The Ambleside Natural History Society meets in a spirit of friendship and goodwill to share in all aspects of natural history, geology, the countryside, its scenery, its flora and fauna, its use, its buildings, its history, the activities of its inhabitants, etc. Almost nothing is excluded.

Non-members are welcome to attend our meetings at a charge of £3.

Our next talk will be held in the Percival Lecture Theatre on the Ambleside Campus of the University of Cumbria

14 December 2023

Conserving the tree of life: priorities, challenges, and benefits to people

Rikki Gumbs (London Zoological Society)

The tree of life connects all species through shared evolutionary histories, reaching back to the origin of all life on Earth. Contained along the branches of this tree are the evolutionary features that give rise to all biodiversity and the benefits it bestows on people. However, the ongoing biodiversity crisis threatens to prune entire lineages, and their deep branches full of evolutionary novelties, from the tree of life. The Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of Existence programme has worked to safeguard the tree of life by prioritising the most evolutionarily unique and threatened species for conservation action for more than 15 years. In this talk I will discuss the importance of maintaining the tree of life as an integral component of biodiversity, present recent estimates of the scale of loss we currently face across the tree of life, outline priorities for irreplaceable species and areas requiring urgent conservation action, and highlight how maintaining the tree of life can also maintain benefits for current and future generations.

A guide to travel to Ambleside Campus can be found at this link with a campus map in the section on cycling.

The Percival Lecture Theatre is in the Langdale Building, number 5 on the map.

The alternative venue is the Beehive, building number 2 on the map.

If you turn in at The Armitt Museum, park in the car parks at the bottom of the hill (free in the evenings) then walk up the hill. The Beehive is the single storey building on your right, the Langdale Building is slightly further, up the steps to the flat area and is again on your right.

The committee always welcomes suggestions for future talks; if you have suggestions for talks, comments on what we are doing or if you want to become a member email us at ambleside.nhs@gmail.com.

Our programmes for previous years are available at the heading tab.

Swifts in Ambleside

Following a talk on swifts to ANHS by Peter Moreton in April 2019, Pete Martin set up a small group to monitor swifts and their nest sites in Ambleside each summer.

Click on the links to read Pete’s reports of their observations.

2019 report

2020 report

2021 report

2022 report

2023 report

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