in these awful Covid times. With the help of other members, I seem to learn something new every day about our natural world, and delight in it.
In my working life I was lucky to live in Egypt, Austria, Iran and also Scotland and looking at the photographs I took there it's obvious my interest was already germinating back then - I remember particularly in Iran how bizarre it seemed to see flowers like grape hyacinths, stalwarts of suburbia, flowering out in the wild along with little yellow and red species tulips and big, fat irises.
But it's just great to be able to focus myself and help others now become more aware of how much they, too, might enjoy what the Society has to offer.
Contact: 01747 871772
Andrew Graham, Committee Member - and contributor of monthly updates to Focus
I grew up and went to school in Weymouth and then went to Norwich to do Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Returning to Dorset I first worked as a warden on the gunnery ranges at Lulworth. Then I joined County Council planning department managing countryside sites, clearing dead elms - which were being decimated by Dutch Elm Disease at that time - and planting replacement trees.
Then, after further ranger work at country parks in South Wales and central Scotland, I ran a countryside management project in South West Essex. After a brief stint in Berkshire County Council in 1992, I joined the National Rivers Authority in Reading with whom I stayed through its transition into the Environment Agency. I had various posts concerned with water recreation and the management of the recreational use of the rivers in England and Wales for which the EA had responsibility. My last post before retirement was Waterway Manager for the non-tidal Thames (between Teddington and Lechlade).
I retired in the summer of 2016 moving to Tisbury at the same time.
My interest in wildlife and the countryside was nurtured by my parents through our obligatory (come rain or shine) weekend expeditions into the Dorset countryside (before the oil crisis when petrol was cheap). Having Radipole Lake and Lodmoor within walking distance of home was great for learning a range of birds. My knowledge of wildlife is a bit random and self-taught but birds and butterflies are my strongest suits I think. I have probably forgotten more than I still recall and I know nothing at all about fish!
Contact: 07411 048180
AGM Tuesday 18 February 2020
Meeting opened at 7.45pm
Committee present: Peter Shallcross (Chair), Dick Budden (Treasurer), Debbie Carter (Acting Secretary), Elizabeth Forbes (Website), Anne Wilson, Lizzy Paylan. Apologies: Liz Street, Rosie Buck, Anne Martin, Richard Davies. Resignations from Committee: Rosie Buck, Anne Martin and Anne Wilson.
Peter Shallcross opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Minutes of previous meeting were approved as a true record. Matters Arising -
The £300 grant from Tisbury PC had been used to purchase wildflower seeds for the Parish meadow and these had now been drilled into the meadow so we await results this spring/summer.
Online survey: Dick Budden's online survey for members' views was well received and results put up on wall for members to see. Those that took part were thanked.
Treasures report: Please see insert in minutes book. Membership numbers have risen as have speakers' costs. Income has risen.
Election of Officers: Committee was voted in en bloc. Proposed by Roger Walker, Seconded by Pam Chave. New Committee members Andrew Graham and Steve Flowerday (both unable to attend AGM)
Programme for 2020/ 2021: See programme in minute book
Field Trips: Forms put out at meetings for those interested to put their names down. Organiser of each trip will contact those on list near the outing date
Talks: As on programme.
Change of day and time of indoor meetings: From September 2020 they will be on the third Thursday each month and will begin at 7.30pm.
AOB: There was a request from a member for a loud speaker system at talks
Meeting closed at 8pm.
AGM - 19 February 2019 Thanks were proposed for Nick Hutchings who was resigning as Treasurer after 15 years. Dick Budden has agreed to take on this role. The following are therefore the current members of the committee, elected or re-elected, as indicated (telephone numbers 01747 unless stated otherwise):
Peter Shallcross, Chairman (re-elected) Dick Budden, Treasurer (email@example.com) (elected) Rosie Buck, Minutes Secretary (re-elected) Debbie Carter (871311) (re-elected) David Rear (870176) (re-elected) Anne Martin (re-elected) Lizzie Paylan (re-elected) Anne Wilson (870876) (re-elected) Elizabeth Forbes, Website manager (871772) (elected)
AGM 2018 - A new Chairman, a new era for the Society
At the Annual General Meeting held on 20 March, it was announced that, sadly, Peter Thompson had stood down from the Chairmanship.
Peter was only the second Chairman of the Society, having taken over from its founder Col Swift. In recognition of his leadership over 25 years, the Society presented Peter with a copy of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's newly published book Wild Wiltshire, which is a collection of inspiring colour photographs illustrating the county's habitats and living landscapes of woodland, meadow, downland, plants and animals.
Peter's own favourite wild animal is the bat and the photo shows Committee member Lizzy Paylan presenting Peter (left) with his very own - one of the delightful soft toys she now makes of many people's favourite animals - watched by incoming chairman Peter Shallcross.