WVBS Communications Review July 2019

Following a review of our procedures we are launching the WVBS WhatsApp group (details of how to join is shown below).

For many years we have used the Yahoo E-group* to pass messages and information between members. The system can be quite unwieldly and frustrating, usage has fallen and members can struggle when their e-mail address changes. Since its introduction there has been many new innovations and we have looked at various options.

Our communication suggestions for WVBS members are as follows:-


This will continue to be the key to communicate with members and Alan Hughes is the editor. Alan’s thoughts are as follows:-

The success of our club newsletter is entirely dependent on you, the members, and the contributions that you send in: Without these, the newsletter will become stale and boring, or possibly descend into a rather dry list of future events. I, for one, would like it to be informative and practical, but also entertaining, educational, visually attractive and, sometimes, even funny! So, please consider sending in an article from time to time. If you are concerned about grammar, spelling, style etc, I am happy to help if I can. Here are some ideas for the types of contributions that I believe you all like to see:-

1. Field trip reports: These are important records of our outdoor events, and everyone likes to read them (whether or not you went on the trip) so please don’t leave it to someone else to volunteer to write one of these. None of us that lead trips enjoy the awkward silence and refusal to make eye contact that marks the beginning of many of our trips. Have a go! Even if it’s just a list of species seen. 2. Resources: This section was intended to provide information and opinions from members that would improve the enjoyment and effectiveness of our birding. So, this might include reviews of a book that you have read, what is your favourite birding journal, do you have a review of a new piece of kit (eg. Bins, scopes, tripods, cameras), do you have a favourite outdoor clothing range, what birding websites do you use? The list is a long one. 3. News: This is the catchall section that might inform members of projects that we might like to participate in (eg. The Farmland Bird Survey), issues that might affect the environment and the natural world in general or the valley in particular (eg. The link road to the NDR), notices about club matters such as subscriptions, the Annual Report. 4. If you have enjoyed a birding trip recently – whether it’s an adventure in some far-flung exotic corner of the World, or just a successful morning on your local patch, or even time spent looking at wildlife other than birds, please let us know. 5. Photographs: these are always very welcome, and I try to publish as many as possible. Please send these as JPEG attachments to emails if possible. I believe these make such a difference to our newsletter that I am also planning a photo competition (see the next newsletter for details). I am always grateful if someone sends in photographs from our club events – indoors or out. 6. Bird records: David does a brilliant job of collating our monthly records of birds seen within the club recording area – let’s make his job even harder (!) by sending him lots more records, as these constitute an important data set. These are just a few ideas, but please nothing of interest to a mixed bunch of keen birders is off limits – puzzles, competitions, interesting facts, art work, birding skills – all could have a place in a lively newsletter.


The society maintains a website on which information on a whole range of issues can be found. The site is currently maintained by Keith Walker. He would be pleased to receive ideas and suggestions for change. Our website address is www.wvbs.co.uk


This is used to pass information that is not time critical. This includes Sighting records (please submit them on the standard template), items for the Newsletter, and queries to the committee and records re Pensthorpe Monitoring and membership issues. Those on the Pensthorpe Monitoring Group rota will each receive a copy of the email showing sightings on the regular visits to Pensthorpe. If any Society member also wishes to receive the records then please advise Ray Gribble of your e-mail and he will add you to the circulation list.

Common e-mail addresses are:

Keith Walker (Chairman): wvbs.chair@gmail.com

David Gibbons (Recorder) wvbs.recorder@gmail.com

Ray Gribble (Pensthorpe) ray.gribble69@gmail.com

Alan Hughes (Newsletter) wvbs.editor@gmail.com

Richard Norris (Membership) wvbs.memberships@gmail.com

Mary Walker (Twitter) maryewalker24@gmail.com

Nick Edwards (WhatApp) nickedwards1902@gmail.com

Lin Pateman (Secretary) wvbs.secretary@gmail.com


A WhatsApp group has been created for WVBS which it is hoped that society members will sign up to. This gives immediacy to messages between all WVBS members, and we hope that everyone will freely and promptly report all worthwhile sightings including sensitive ones, principally in the valley. Members can also report other sightings of interest and news they wish to share with other WVBS users.

The Group is exclusive to members who will be expected to keep sensitive information within the Society and not communicate it to the General Public. There is the facility to suspend group members if there is any misuse.

The administrators are Nick Edwards and Steve Chapman. If you wish to join the WVBS WhatsApp group, please provide Nick or Steve with your mobile number, either by email as above or by text to Nick’s mobile which is 07565 602249 or Steve’s mobile which is 07595 332035.


The society has a Twitter page which is administered by Mary Walker. The principle aim is to raise our profile and should not be used for sensitive sightings. The address is @wvbs1. Members can post on this page from Twitter accounts if they wish to, by adding #wvbird to their posts

*E Group

Members are encouraged to use other means of communication, albeit that the system will still remain in place for detailed discussions between members on birding issues

Please let Keith Walker know if you have any thoughts or issues.

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