Birthday cards from the Bournemouth Natural Science Society for BNSS Patron Dr Jane for her 90th!

Members of the Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS) created Birthday cards for Dr Jane’s 90th Birthday. And a beautiful Jane Goodall Rose bush will be planted in the BNSS gardens to honour Jane Goodall’s 90th Birthday. Happy 90th Birthday Dr Jane from everyone at BNSS!

Read Birthday cards from the Bournemouth Natural Science Society for Dr Jane for her 90th! in full

(Posted in Mission Updates by Chief Agent Georgovska on Mar 28, 2024 12:41 pm)

Glynn’s pictures

Many members watched Glynn Gorick’s BNSS Zoom presentation on the 21st November in which he discussed his wonderful artworks. These were produced for scientists and many environmental organisations. Those wishing to see more of his images can find them HERE.

Bournemouth in Bloom – Winners

Members will be pleased to know that BNSS did well again this year in the Bournemouth in Bloom Competition. 

The Ginkgo Biloba came top of the Champion Tree category, winning a Silver Gilt certificate and a shield.  The Sweet Chestnut also won a Silver Gilt certificate, came top of the Trees Contributing to BioDiversity category and won a cup.  Our Witch Hazel tree gained a Silver as a Small Ornamental Tree, our back garden a Silver for being Environmentally Friendly, while in the Places of Learning category a Bronze was awarded.  The trophies are now on display in the entrance at No 39.

We attach a panoramic photo of the back garden showing the Witch Hazel and the Sweet Chestnut trees; and another of the Ginkgo tree. 

Photos courtesy of Tony and Sally Grant

Great Big Dorset Hedge

Many of you will have attended the talk about the Great Big Dorset Hadge Project given by Julie Leah on Tuesday 3rd October.

More information about the project and how to volunteer for it was given in Julie’ last slides which you can view here

Research Study on Memory

BNSS Members may wish to become involved in a research project at Bournemouth University. Two PhD students are looking for volunteers for an ethically approved study supervised by Professor Hana Burianova and Dr Ala Yankouskaya. This healthy ageing research involves younger and older adults undergoing tests and MRI scans. More information and contact information is available here.

BrainFit: Further Information and Links

Holding human brain model with variety of healthy fresh food on the table. Concept of balanced nutrition for brain health

Following the Dr Sophia D. AMENYAH’s talk on 11th March she provides us with some information about events:

Healthy Life Healthy Brain Project

• Date: Wednesday 26th April 2023
• Time: 5-7pm
• Venue: Bournemouth Gateway Building, St Pauls Lane, Bournemouth, BH8 8GP
• Refreshments will be provided
• We will share our experiences of the project and our key findings

Register for the event here


ADRC virtual coffee mornings

2nd Wednesday of the month

online via Zoom


A different presenter each month

Topics on healthier ageing and conditions that affect ageing

Q & A

Everyone welcome

Further Information or to book a place email or phone 01202 962526


Link to Sophia’s March 11th talk here

BNSS Garden Success

This summer Jill Abbot entered the BNSS Garden into Bournemouth in Bloom Competition. At the October presentations we were gratified to be awarded Tree of Excellence grading for our three tree submissions: our Loquat for Small Ornamental or Flowering Tree; our Tulip Tree for Champion Tree – notable for sheer size, age or heritage value, or an example of an uncommon species; our Sweet Chestnut for Tree Contributing to Bio-diversity – good for bees or provider of habitat or food source for bats, birds or mammals.

The latter actually won a trophy and plaque as the Overall Winner in the category.

We were also presented with a Gold Award for our back garden in the Environmentally Friendly Spaces category.

Holes Bay Nature Report

Members may be interested in the Holes Bay Nature Report (NB. This is large document with over 150 pages)

The annual Holes Bay Nature Report aims to promote Holes Bay and the surrounding area as a haven for nature; to record and share wildlife sightings and to encourage more records.

The recording area covers Holes Bay itself, the Creekmoor, and PC World Drains, Upton Country Park, and the surrounding farm fields. Records of birds overflying the recording area are also welcome. Sightings can be shared via our Holes Bay Nature Twitter account or by emailing Nick Woods (

Holes Bay Nature Team: Martin Adams, Sally & Tony Grant, Jackie & Nick Hull, Steve Smith and Nick Woods.

More Village Vernacular

Those of you who enjoyed John Hubbard’s Zoom talk on “Village Vernacular” on the 30th of November may wish to follow up this interesting architectural topic. We are grateful for John sharing the source of his illustrations and references below:


Images of villages from the early twentieth century can be found on the Facebook group ‘Dorset Past in Pictures’.

Other black and white images are taken from the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments Dorset volumes and have been used where tree growth has prevented good modern views.

Otherwise, all photographs are by the speaker, with the exception of those of Melbury Sampford and the New Inn, Cerne Abbas.



Dovecot Press series on Dorset

Farmhouses and Cottages by Michael Billett, 2002

Stone Quarrying by Jo Thomas, 1998



Illustrated handbook of Vernacular Architecture by R W Brunskill, Faber 1987

The Pattern of Engish Bulding by Alec Clifton-Taylor, Faber 1987

The Stone Mason, a history of building in Britain by Andrew Ziminski, John Murray 2020

Autistic Spectrum Condition Talk

Many members will have heard Dr. Rachel Moseley’s illuminating Zoom talk to BNSS “Life through a different lens, the brain science of autism” on Tuesday 26th October. She has kindly provided us with her slides from the talk which members who attended, and those who didn’t, may wish to see. The final slides have many links to resources which may be useful. The file (pdf) can be seen here (it is 4.8 Mbytes in size).

