Council Meeting & AGM 2017 - Minutes

CCF Council Minutes

Cambridge Conservation Forum

Council Meeting & AGM 2017


                              17.00- 18.30, Tuesday 25 April 2017


                    Venue: Common Room, David Attenborough Building


Chair: Humphrey Crick





Humphrey Crick                           Chair (Natural England)                                        HC

Judith Schleicher                         Deputy Chair (UoC Geography; WCMC)          

Roger Mitchell                             Treasurer (ARCT; ARC-ESL; RSB; GO-AONB)               RM

Angelika von Heimendahl             Secretary (Cam Cattle)                                   

Josie Chambers                          Membership Manager (UoC Geography)

Sarah Ivory                                 CCF Communications Manager     (WCMC)

Paola Bruseghini                         Social Media Manager (CUP)                          

Keri Russell                                 CCF Twitter Manager (ARU)                           

Hazel Thornton                          Marine Group (consultant)          

Pamela Abbott                           Women in Conservation Leadership Convener (WCMC)

Marcelo de Lima                         Connectivity Conservation Convener (WCMC)

Thomas Starnes                         GIS Convener (RSPB)

Olivia Norfolk                             Anglia Ruskin University

Julia Mackenzie                          Anglia Ruskin University

Charles Turner                           CVF

Ali Johnston                               BTO

Pete Carey                                 Plant Sciences CU

Barbara de Waard                      Biodiversity Business

Helen Temple                             The Biodiversity Consultancy

Kevin Hughes                             British Antarctic Survey

Louise Bacon                             Cambridge Bird Group

Sharon Erzinclioglu                     Cambridge Mammal Group

Andrew Catherall                        Cambridge University Nature Society

Charles Turner                           Cam Valley Forum 

Lucas Ruzowitzky                       Citizen Zoo

Vince Lea                                  Countryside Restoration Trust

Monica Frisch                             CNHS

Steve Allain                                CPARC

Richard Barnes                          Knysna Basin Project

Martin Lester                              National Trust

Edward Darling                           Redlist Revival

Jen Simonson                            Shepreth Wildlife Park

Will Simonson                            UoC Geography




Juniper Kiss                       CCF Events Manager (ARU)

Andrea Santangelo  CCF Communications

Sue Wells                          CCF Marine Group Convener (consultant)         

Francine Hughes                Anglia Ruskin University

Peter Pilbeam                    Cambridge Mammal Group

Mark Nokkert                    Cambs ACRE

Kirsten Bennett                  Cambs ACRE

Nigel Cooper                    Diocese of Ely/Anglia Ruskin University

Lizzie Duthie            Fauna and Flora International

Lydia Murphy                    Fauna and Flora International

Kathy Wormold                 Froglife

Helen Doran            Natural England

John Torlesse          Natural England

David Gowing                   Open University

Teresa Mulliken                 TRAFFIC

Erasmus zu Ermgassen       UoC Zoology






1.Introduction (HC)

Introduction from every member as well establishing voting eligibility (i.e. Representation of CCF Organisational Member)


2. Minutes of the Council Meeting from the 6th July 2016 (HC)

- Vote to approve the Minutes: Approved nem. con.

-  Matters arising – there were two action points relating to defining the geographical area for CCF membership, membership criteria and CCF goals.  These have been deferred until the committee has completed its programme of meeting the membership and will be chnaged and presented at the next meeting


3. Treasurer’s Report (RM)

Current balance is £3100 (20.04.2017), which is a slight increase since July 2016 at £2838. Small surpluses from its main events has allowed the balance to rise (£76 from the Christmas Party; £851 from the January Symposium). Approximately balanced by equivalent  costs for internet (£651), refreshments and social events (£375). Dr Peter Brotherton (Natural England) very kindly donated his payment (£315) from teaching on the MPhil in Conservation Leadership to CCF and the CCI kindly subsidized the out of office cost of the reception for the Christmas Party.

Vote to approve the Accounts: Approved nem. con.


4. Organisational Membership

4.1 The following new members were approved by vote (nem. con.):

•    Biodiversity Business

•    Citizen Zoo

•    Cambridge University Nature Society

•    Redlist Revival

•    Wildlife Conservation Society

The applications by Cambridge Hub and Cambridge Centre for the Environment were deferred, pending request for further information.


