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17th March 2017

The Cecidological Calendar for 2017

The BPGS has an extensive programme of field meetings each year. These events are an excellent way to learn more about galls, and beginners are very welcome.

Note some events require pre-booking

Download the 2017 programme (pdf)

Sunday 21st May. Bedford Purlieus.

Grid Ref. (Meeting place.)   53(TL)039005. on the west side of the wood. Ancient woodland. We hope to see Toothwort here, a rare parasitic flowering plant. Full day meeting, no facilities; bring packed lunch.

Leaders Seán Karley. 01933-225397 & Roger Warren.

Saturday 27th May. Tunbridge Wells Common.

Meet in the car park opposite the cricket pitch in Fir Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells at TQ 577390. TN4 8AH. General gall recording, joint meeting with the Kent Field Club. The common is largely woodland but includes an avenue of limes and some recreated heathland.

Leader Keith Palmer, 07798 861467

3rd and 4th June  Spring Gall Hunts  Leader Chris Leach.

Chris is repeating last year’s meetings...we were a little too early last year to see the anticipated antics of fruit flies and cynipids, so these two meetings will take place two weeks later than in 2016.

Saturday 3rd June .   Burroughs Wood, Leicestershire.

Meet at 10:30am in the car park on Burroughs Lane which runs from Ratby to Burroughs Wood. Map reference SK 498062, OS Landranger Map 140 (Leicester, Coventry and Rugby). No facilities. If wet, suggest good wellies or good walking boots. Mostly even walking but, for the more adventurous, expect some slippery slopes! Burroughs Woods’ claim to fame is the amazing display of bluebells (though may be past their best at time of visit). Leader Chris Leach (also see 4th June).

Sunday 4th June.  Millennium Wood, Brocks Hill, Oadby. Leicestershire.

Meet in the car park in front of Brocks Hill Environment Centre. This is approached by entering Washbrook Lane on the south side of the B582 Wigston to Oadby Road at traffic lights (signposted to Parklands Leisure Centre). Pass the Leisure Centre (on your right) and park in front of the Environment Centre. We will meet in front of this building. Good facilities available. Leader  Chris Leach. For both 3rd and 4th June meetings pre-booking (contact Chris Leach on 0116 2711991, 07818 828454 or via email: is recommended giving contact details.  There are no facilities at Burroughs Woods (there is a pub about a mile away) but there are toilets and a cafe at Brocks Hill.

Saturday 10th June. Bookham Common, Surrey.

Joint meeting with the London Natural History Society. Meet at 10.30 a.m. at Bookham Station 10.30 a.m., Church Rd, Great Bookham, Leatherhead KT23 3JG). Grid reference: TQ 12785 55639. Meet at the gate entrance on the Northbound platform, next to the pedestrian bridge. Free weekend parking at Bookham Station. Bookham Station is on a line that runs from Waterloo to Guildford via Epsom. Bring packed lunch. Bookham is a LNHS study site. LNHS have a hut with tea making facilities, fold out chairs & WC. Leader : Tommy Root

Sunday 18th June.  Stoke Bruerne

A walk at Stoke Bruerne. Meet in the car-park in the middle of Stoke Bruerne. Post Code NN12 7SQ. Grid Reference:- SP(42)47.5;50.0 We will walk South by the Grand Union Canal (West side) to the Brick Pits Nature Reserve. After visiting this we will continue South and cross the canal near the A508 then return North by the tow path. Pubs etc. in the village.

Leaders Seán Karley. 01933-225397 & Roger Warren.

Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th July Cercles des Naturalists de Belgique.

Three Field Days. For information see here.

Saturday 5th August.  Cambridge Botanic Garden

Leader; Tommy Root.

11am to 4pm. Meet at Station Road Gate entrance. The Station Road Gate entrance is located behind the War Memorial at the junction of Hills Road and Station Road.

This entrance is a very short walk from Cambridge Train Station. Meeting point grid reference: TL 45745 57355. Toilets and café (reasonable prices) available.

Saturday 19th August.  Dunwich Heath, Suffolk.

