Bristol University Conservation Group

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Annual General Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the AGM. The newly elected committee is as follows:

  • President: Ollie Harrison
  • Vice-President/Treasurer: Bea Cornu Hewitt
  • Secretary: Jessica Bampton
  • Social Secretaries: Emily Stevens & Jessica Bampton
  • Tools & Safety Officers: Alex Rought & Owen Iredale
  • Webmaster: Christopher Lock
  • Providence Plantation Officer: Anni Mann

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 3rd May from 7pm at the King’s Arms on Whiteladies Road. The AGM is your chance to have a say in what goes on in the society and perhaps even help to run it.  It is also a a good opportunity to find out more about what has been happening this year and to look ahead to next year. Of course it is also a fun social event.

Being part of the BUCG committee is an excellent way to get more involved with the group and also makes a good addition to your CV. Have a read of the committee position descriptions below – if you would like to run for one please email our president, Emily. Though if you decide you want to at the last moment you can stand for election on the day. At the AGM you will be asked to give a short speech to let members know why they should vote for you.

Even if you do not want to stand for a committee position please come along anyway to vote, chat and have a few drinks.

Lastly take a look at our constitution and if you would like to suggest a change or addition please email Emily to submit a motion.

Thanks to everyone for making this a lovely year of conservation!


President: organise trips and transport (including sign ups, and emailing people in charge of reserves), chair meetings, send emails to keep members informed.

“Being the President of a society sounds a bit daunting at first, but we don’t take things too seriously in BUCG and it’s mostly just lots of fun. I have learnt a lot about group management and leadership in my time as president. It has also been a lovely way to meet new people, as well as get outside and explore the countryside every couple of weeks. Sometimes trying to book a minibus can make you question your life choices, but it makes it worth it once you’re at the beach with a lovely bunch of people!” – Emily Ramsden

Vice president: assist and support the president, organise society merchandise.

“As Vice-President you are a jack-of-all-trades and most certainly master-of-none. Alongside being the sounding board for the President regarding any and all trip decisions, you’ll end up doing a bit of everything in the society. At various stages you’ll lend a hand to social secretaries with planning socials, tools officers with…well with tools, and just generally will be available to sort out the half dozen things that go wrong prior to a trip. On trips people will assume you know what’s going on, get good at pretending that you do, it inspires confidence! Your only real responsibility for the year is to sort out hoodies and t-shirts for members. You also have to make fun of the President, and encourage people to eat biscuits. I’m fairly that’s in the constitution.” – Alex Rought

Treasurer: in charge of book-keeping, claiming back money from the union, collecting trip money (cannot be in their final year).

“As Treasurer the job is pretty easy. I collect money on minibus trips and pay it in at the Union. As well as filling out, signing and taking to the Union any claims form that members have for things that they have bought for the society. Then at the end of the year I sort out the accounts and make sure everything balances!” – Katherine Pugsley

Tools and Safety officer (two positions): maintain/replace tools, account for tools on trips, give tools and safety talk on trips.

“Being tools and safety officer mostly just involves occasional tool maintenance and trying to make the tools talk entertaining. It’s great to put on your CV because it shows you’re responsible enough to be in charge of lots of people with sharp objects and make sure they don’t hurt themselves/each other”

Secretary (two positions): take minutes during meetings, keep tea and snacks topped up.

“As the secretary you are responsible for taking minutes during committee meetings, writing them up and sending them to other committee members. There are usually only a couple of committee meetings each term so this does not require much time. Undoubtedly, the most important role of the secretary is to go on foraging missions to Sainsbury’s in order to acquire precious foodstuffs such as tea, biscuits and toffees. This task is vital as it ensures that hardworking conservationist do not starve to death whilst perilously fighting against our arch nemesis: the brambles. All money spent during quests to obtain the essential snackage items is reimbursed by the Conservation Society” – Jess Bampton

Social Secretary (two positions): organise regular socials and the AGM.

“Being social secretary is a super fun role, through which you can express your true organisational and social creativity! The Great Conservation Bake-Off? A David Attenborough movie night? A wild bar crawl on the Triangle? The choice is yours! (As an extra plus, looks great on the CV!). Having had this role for 2 years I can highly recommend it :)” – Emma Eastcott

Webmaster: keep the website updated with info and photos, maintain the current mailing list.

