© Steve Marshall / Wild Future

After 13 years Ian Watson has retired as FoSL chairman with effect from the end of 2016. Ian has done a huge amount for FoSL over those years and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He will continue to serve as FoSL Vice Chairman and as Work Parties convener and he intends to continue to spend time working on the reserve.

A 2016 Stocker's Lake Butterfly survey reveals a 28% drop in butterflies counted around the lake compared with the previous year. Although bad, this result is still better than the disastrously low level reported in 2012, and is also a better picture than for the country as a whole, as reported by Butterfly Conservation.

This week we received an email from Jessica Lowe, a middle school science and health teacher at a private school in Colorado, USA. Her class is working on a project that aims to get them outdoors identifying wildlife and learning about what's in their gardens and surrounding areas. As part of this some of her students came across the FoSL website and Jessica emailed to let us know!

The FoSL committee recently reviewed FoSL's main operational risks and insurance arrangements. This has led to £5,000,000 of public liability insurance cover being put in place.