London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London

BENHS logoLNHS logoThe British Entomological and Natural History Society and the London Natural History Society are delighted to announce that this year’s Brad Ashby Memorial Lecture will be presented by Dr Ian Wallace, the current National Biodiversity Network’s ‘Terrestrial Wildlife Recorder of the Year’ and renowned caddisfly enthusiast.

We hope that you will be able to join us on 7 November and that this lecture will appeal to anyone with an interest and commitment to wildlife recording and conservation in the UK – in particular general naturalists, entomologists and freshwater biologists. This year the lecture will be virtual in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lecture title: Inspired by Caddis... Adding value to biological records
Guest speaker: Dr Ian Wallace
Date and time:14:00-15:30 7th November 2020
Book via the Field Studies Council website:

Inspired by Caddis... Adding value to biological records

Glyphotaelius pellucidus eggs For over forty years, Ian Wallace has co-ordinated the National Caddisfly Recording Group, transforming understanding of what was previously a poorly understood group of insects. There are now over half a million caddis records on the National Biodiversity Network’s Atlas and Ian is happy for them to be regarded as ‘honorary moths!’

Throughout the lecture, Ian will be drawing on his experiences of studying caddisfly biology. He will be identifying gaps in knowledge, praise both casual and systematic recording, and explore wider issues relating to the quality and conservation value of UK wildlife records. In doing so he will enter into short, separate conversations with four leading invertebrate conservation practitioners:

  • Sharon Flint Freelance ecological surveyor and educator.
  • Martin Harvey Research Associate, Scientific Data Support, Biological Records Centre, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
  • Dr Mike Howe Senior Invertebrate Specialist for National Resources Wales.
  • Craig Macadam Conservation Director for Buglife and organiser of the Mayfly and Stonefly Recording Scheme.
This will be followed by a question and answer session.

The lecture will be given live over the web at 2.00pm on Saturday 7 November.

Although this virtual lecture is free to attend, booking is essential to receive the access information. For more information and to book, please visit the Field Studies Council website: 

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We are very grateful to the Field Studies Council for all of their assistance with this meeting.

Dr Ian Wallace

Dr Ian WallaceIan Wallace has been recording caddisflies since the 1970s. In the intervening years he has visited every corner of the UK to make new records of this under-recorded group. Since establishing the Caddisfly Recording Scheme, he has personally amassed over 410,000 records! These days, Ian probably spends as much time helping other people identify caddis, especially from photographs, as doing his own recording.

Ian was the winner of the 2019 NBN Award for Terrestrial Wildlife and is proud of the fact that half a million records on the NBN Atlas means caddis are no longer a seriously under-recorded group. But for him, it is the intrinsic value of each record that keeps him going and fuels his ambition to help others. He believes that … “Every record advances our knowledge of a species’ biology and is thus a little bit of science in action”. This has always driven his ambition as a personal recorder and underpins his efforts to improve identification resources to continually increase the number of people who will add caddis to the groups they record.

Born in Wallsend, Northumberland in 1948, Ian was a senior curator at National Museums Liverpool (NML) for over forty years. He is currently an Honorary Curator at NML and an Honorary Fellow of the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA).

He trained at Newcastle University, collected and named his first caddis in 1970 and undertook his doctoral research on the group. His most widely used publications are probably his FBA Cased Caddis Larval Key, The FSC Simple Caddis Larva Key and reports for Natural England on the conservation status and distribution of the UK Caddis. Coming soon (2021) will be his Atlas of the Caddis of the UK and Ireland and also a Guide to Identifying Caddis Adults when they are alive or in photographs.

Author: Steve Judd, British Entomological & Natural History Society
Published: 23/09/2020

In Memory of Charles Bradwin Ashby 1920 - 1994

CB Ashby 1920 1994Brad Ashby was a member of the LNHS from 1939 to 1994, becoming President for 1989 and 1990. He was first a member of the LNHS Council in 1945 as a key member of the Ornithology Section together with an important role in ensuring the success of the Society’s 1957 publication The birds of the London Area since 1900. Despite this birding background, Brad was to change his prime interest away from ornithology to entomology and then ecology.

Brad was a member of the Entomology committee from the 1960s and Secretary of the Ecology & Entomology committee (1984-1994) and made that section central to LNHS activity. Perhaps the most lasting result was the series of papers under the heading of the London Atalanta which were available for all the membership. He was a very positive President and extremely keen on ensuring a high standard of the Society’s publications. Also he was determined for the Bookham Common surveys to continue and indeed expand.

In 1985 he proposed the joint meetings which have successfully continued to this day.

Click here to read Brad's full obituary (in London Naturalist Volume 73) on the Biodiversity Heritage website

Author: Michael Wilsden, London Natural History Society
Published: 30/09/20

Inspired by Caddis AD