Monday, 6 December 2010

LNHS to get new recording area?

The London Natural History Society, that was formed in 1545 to enable King Henry VIII to keep tabs on his moth and beetle list, has always maintained the same recording area, that of all places within a twenty mile radius of St. Paul's Cathedral. This was pretty clever of those 16th century naturalists as construction of the cathedral was not started until 1675...

Recently there have been a number of high profile birds that have had the bloody nerve of appearing in places that may be, or may not be, within the LNHS recording area. The most famous is the singing Savi's Warbler at Amwell Gravel Pits, which decided to confuse all comers by taking up position in a bush that stradled the invisible recording area boundary. Confusion reigned.

I can exclusively reveal, via a source close to the LNHS hierarchy, that to stop such confusion in the future the society are going to ammend the recording area into one that is perfectly easy to see. As from January 1st 2012, and in celebration of the capital being the Olympic host, the M25 will become the limit of what can be counted as 'London'.

No longer will natural history recorders wonder whether they are 'in or out'. There will be some opposition to this highly controversial and highly secretive move. Those who have made this decision fear that the birding fraternity will be up in arms at the loss of certain sites and certain birds which will effect their precious London lists.

However, these birders should be thankful. Early indications suggested that such sites as Rainham Marshes were to be removed from the recording area as, to quote, 'it isn't proper London'. The use of the M25 as a clear border will be welcomed by many, including birders at Holmethorpe Sand Pits. The removal of 'rough elements' from the city, using their countryside-placed sandpits as a convenient place to London year tick, will go down well with the genteel Surrey birders.


  1. Whilst I do agree that using the M25 to border the London recording area makes sense, I hope that the last sentence in your post was tongue-in-cheek Steve!
    Holmethorpe and the surrounding area has plenty of rough elements of its own!

  2. Will W London birders still be able to count Wraysbury Res and GP and Queen Mother Res as the north-bound hard shoulder?

    Excellent post Steve. Can you imagine?!! ;o)

  3. Graham: you are a gentleman more genteel than rough!

    Gavin: If I had my way the London recording area would be 'all that can be seen within the sound of Bow Bells'!!!

  4. I think that we should lobby the government to reinstate the old county of Middlesex and extend the boundaries of existing counties to their old pre-boundary reform era. Of course Blackheath is in Knet, we used to play cricket their for goodness sake!

  5. Tony, a man after my own heart. We have this ridiculous situation of Surrey having consumed Spelthorne, which contains such delights as Staines Reservoir. Not only is it Middlesex, it is also north of the Thames!! I fear that wherever Surrey play Kent in 2011, the result will be the same...