May 2011

Well, we know all about pond and river life following our absorbing talk from Barry Kauffman-Wright. Every pond, river or reservoir was mentioned – OK, that must be an exaggeration but if you attended the last meeting of the Gardening Club you will know that Barry’s enthusiasm is infectious!

Our speaker’s account of his life was as interesting as his descriptions of pond and river life. Barry was born on a small mixed farm in the Chilterns, where he developed an early interest in wildlife and nature. On leaving school he was fortunate enough to work for six years with the late TV naturalist and author Gerald Durrell at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (Jersey Zoo). It was here that he gained valuable knowledge and experience in International Conservation and the breeding of endangered species. It was also here that Barry developed his interest in photography. For 32 years he served as a Police Officer with Essex Police, including 22 years as a Wildlife Crime Officer with the force. In his role he dealt with many wildlife issues, from wild bird trapping to badger baiting, illegal shooting of wildlife to the multi-million pound international trade in endangered species and products from them. Now Barry is a Fellow of the British Naturalists Association (BNA), which is the premier association of professional and amateur naturalists in the UK.

Barry illustrated his talk with excellent slides of not only water scenes but also plants, animals and birds – some taken after waiting hours for that ‘special’ moment’.

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