RCPS Press Report 24th November 2016

There was a change of programme recently due to the indisposition of Nigel Heptinstall, who was to have been our speaker. Nigel did, however, arrange for someone else to come, that someone being Chris Tomson. Chris is a keen amateur photographer and has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as a conservation adviser for 10 years. Prior to that he worked for the Peak District National Park as an adviser and as a farm manager in the Peak District for 20 years. With this experience and armed with an array of images taken over time, Chris spoke to us about, ‘The Countryside Explained’. He illustrated how the landscape has developed from the ice age to the present day. Along the way he included a look at geology, history, woodlands, wetlands, farming, recreation and conservation, and a wildlife element as well!  Some interesting snippets from Chris included the information that farm building development and quarrying are outside of normal planning restraints and that there is no evidence of birdlife being damaged by wind turbines unless these are located on major, known, migratory routes. He also spoke about the delicate balance between burning off heather for the benefit of the shooting fraternity with the environmental consequences of the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Chris also explained how he tries to engage farmers to do more to promote wildlife, both flora and fauna, and showed examples of success in this area. He also spoke and illustrated how farming has modernized from the days of the horse and plough through steam driven machinery, diesel driven tractors and on to what we have now, which is complex and large machinery capable of harvesting a crop whilst being operated remotely by satellite. He also stated that the world’s food is generally produced within the top six inches of soil! Members were very appreciative of Chris making the journey from Huddersfield to share such great images and a wealth of knowledge and experience and of Nigel for making the arrangements so we were not let down by his enforced absence. We wish Nigel well for continued health improvement and look forward to seeing him next season in all probability. Member Lyndsay Cambell was presented with a certificate by President, Geoff Blackman, acknowledging her feat in having one of her images accepted by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. She entered the image into the annual Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU) competition. The YPU accepted her entry and then chose it as one, along with others from across the county, to be part of the YPU entry into the PAGB exhibition – so well done Lyndsay on a great achievement! Next Monday night at The Arches, the judging of the Landscape competition takes place. This is almost always our most popular competition so come early for the best seats and be prepared for a late night! Members free, guests £3 but this and any subsequent guest fees can be redeemed against the membership fee. Refreshments 50p.On 5th December, North Yorkshire photographer Lizzie Shepherd will be with us, taking us to the far away and warmer climes of Namibia and Ladakh. This date is also the closing date for entries for the British Natural History competition.