Upcoming Meetings

PROGRAMME for 2021


Monday 15 November 2021 – 6.30 pm – Ken Smith – Bars and Spots- varying fortunes of our British woodpeckers

Abstract: Compared with the rest of northwest Europe, Britain has a relatively impoverished woodpecker avifauna with only three widespread species – Green Woodpecker Picus viridis, Great Spotted Dendrocopos major and Lesser Spotted Dryobates minor. Green and Great Spotted woodpeckers are increasing in Britain, whereas Lesser Spotted is in serious decline and is red-listed. We use our long-term studies to explore the reasons for the contrasting trends of Great and Lesser Spotted woodpecker populations.


Biography: Dr Ken Smith is now retired and lives in Sussex, but for almost 30 years he worked for the RSPB in what is now the Centre for Conservation Science. Over that time, he worked on a wide range of species and habitats and contributed to many conservation initiatives. In the 1980s he completed his first RSPB project on woodland birds – a national survey of woodland breeding birds which was repeated in 2003/4. That first project was enough to kindle an enduring interest in woodlands and especially woodpeckers. In 2015, Ken with his wife Linda set up www.woodpecker-network.org.uk with the express purpose of promoting the study of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and collecting important data on their nesting success. When he lived in Hertfordshire, Ken was a long-standing committee member of the Herts Bird Club, was BTO Regional Rep for 10 years and organised much survey work in the county. He has the unique distinction of being an author of three successive county atlas/avifaunas – 1968/72, 1988/92 and 2007/11. He was Chair of the BTO Ringing Committee for six years and since moving to the West Sussex/Hampshire border has been a member of the scientific committees of both Sussex and Hampshire Ornithological Societies.


Register to attend the talk for free here.


Ken Smith

The planned evening talk by Professor Jared Diamond, to be held in conjunction with the Linnean Society, on 5 June 2020 unfortunately had to be postponed because of restrictions resulting from the covid pandemic. Hopefully, it may be able to be re-arranged for a date later in 2021.  Details will be announced as soon as available.