spring is officially here again, which means the various wildlife charities and organisations have been busy updating their websites and sending out this year's events programmes to their memberships. I'm sure many of us will have been busily ear-marking the various walks and courses that catch our eye.
Unfortunately, none of us are members of everything. There will be walks and talks, courses and bioblitzes that we have no idea are happening, maybe right on our own doorsteps. Currently we have to spend quite a lot of time more or less randomly searching the internet, hoping to stumble across an event close enough or interesting enough to be worth attending. The general idea is that we use the Calendar page as a means of publicising these events to other Pan-species Listers. How many times have you read about an event on somebody's blog and thought, "damnit, that sounded great. If only I'd known beforehand, I could probably have made that". I don't know about you, but I've done that many a time.
Obviously if we take the time to fill in ALL the public events from ALL of the organisations offering walks/talks/courses/bioblitzes this summer then the calendar will simply implode on itself! So I'd suggest ignoring the bigger, well-publicised organistaions (eg RSPB, LNHS, the Wildlife Trusts etc) and maybe throw in some details of the less well-known groups and those dealing with slightly more obscure orders. Particularly those events which are open to non-members. For example, how many of us are competent in earthworm identification, or even know how to become competent? Probably not many, yet the Earthworm Society of Great Britain have workshops and regular digs (the digs are free to attend and open to all), as well as their own Facebook group. See their events page at http://www.earthwormsoc.org.uk/event-information. Or how about the British Myriapod and Isopod Group? They have an absolutely fantastic 3-day field meeting once a year, this year it is in Scotland. Fancy that? Well, tough - it's too late. Payment had to be in by end of February at the latest. Maybe if it had have been on the Calendar page you could have made it...
Maybe you are already an expert in your chosen field, could you put yourself to use by attending a bioblitz event? Of course you could, you just need to know when and where and you could be there making a very useful contribution.
Potentially the Calendar page could be the most useful feature on this website! At the moment it is skeletal, almost bare. Have a think, leave a comment below, and let's finally start making that Calendar earn its place on this site.