Entrance off the Westleton-Dunwich road. TM 477677. Meet by the visitor information hut at the main car park at 10.00 a.m. This classic heathland site is managed by the National Trust and offers plenty of scope for finding some unusual galls. It was the location of the first British example of Andricus cryptobius in 2015. Ample parking, café, shop, toilets on site. We will also have use of a small meeting room. PLEASE NOTE : in order to avoid the usual parking fee for non-NT members, it is essential to notify the leader that you are attending at least a week before the meeting so that a parking pass can be arranged.

Leader : Jerry Bowdrey  Tel : 01728 603526. Mobile : 07840 739243.

Sunday 20th August.  NE England meeting : Wynard, Tilery Wood, Durham

Meeting Time and Place : Meet at 11.00 am at NZ 405285 alongside the A689 Sedgefield to Hartlepool road, by the cycle-way bridge that links the Castle Eden Walkway Cycle route. There are car parks on either side of the road but meet in the larger car park on the west side of the road. Please bring a packed lunch. There are no toilet facilities. Useful maps: 1:25 000 Explorer  306   1:50 000 Landranger 93

After the Second World War a large part of the woodland was planted with conifers.  In recent years much coniferous woodland has been removed from the Tilery and Brierly Woods. 2017 will be the second year after this clearance and already there has been regeneration of alder, ash, birch, oak and rowan. The woodland is designated as Ancient Semi Natural Woodland, which offers an interesting habitat for a BPGS survey and an opportunity to compare the changes with records from the previous visit in 2012, when a large number of galls was recorded. Leader Steve Robbins Burn Valley Lodge, Elwick Road, Hartlepool, TS26 9NP.

Sunday 27th August  Clipsham Park Wood, Rutland.

This joint meeting with the Rutland Natural History Society starts at 10.30 am and is to Clipsham Park Wood near the village of Clipsham, Rutland. It is a Forestry Commission wood and the car park is at Yewtree Avenue Grid Ref. SK 978168. Leader : Roy Lemmon 01780 762051.

Sunday 27th August  Ufton Fields Nature Reserve (SSSI & LNR)

Aim: Plant gall recording - to add to the records from the previous BPGS visit in August 2012.

Leaders: Jerry Clough (& Peter Cooke - provisionally).  If further information required please phone Peter -  tel: 024 7667 6756 or email: or Jerry on 07791 034742 email

Location: Ufton Fields is 0.5 km south of Ufton  with access to car park on Ufton Fields Lane (off  the A425 at Ufton roundabout) at SP378613.  See OS Landranger Sheet 151 or Explorer Sheet 221 (note that the name is misspelt Upton Fields on the Explorer map).  The site is managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

The site (approx. 32 ha in extent) was created by strip quarrying a band of White Lias limestone for the local cement works.  Quarrying ended in the late 1950s at the west side of the site where the overburden became too deep to extract the stone economically.  At that time the site was an uninspiring landscape of ridges of grey clay overburden in long arcs between which were a great number of pools of various sizes and depths.  The 50 odd years since the quarry was abandoned has allowed nature to dramatically change the site and much of it is now woodland.  Some of the original pools survive - other, shallower pools have silted up and are now expanses of sedges and sallows.  The site has a good range of plants and trees (some of them exotics planted by the quarry owners in the 1960s/70s) and is well known for its small colony of Man Orchid.  Bee Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid, Twayblade, Yellow-wort and Woolly Thistle also occur.  There is a good path around the site but in wet weather tracks off the main path can be muddy.

Assembly: Meet in the morning at Ufton Fields car park in Ufton Fields Lane  (grid ref.: SP378615) early enough to make a start at 11:00 am.  - if anyone arrives after the party has moved off, will they please call call Jerry on 07791034742, or Peter on 07757852584 for directions.

Interested members of the Coventry Natural History Society have been invited to attend.

Facilities: There are no facilities at the site. Please bring a packed lunch. The nearest public houses are in Ufton (White Hart), Deppers Bridge (Great Western) and there are four pubs in Harbury - all are reasonably close to the site.

