Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GETTING TOGETHER -

Guild chair­man, Pat Se­mon, opened the Fe­bru­ary meet­ing of Che­sham Townswom­ens Guild with a wel­come for ev­ery­one and an­nounced that the speaker, Mar­garet Deakin, would be giv­ing her talk on the An­des, the Ama­zon and the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands first.

Although she has spo­ken to the guild be­fore it was ap­par­ently 11 years since her last talk, so it was nice to see her again.

She be­gan by ex­plain­ing that the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands be­long to Ecuador, which, although a small coun­try in South Amer­ica, is im­por­tant for all that.

Orig­i­nally un­der the rule of the In­cas, Civil War be­tween Cuzco and Quito gave the Span­ish Con­quis­ta­dors a chance to take it in 1532, and it wasn’t un­til 1809 that in­de­pen­dence was fi­nally achieved by Simon Bo­li­var.

Peace has now pre­vailed since the 20th Cen­tury. The cap­i­tal, Quito, is in the Ama­zon Rain For­est and is the sec­ond high­est in the world. Tourists are of­fered coca tea to counter altitude sick­ness.

The coun­try is a large ex­porter of ba­nanas and shrimps, and is the most bio-di­verse in the world with 25,000 dif­fer­ent species of plants. The Equa­tor runs though the cap­i­tal, hence the name of the coun­try.

The Gala­pa­gos Is­lands are 600 miles off the coast, and with the aid of slides Mar­garet took us on a guided tour which showed that each is­land had its own cli­mate, hav­ing been formed at dif­fer­ent times. They also have dif­fer­ent an­i­mals and plants.

The scenery was some­times beau­ti­ful, and some­times awe inspiring, with vol­canos, which for­tu­nately were not in­clined to erupt. This is also where the gi­ant tor­toise was found - namely ‘Lone­some Ge­orge’, called so be­cuase he was the last of his kind. There is huge va­ri­ety of birds, an­i­mal and flow­ers, all dif­fer­ing with each is­land’

Pauline Bax­ter thanked Mar­garet for a talk which had been so very in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive.

Be­fore con­tin­u­ing with guild busi­ness, Pat Se­mon gave the sad news that for­mer guild mem­ber Yvonne Wil­mott had died re­cently. Yvonne was a much val­ued mem­ber fill­ing the role of drama chair­man for many years, and achiev­ing some very suc­cess­ful pro­duc­tions in her time.

Pat re­minded mem­bers of the forth­com­ing Fed­er­a­tion games af­ter­noon at Bourne End, and also the an­nual Fed­er­a­tion lunch in April and the Pres­i­dent’s cof­fee morn­ing in May.

She then went on to ask for some­one to vol­un­teer for the po­si­tion of pro­gramme plan­ner, which has now be­come va­cant. This is a most nec­es­sary job as it pro­vides the speak­ers.

The next meet­ing is on Wed­nes­day, March 4 at 2.30pm in the Lown­des Room of the town hall and will be the AGM. Vis­i­tors are al­ways wel­come to our meet­ings. BBOWT CHILTERNS

Deep within the heart of Berk­shire lurk two rare un­tame­able small preda­tors-a pair of Scot­tish wild­cats.

Luck­ily, they are not roam­ing wild in the hills, but are part of Berk­shire Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture’s Bri­tish and ex­otic wildlife col­lec­tion. With per­haps only 400 left in the wild, the aim is to study this elu­sive crea­ture with a view to sav­ing it from ex­tinc­tion.

Nick Shel­ley from BCA gave us not only some in­sights into their his­tory and be­hav­iour, but also en­ter­tained us with beau­ti­ful pho­tos of the cats as well as of other an­i­mals both in the col­lec­tion and free in the sur­round­ing es­tate.

If this talk has whet­ted your ap­petite for learn­ing more about wildlife, why not come to our next evening meet­ing ? This will be on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 17, start­ing at 7.45pm.

Barry Ox­ley will talk about Ot­moor, the RSPB’s flag­ship wet­land re­serve in Ox­ford­shire. Barry was closely in­volved with its cre­ation, and will guide us through the re­serve’s past, present and fu­ture.

Talks take place at Great Mis­senden’s com­fort­able Me­mo­rial Cen­tre, where all are wel­come whether mem­bers or not. Ad­mis­sion is £3, which in­cludes re­fresh­ments.

If fresh air and ex­er­cise are your thing, why not try out a spot of con­ser­va­tion work in one of BBOWT’s re­serves, or go on a


guided walk? There is a work party taster day at As­ton Clin­ton Rag­pits on 28th Fe­bru­ary start­ing at 10am, and a guided walk around We­ston Turville Reser­voir on 21st Fe­bru­ary start­ing at 10.30am.

For de­tails of th­ese and other events, in­clud­ing many imag­i­na­tive ideas for chil­dren and fam­i­lies to try out, go to www. LIT­TLE CHAL­FONT

Mem­bers were greeted with wine and sparkling el­der­flower cor­dial to brighten a dull Fe­bru­ary evening, and there was plenty of news of events to look for­ward to. Tick­ets for the Fe­bru­ary games night were sell­ing well, and lots of mem­bers will be join­ing our March walk fol­lowed by a pub lunch.

We are also hop­ing to or­gan­ise a guided tour of the Lit­tle Chal­font Na­ture Park in May, and a visit to Kelm­scott later in the year.

Our craft groups have been busy as usual, and the lat­est Sto­ry­Sack, just com­pleted, was on dis­play and will shortly be go­ing to St Ge­orge’s School to help the young pupils there with their read­ing.

We will start an­other Sto­ry­Sack in April. There are lots of Cen­te­nary events be­ing or­gan­ised through the year by our county and na­tional head­quar­ters to it looks like be­ing a busy and ex­cit­ing year.

Our speak­ers for the evening can­celled at the last minute, so we delved into the dark­est re­cesses of the Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nary and had a ri­otous game of Call My Bluff –words from boblet to quodlib­er­tar­ian came to light.

Who would have thought a boblet was a two man bob­sleigh and not a baby bobcat?



Lit­tle Chal­font Evening WI mem­bers have just com­pleted cre­at­ing a sto­ry­sack which will be do­nated to a school

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