“The webmaster updates the group’s website and mailing list. The mailing list just requires the addition and removal of email addresses, which mostly happens in the wake of Fresher’s Fair. Managing the website involves adding information about upcoming events and other news as well as putting up photos afterwards. Don’t worry about having done lots of coding – when I took over as webmaster I did an overhaul of the website design having never done any before! Plus the latest incarnation is intuitive to edit.” – Christopher Lock

Providence Plantation officer: in charge of the university woodland in Long Ashton, planning work for the site and liaising with the university to sort out a plan of action.

“Managing Providence is a really good way to learn more about woodland management by working with people who actually do it as a job! It’s also nice to have somewhere that we can plan our own trips and activities, and it is perfect for bonfires…”

Providence Plantation

On Sunday 24th April, for our last trip before the AGM, we are going back to Providence Plantation in Long Ashton. We we will be doing some maintenance work before the summer, like cutting back brambles. This a great excuse to go to the woods before the exam season.
We’ll be getting the 10:35am X9 from Bristol Bus Station, and will aim to be back in Bristol around 5pm (although of course you can get the bus back at any time during the day).
If you’d like to come along please email Emily by 5pm on Thursday 21st.

Open committee meeting

In the run up to the AGM we are holding and open committee meeting on Tuesday 12th April at 4pm at the Hawthorns. This meeting is open to everyone and will last for about an hour. It’ll be a good opportunity to see how they work (or don’t…) and ask any questions you might have, especially if you are thinking of running for a committee position at the AGM.

Please email Emily if you’ll be joining us. If you can not make it (sorry for the short notice) but are interested in joining the committee, feel free to ask Emily any questions or let her know if you would like to meet for a chat.

Berrow Dunes

Finally, conservation is going to the beach! On Sunday 13th March we are going to be be clearing sea buckthorn for Sedgemoor District Council in Berrow Dunes, a SSSI next to the Bristol Channel.
We will be leaving at about 9-9:30am and we will be back in Bristol around 5-6pm.
Please email Emily by Wednesday 9th at 5pm if you would like to come on the trip.

Laser tag

We will be heading to Laser Fusion in Broadmead for some fun games of laser tag at 8pm on Monday 7th March.

Avon Gorge

On Sunday 28th February we will be working with Bristol City Council and a group of climbers with some clearance work in the Avon Gorge. The aim is to preserve an area of grassland along the base of the Gorge.

If you would like to come along please email Emily by 5pm on Wednesday 24th February.

Pancake Day

We will be celebrating the deliciousness of pancakes with a Pancake Day social on Tuesday 9th February at 7:30pm at the house of our social secretary’s house (23 Highbury Villas, Bristol, BS2 8BY). The evening will inevitably be filled with fun and games – likely of a traditional lycanthropic theme. Feel free to bring your favourite toppings.

Leigh Woods

On Sunday 7th February we will be returning to Leigh Woods to continue the tree felling in the Nightingale Valley with the National Trust. We will be out from about 10am to 4pm and likely head to the pub or Union afterwards.

If you would like a place on this trip please email Emily by 5pm on Thursday 4th. Last term’s trip to Leigh Woods was oversubscribed so if you missed out on that one and would like to this Sunday you will be guaranteed a place.

Alfrick Weekend

We hope you have had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! BUCG will be starting off 2016 with it annual residential trip to Alfrick in Worcestershire on the weekend of the 30th and 31st January. We will be working on the Ravenshill Woodland Reserve, which is run by the lovely Trevor and Annette, and staying at the Village Hall (always a hilarious evening, likely filled with fun and games such as dodgeball, sardines and Werewolf). We’ve been visiting Alfrick for many years and it’s definitely one of the highlights of the conservation calendar.

The cost of the trip is £15, which is subsidised by the society and includes travel, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and snacks. We will be going out to the pub for dinner on Saturday night so remember to bring additional money for that.

If you would like to go please email Emily by 5pm on Friday 15th January. We will be hiring a minibus for this trip but the more the merrier so if you could drive to provide us with additional transport please contact Emily (BUCG will of course cover the cost of fuel).

Gilling Down

The Somerset Wildlife Trust have invited us to come and help with some conservation work in Gilling Down, near Glastonbury, on Sunday 13th December. We will help expand the habitat of the rare Large Blue Butterfly. It’s about an hour away so it will be a minibus trip! Trips like this are a great way to get out of Bristol and see some more of the West Country.
We’ll be setting off at 9am and aim to be back in Bristol around 4pm. To contribute to the cost of the minibus, you will need to bring £3 with you.
If you’d like a place on this trip please email Emily by this Wednesday 9th December at 5pm. Spaces are quite limited, so if we’re oversubscribed names will be picked out of a hat.