Falklands Conservation has appointed thirty trustees at its first annual general meeting in London under its new structure requiring that trustees be elected by the membership instead of being chosen by existing trustees as previously. Because there were exactly thirty nominations for the maximum of thirty places, all the trustees were elected. Fourteen are from the Falkland Islands and sixteen from the United Kingdom.
Major Ronnie Spafford retains the chairmanship of Falklands Conservation, and Brian Summers remains chairman of the Falkland Islands Trustees. Major General Malcolm Hunt, who fought in the 1982 Conflict and was later Commander of British Forces in the Falkland Islands, continues as treasurer, having taken over from Julian Fitter last year , and in the Falklands, the treasurer is Dennis Humphreys, who replaced Fiona Didlock earlier this year.
Falklands Conservation secretary, Ann Brown, at present visiting the Islands, reports that the appeal for restoration of tussac grass areas on East Falkland is going very well with over £7,000 raised so far from members. This includes a recent grant of £2,000 from the Peter Scott Trust for Education and Research in Conservation, which is particularly appropriate as the late Peter Scott was the founder of Falklands Conservation.
Creation of a Falklands National Herbarium.Funds are also sought to support a National Herbarium in the Falkland Islands. Robin Woods, a trustee and founder member of Falklands Conservation, making his latest visit to the Islands with a grant from the Shackleton Scholarship Fund, has been cataloguing a large collection of plants which he is donating to this project. An extra eight -thousand pounds needs to be raised for materials and equipment such as specialised cabinets which will be fire, insect and damp proof.
Mr Woods has visited the Falkland Islands several times and collected many specimens. He says:"The national herbarium would provide an important educational resource, facilitating identification and developing awareness of the richness of Falklands flora"
Other projects include: an Island wide Penguin Census which has involved three teams counting all Gentoo, Rockhopper and King penguins in the Falklands, using a boat to access offshore islands; an initial feasibility visit from two New Zealand experts to push ahead with rat eradication early in the New Year; the long-running Seabird Monitoring Programme now in its 16th year; and the annual "Beach Clean-up" held in mid December.
In their report to the annual general meeting, the Trustees detail their help to visiting scientists, including a freshwater fish survey t