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News - 2015 AGM

Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve AGM

Over 120 people crowded into Little Paxton Village Hall for the Annual Meeting of The Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve. The officers led by the Chairman, Mike Thomas, were able to report another successful year for The Friends. A large number of events had been organised many linked to the 25th Anniversary of the Reserve. Financially The Friends had a record year with income at over £80,000.

Membership currently stands at an all time high of 2,582 members. During 2014, over £39,000 was spent on the Reserve on both conservation projects and in improving visitor facilities.

The Chairman, Mike Thomas, reported a number of key personnel were stepping down including John Knight as a member of the Committee, where he had served for over 9 years, including a number of years as Treasurer. Although John and Marilyn McDonough were continuing on the Committee they had recently stood down as the membership admin team, a job they had been doing for 7 years, during which time the membership of The Friends had doubled.

After the AGM the members present heard an interesting and challenging talk by Dr Mark Avery, a well known conservation specialist who had formerly been the Director of Conservation at the RSPB. Mark used as the twin themes for his talk the Passenger Pigeon in the USA and the Hen Harrrier in England. The Passenger Pigeon went from a population of millions to extinction in 50 years, by the actions of man hunting and destroying their habitat. He showed that the Hen Harrier should be quite prolific in England judging by the habitat available, but due to the actions of grouse shooters was very near to extinction.

The audience at the AGM.