Sunday 3rd September    Lucas Marsh and Millenium Wood,Leicestershire

Galls in an Urban Environment

(Double Header with Leicester Lit. and Phil.)

This meeting is being held, at least in part, as a joint meeting between BPGS and the Natural History Section of the Leicester Lit. and Phil.

Venue(s) and Meeting Times. We have elected to survey Lucas Marsh (a Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Reserve) and Millennium Park at Brocks Hill Country Park for two main reasons. Although BPGS has surveyed these sites in the fairly recent past, there have been several changes made to the management of the site (e.g. the introduction of an uncut flower meadow, removal of the original tree nursery) and it would be good to examine the impact of these changes on the gall fauna. The second reason is based on the anticipation that the two sites will yield up to about a 100 different gall species, giving BPGS members a great opportunity to show off their expertise and, for LLPS members, to see a great variety of gall causers all in one small area. Both sites are accessible from the car park at Brocks Hill Country Park.

We will begin by surveying Lucas Marsh and the approaches to the Country Park at 10:45am. The survey of Millennium Park will commence at 2pm. This second part of the day is, formally, a joint meeting between BPGS and the NHS of the LLPS although both BPGS members and members of the NHS of LLPS are welcome to attend either or both of the two field meetings.

Directions and Meeting Arrangements. Address: Brocks Hill Country Park, Washbrook Lane, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5JJ . The entrance to Washbrook Lane is on the south side of the B582 Wigston to Oadby Road, at traffic lights and opposite Brabazon Road. Proceed along the lane [passing Parklands Leisure Centre on the right]. Brocks Hill Environment Centre is straight ahead. Anticipate that the car park will be quite busy.

As the car park is quite large, we should meet up just outside the Visitor Centre (SP619997). For the morning session, meet at 10:30-10:45. For the afternoon session, meet for a prompt start at 2pm. For those attending both sessions, either bring a packed lunch or use the cafe in the Visitor Centre (mainly sandwiches, soups, cakes etc, tea, coffees, juices etc). Easy walking mainly on made up paths but, if wet, suggest boots or similar.

Further details of the venues. Google Brocks Hill Country Park and click onto the For Lucas Marsh, Google Lucas Marsh and click onto the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust site

Organiser Contact Details Chris Leach on 0116 2711991, or 07818 828454 or via email: If the weather is very unsettled, it is advisable to contact Chris before setting off. LLPS members may wish to contact Jan Dawson on 0116 2552558

Sunday 3rd September Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve, Peterborough

11.00 a.m. start. No facilities on site. Please contact Sean Karley for further information. 01933 225397

This site is owned and managed by the Langdyke Countryside Trust. It is in the Parish of Helpstone, in the Soke of Peterborough. Made famous by John Clare in his poetry it has had a chequered history since then. The site includes old quarry workings, restored grassland. The habitats are varied, and include some interesting plants. The best of these is perhaps a recent arrival; the Autumn Ladies’ Tresses orchid (Spiranthes spiralis) was found there last year, and should be in flower for us.

Wednesday 6th September Watergrove Reservoir, Wardle, Rochdale.

Meet at 11.00 a.m. in car park below dam at SD 912176. From the Littleborough Road (A58 east of Rochdale), take the road to Wardle and follow through the village on to some very rough setts. Car park is at the end of the road. General gall recording in fairly recent varied woodland. Leader : Norman Bamforth.

Saturday 9th September Brandon Country Park

Meet at 11.00 a.m. Grid Ref.  TL 787855. Post Code: IP27 0SU.

The park lies just to the south of Brandon in Suffolk, on the B1106 to Bury St Edmunds, and is part of Thetford Forest.  It has a good mix of woodland and heathland habitats and will yield a good range of galls on woody and herbaceous hosts. Well-maintained paths are largely on the flat. The park has a visitor centre with a tea shop (open all day) and toilets and a good deal of information about the area. There is also a walled garden and an attractive lake. There is a charge for the car park - £3 per day. More details can be found on the park website:

Leader : Michael Chinery. NOTE : Michael will be in France for much of July and early August, so please could interested members contact him by e-mail or telephone  01440 786253 AFTER August 9th.

