OOS Excursions and Expeditions

The first record of an expedition by members of the Society is of five visiting Holy Island off the Northumbrian coast, for the last fortnight of September 1931. One assumes that they were University members rather than town members. The object was to ring migrating birds and a total of 132 was reached. The expedition was repeated in 1932 when only 85 birds were ringed, but the total did include a Barred Warbler and a Barnacle Goose.

There then followed a sequence of two excursions a year, one local and the other further afield. In 1934 the expeditions were to Lilford Hall in Hampshire and the Norfolk Broads. 1935 saw a visit to Stanway and the home of Society member Hon. Guy Charteris. The long distance expedition was to Holland. In 1938 expeditions were to Leckford Abbess in Hampshire and the Camargue in France.

In the early 1940s trips were restricted to the Downs and Chilterns, but with the easing of travel a trip was made to Northampton Sewage Farm in 1946. 1947 included a visit to Stanway and a return to Northampton Sewage Farm. In 1948 a visit was made to the then Severn Wildfowl Trust at New Grounds, Slimbridge.

During the 1950s coach trips for the day became possible to more distant location. Two or three trips were made each year, with Tring Reservoirs, Northampton S.F. and the Forest of Dean in 1950.

The Eyebrook Reservoir featured annually from 1953 to 1956, with local trips in the summer. Later in the decade Poole Harbour, the Black Mountains and the New Forest feature. However coach trips became uneconomic, and with wider car ownership members travelled independently to various sites. Venues such as Cley, Portland and Pagham Harbour were added to the list of old faithfuls. Some of these were long weekends, staying overnight in the locale. In the 1980s seven longer distance and six local trips occurred. Undergraduates at this time were able to use minibuses and camping for further trips. The programme of field trips has continued to the present day. In recent years Steve Alley has organised monthly trips alternating local venues with more far-flung destinations.