Any talk by John Walters is eagerly anticipated by many who are interested in wildlife. This presentation took us on a whistle-stop tour of our region with aerial shots of some of our key wildlife locations. We learnt how our geography and weather systems governed our wildlife and how events presented opportunities for wildlife but also challenges like ‘The Beast from the East’.
The short and eventful lives of bees, wasps and hornets as well as butterflies, moths and other insects were covered and their importance emphasised in the ecology of our region. John supported his presentation with some great photographs and evocative illustrations.
Many of us were familiar with John’s work with BBC wildlife programmes and we were treated to the film of ‘his’ family of Long Tailed Tits that he had recorded roosting in a Holly bush in a wood near to his Devonshire home. This footage was the result of many hours of patient and painstaking work and had captured the imagination of a nationwide audience, when it featured on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Wild West’ series.
John is a busy ecologist and has carried out many scientific studies and projects. One example is the re-wilding of Devon roadside verges. These have been stripped back to soil so that they can be seeded with naturally occurring herbaceous plants that will benefit insect life and ultimately support the wider foodchain.
John’s interest goes back to his very early life in Hampshire, where his exposure to the natural world led him toward a career in nature conservation with great passion, energy and enthusiasm.
He communicates this in a relaxed but well informed style that captivates his audiences. For more in depth information about John Walter’s work visit: http://johnwalters.co.uk/
John Lloyd Devon Birds Plymouth Branch