Leading environmental scientists will pay a virtual visit to the Isle of Wight to join the centenary conference of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society. 

The conference explores environmental change on the Isle of Wight and has talks on red squirrels, invasive species, climatic change and more, all with special reference to the unique and valuable wildlife of the Island.

The event, postponed from last year, is to be delivered as a series of free online talks, featuring some of the Island’s best-known environmental speakers joined by national experts.

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The conference is free for all to join in and organisers are expecting a good turn-out. There will be a series of 4 live evening webinars, taking place over 2 weeks via Zoom. Each webinar will be free and start at 19:00, last about 1-and-a-half hours and feature 3 or 4 speakers followed by a discussion.

  • Climatic Change: Past, Present and Future – 19:00 – Monday 29th March 2021
  • Species Invasions: History & Horizon Scanning – 19:00 – Wednesday 31st March 2021
  • Habitats & Species 1 – 19:00 – Monday 5th April 2021
  • Habitats & Species 2 – 19:00 – Wednesday 7th April 2021

Society president Matthew Chatfield said:

“For just over 100 years, members of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society have recorded local wildlife and investigated the geology and archaeology that makes this Island so special.

“It’s important to reflect on the past, but the current climate emergency has focused our attention on the present and the future, so I am proud to welcome some of the country’s foremost experts to join us online.

“Although we couldn’t celebrate the centenary of the society as planned in 2020 with a special conference, I’m delighted that we’re now able to offer these free live webinars.

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“We will get together online to learn, understand and discuss how to conserve and enhance the Island’s wildlife and landscape in an era of unprecedented environmental change.”

President of the Royal Entomological Society and ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Professor Helen Roy MBE will address the conference about invasive species on Wednesday 31st March.

Helen said:

“From my childhood on the Isle of Wight to the amazing experiences I have had throughout my career – I have had the privilege of meeting many inspiring people who contribute so much to our understanding of the natural world.

“The pace and scale of environmental change and consequent effects on biodiversity and ecosystems is extremely worrying.

“However, by working together we can achieve so much for people and nature.”

For more details and to sign up visit https://iwnhas.org/the-society/centenary-1919-2019/celebrations-events/ or https://bit.ly/3qWQBKX.

Island Echo