Sunday 10th September    Yorkshire Meeting at Potteric Carr YWT Reserve

Meeting Time and Place : Meet at 10:30 am in the car park SE 589007. There is a sign for the reserve car park from the A6182 which leads to a new Visitors’ Centre with cafe and toilet facilities. Please bring a packed lunch. There is a small fee for entering the reserve which is free to YWT members or members of other Wildlife Trusts. Useful maps: 1:25 000 Explorer  279   1:50 000 Landranger 111.

Potteric Carr is one of the largest and finest reserves of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust famed for its marsh and water birds, including Bittern and Marsh Harrier. There is a large variety of habitats and plant hosts. Many different galls have been recorded there with the latest exciting record being the weevil gall Gymnetron villosulum discovered by Ranger Ashley Watson on pink water-speedwell. Further information is available on the Potteric Carr website. In 2005 the BPGS AGM based in Doncaster visited the reserve and recorded over ninety different galls. Leader Tom Higginbottom 5 Spennithorne Road, Skellow, Doncaster, DN6 8PF. 01302 725978

The AGM Weekend

Friday 15th – Saturday 17th September   AGM Weekend in Derbyshire

The Annual General Meeting weekend will be from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th September, 2017 based at the Buxton Place Hotel, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire. SK17 6AG. This will be an excellent centre for exploring the Peak District in our field excursions in search of galls.

All the rooms are double but they will serve as single occupancy for those who wish to have single rooms. Twenty rooms in total have been reserved. The cost of the weekend which includes bed, breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal will be £190 per person. The car park has room for 100 cars. If you are intending to come you can now book through Alan Rix,

Details of the full itinerary for the weekend will be available to those who have booked up about one month before the meeting.

Saturday 23rd September Welsh Harp Reservoir (Brent Reservoir SSSI)

London NW9 at 11am. Joint meeting with London Natural History Society. Nearest train station: Hendon (network rail overground. Bedford to St Pancras Thameslink). 20 min walk from station. Or 83 bus from Hendon Central Underground station (Northern Line) - alight West Hendon Broadway. 15min walk. Meet at the bridge of Cool Oak Lane, London, NW9 7NB. Grid Reference: TQ 21862 87696.

Parking available in Woolmead Avenue, NW9 7BH (next to Cool Oak Lane). No toilets within the Welsh Harp. Bring packed lunch. Leader : Tommy Root

Saturday 30th September  West Norwood Cemetery

The third of the Magnificent Seven Victorian Cemeteries in London to be covered by the BPGS in the years 2015 to 2021. This cemetery is far more manicured than the two so far visited north of the river. However there are still promising-looking trees to examine. Meet at 11.00 a.m. at the cemetery entrance at TQ 320722. Post code : SE27 9JU. This is situated on the A215 just north of West Norwood Railway Station. Leave plenty of time to find parking if coming by car, not that we will have got very far ! Useful map : Explorer 161 (London South). Leader : Keith Palmer.

Sunday 22nd October  Ring Haw and Old Sulehay Nature Reserve

Fungus Foray and Gall Gallop : Wildlife Trust for Beds., Cambs. and Northants

The Reserve contains ancient woodland, grassland, old quarry areas etc. The area is in the Soke of Peterborough, in Cambridgeshire, but for recording purposes it is in Northamptonshire Vice County 32

Meeting place : TL (52) 054980

Directions:- From Wansford take the road to Yarwell. On reaching the cross roads at the village of Yarwell turn onto the Sulehay Road. Drive west for about 1.2 Km/ ¾ mile. Where the road takes a right-angle turn to the North there is a gate on the left. We have permission to drive through this and park in the Ring Haw part of the reserve. We must keep this locked at other times, so please arrive early!

Parking outside the reserve is limited. No facilities; bring lunch, wellies etc.

Leaders Roger Warren and Seán Karley  01933-225397