4.2 The following members have resigned:

•    Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

•    Natura International

•    Pjelements (consultancy)


5.  Committee Membership


5.1.    Executive Committee  - Currently the executive committee comprises 3 members: the chair, vice-Chair and Treasurer.  It was proposed that this be expanded to include Hon Secretary, the Membership Secretary and the Events Manager to help.  This was agreed by the council, but it was recognised that the CCF constitution will need to be amended to reflect this change. Due to resignations, a request was made for volunteers who might be interested in becoming part of the Social Meetings Committee and to become newsletter moderators. The newsletter and website will also enable members to upload events directly to reduce workload for the newsletter moderators


5.2.    Working Groups

5.2.1.   Two groups have been disbanded: the Climate Change group; the Knowledge Management group

5.2.2.   Three groups have maintained an active participation:

-  Marine group: 176 people on mailing list, events, lunch time talks, IWC

-  Women in Conservation Leadership: Facebook page with 321 members, gender equality cake event on Women’s Day reflecting gender pay gap,  looking at TED Women in Conservation Event (grant application)

-  Management and Restoration Group: Wandlebury: public access versus conservation, Portland Meadows: Access and water levels.  GIS group is having monthly meetings again at the Eagle pub on Thursdays. Networking sessions and Skillsharing. 

5.2.3.   A new group has been formed – the Conservation Connectivity Group, under the leadership of Marcel de Lima and Andrew Plumptre, which had an initial planning meeting to gauge interest which was well attended and will go ahead with a programme of meetings and events. The group will share: success stories, tools, effectiveness, policies and hopes to establish a newsletter. The IUCN is willing to support the definition of areas of connective groups. The group will host the Annual Summer Symposium on the 18/19 July.


6.Relationship between CCF and CCI

HC described how over the over the past 9 months, CCF and CCI have been working very well together, maintaining good relations.  The CCF Chair is a member of the CCI Council and has been able to contribute to the working of the CCI to ensure that the role of CCF is properly incorporated as a valued member of the CCI.  CCI Board members have always shown strong support for the CCF and recognise the valued role that CCF plays in fostering knowledge exchange and networking opportunities with the much wider conservation community in the Cambridge area.  CCI has been keen to ensure that it doesn’t duplicate the role of CCF and, for example, recognises the excellent role that CCF’s website and newsletter does for facilitating information exchange with the wider conservation community.

Usage of the 4 CCF hotdesks in the David Attenborough Building (DAB) has been increasing gradually and there have been a number of days on which all four have been in use simultaneously; however, the level of usage remains relatively low, so we would encourage more CCF members to take advantage of these desks.  The CCI library is available for use by CCF members using the DAB.

Progress on finding funding to support the proposed part-time administrator for the CCF has been very slow. The CCI fund-raiser has had relatively little time to put into supporting CCF officers, and then has recently left the post, which has yet to be re-filled.  However, there is a new possibility that CCI might be able to obtain funding for a joint post that would work part-time for the CCI and part-time for CCF. 


7. CCF Communications and meetings

Annual Symposium

The Annual Symposium was a great success. Around 80 delegates attended and discussed a wide variety of topics.  We received good feedback from the delegates and the results from the breakout groups need to be discussed further.

Other events

A CVF/CCF Invasive Pennywort Workshop was held in January, which was well attended and provided a good forum for exchange of information and the development of planning to deal with this issue locally.

A number of social events were held, some of which have been better attended than others: the summer social in the Botanic gardens, a Hayley Wood Working Party in November and the Oliver Rackham Memorial Guided Walk in April, and the Christmas Party in December that included performances by the Cambridge Corncrakes.



Our weekly newsletter goes out to 1337 people, and our monthly newsletter goes out to 1965 people, which is fast approaching the 2000 maximum after which Mailchimp starts charging very high fees. We are growing at around 100 new subscribers a year. 

The Twitter account is going well.  As of 23. April 2017, we now have 622 followers, several of whom followed on the 21st whilst Earth Optimism was happening, or shortly after.  We follow 676 so we are drawing level to followers/following.

Facebook page is very active.


8.Date of next CCF Council Meeting

TBA but in September 2017.


9. Any Other Business

Monica Frisch described the new initiative by the CNHS called NatHistCam – aiming to record all the biodiversity in Cambridge through citizen science approaches – and encouraging CCF members to contribute.

Planting of the wide entrance steps at the front of the building will go ahead soon


Many thanks to all the volunteers who help to ensure that the CCF continues to thrive in its various activities.


Many thanks to Cambridge on a Plate for providing high quality, locally sourced and ethically produced refreshments for this meeting and others by the CCF.