Artist exhibits

One of our members Marisa Mann has been selected to show some of her wildlife and ecology paintings at the Affordable Art exhibition in London on behalf of Arts 4 Dementia. Further details here

Mosquitoes, covid-19 & dogs

In a ‘Zoom’ talk in January entitled “From mosquito bites to sniffer dogs” new BNSS member and volunteer, entomologist Dr. Sophie Wulff, gave us insight into the work going on at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She started by describing what is known about how female mosquitoes detect humans in order to obtain their blood meal. She then went on to tell us about experimental work in Africa showing how the malaria parasite which is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito can change human odour to make mosquitoes more attracted to malaria-infected children and potentially increase transmission. Since dogs have a sense of smell up many times better than us they have begun to be used by scientists to try and detect human diseases by odour. So far, there has been work on certain types of cancer, Type 1 diabetes and recently, and topically, on those infected with Covid-19. She described some ongoing trials involving LSHTM and Durham University (more detail here) and work published from France & Germany. Finland is currently using sniffer dogs at Helsinki airport in a test using swabs from passenger’s skin which takes only one minute (more here).

Solent Oyster Restoration Project

Dr. Luke Helmer gave an interesting talk via Zoom on trying to re-establish oysters in certain sites in the Solent on Tuesday 22nd September. Those of you who wish to follow up this research and make a contribution to his Virtual London to Monaco bike ride in support of the charity fighting to protect our oceans can use this link Blue Marine Foundation.

Lockdown Microscopy & Micrographic Art

As the BNSS is an associate member of the Quekett Microscopy Club, BNSS members are invited to enter either of two competitions as part of Quekex 2020 closing date 10th September 2020. The first competition is “Lockdown Microscopy“. The scope of this exhibition is deliberately wide to encourage as many people as possible to take part. There is no minimum requirement and entries can be as detailed as you choose to include an article, presentation or slideshow. In the second competition, Micrographic Art, the art can take any format. Drawing from microscope image for the purpose of recording as an alternative to photography, a photo, painting, textiles, model etc and should be accompanied by a title and description of the subject. Further details of both competitions here.


BNSS ‘goes green’ via Zoom

The last few weeks has seen two talks with an ‘ecological bent’. First Patrick Abbot described a Green Economic Growth programme in Papua.  Part funded through the UK Government’s Climate Change initiative, it aims to develop sustainable low carbon developments in two Indonesian provinces.  In an area still with 93% forest cover, the Programme is assisting local villagers and small businesses to set up systems for growing and marketing high value produce in a way that is compatible with maintaining the natural forest. In a partnership agreed between the UKCCU and the Indonesian Government, Patrick’s company provides expertise in research, technical assistance and skills development – more information here. Second, Bob Crooks talked about the staggering volumes of e-waste we are all producing and the metals used in electronic devices which we might need to mine rubbish dumps for. It made us all feel guilty about our own e-waste lurking in drawers in our homes – lecture details here

Student Art inspired by the BNSS

Second year BA (Hons) Fine Art students from the Arts University Bournemouth developed artworks in response to three partner organisations of which BNSS was one. Unfortunately, these did not result in public exhibitions due to the covid-19 pandemic. However, you can see some of student artists’ work here especially in the section on “Contemporary Artefacts” (from Steve Limburn, BNSS Education Officer)

Ocean Plastic, Plankton and Lizards

BNSS members have attended two Zoom lectures in the last two weeks on marine subjects and one of our members has submitted a film on lizards.

On 19th May, Mary Thornton gave us a lecture on “Microplastics in Oceans” about the all girl crews researching ocean plastic pollution. This elicited a lively discussion after the lecture which was sadly cut short by deteriorating sound quality. Further information from Mary via However, you can also follow up more about the topic here:

Emily Penn’s TED talk “The body burden of our plastic problem”

On 12th May, Grenham Ireland gave a lecture on “Plankton Stories” describing the many forms of zooplankton and the ways they try to stop being someone else’s lunch. You can follow up with a short video of a ciliated worm larva swimming

Worm larva

and also the super pictures at the Micropolitan Museum

Lizard – Paul Gobier’s video of a wall lizard at Portman ravine

Lizard movie


‘Zoom’ BNSS lectures

On Tuesday 14th April BNSS launched its first ‘Zoom’ lecture by

James Fradgley on “How the eye works – an astronomer’s perspective”

followed on 21st April by:

Ashley Leftwich on “Ancient Woodland – What is it, where is it and how do I know I am in it !!”

and then on 28th April by:

Hattie Miles on “Romance and Scandal in Bournemouth and beyond”

The above shows Hattie’s screen during Hattie’s lecture which included this image of Robert Louis Stevenson. We are working on developing a full programme of talks using the Zoom platform and members are receiving emails each week on how to join them. If non-members are interested in joining a lecture, they should email:

For those interested in following up some of these topics the following links might be useful:


Ancient Woodland

Also read about Ashley’s Madagascan find of shell and bone

Website Changes – members please contribute your news

We have been making a few changes to the website to make it more responsive to the current situation due to the covid-19 pandemic. This has been made possible with the help of our volunteer Richard Griffin who has run the website on a Raspberry Pi in order to troubleshoot the changes made.

The major difference is shifting the ‘News’ items to the Homepage. Making the News timely does depend on members contributing so please share any BNSS member news with us via

A past events page has also been added so our important activities don’t get lost in old posts.


Museum Closed