September round-up: The secret life of flies!!

September was packed full of varied events, but we never expected to attract 30 people to hear about flies. That speaks a lot to the pulling power of Dr Erica McAlister, Head of diptera at the Natural History Museum. It really was a fascinating introduction to flies and why they, like every other living creature, are vital to biodiversity and the survival of the species. For one, we learned that flies are essential to the pollination of cocoa!! And without them, what would happen to all that organic waste that’s lying around?? The crowd were buzzing with questions and Erica’s book flew of the shelf. We’ll get her back next year for sure.

Charles Walton repeated his ever-popular history walk earlier in the month, with well-researched stories and anecdotes about the Common’s heritage. We’re hoping to do a lot more of this kind of thing going forward as people are fascinated by how the Common used to look and to share their memories.

We had another bat walk (where would they be without flies to eat??) thanks again to Iain Boulton of the London Bat Group, and a bumper swan and duck food bagging session where we filled over 1,000 bags – a record. Thanks to all our volunteers.

Our stall at the Bellevue Road Fair was a great success – helped by glorious weather and highly efficient organisation by Rachel. Thanks to all our volunteers who fielded questions, signed up 14 new members and sold our maps, leaflets and duck food to huge numbers of passers by.

The MAC held its regular meeting on Sep 16 – minutes are here.