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Environment Day - another very successful study day with three very different speakers.
The morning began with Paul Poulton from the Rothamsted Agricultural Research facility in Harpenden. Paul gave an enthusiastic history of the experiments that have been ongoing at the centre for up to 150 years, which showed the effects of the long-term use of different combinations of fertilisers on soil fertility and crop yield.
Jozsef Vuts, also from Rothamsted, presented a more scientific analysis of the interactions between crops and insects, and the importance of biodiversity for the long term viability of soil fertility. Such studies are now influencing farmers to move away from high chemical usage which has proved to be damaging to natural ecosystems.
After a well-earned lunch Carina Cohen focussed on the toxic effect that plastic is having on the environment, especially micro-plastics. There was a reminder that the current acceptance of plastic usage by manufacturers, in particular of single-use packaging, is a major part of the problem, and offered some practical actions each of us can take to reduce our personal usage.
Shared Learning Project (SLP)
An idea has been raised that Herts Network could set up a SLP. All interested member U3As would collaborate on a focused project, with the results possibly presented and/or a travelling exhibition set up. More details relating to the idea can be found in the Network meeting minutes on the Network News page.
As part of the June Network meeting we were treated to an excellent introduction to Walking Netball. What an idea ! The presentation was by Sally Whittle, Hertfordshire Netball Development Officer, about their “Walking Netball” programme and what they can offer U3As.
We were shown a short promotional video which provided a taster of this fun sport. And, taken straight from the England Netball mini handout
Walking Netball is a slightly tweaked version of netball -
- The key is to... walk, no sneaky jogging
- Walking Netball is fun for everyone and simple to pick up so why not bring a friend along too
- the most important rule is to have fun
For more information checkout the Walking Netball website.
Other ideas put forward at the Network meeting for stretching those muscles were for table tennis and walking football.
Aspect of Art 2019
The Study Day consisted of 3 varied talks on different aspects of art.
The morning started with a presentation by Rupert Dickens on 'The Rise and Fall of Rembrandt' from his beginnings through his heyday and onto his sadder downfall.
This led onto a rundown of the Wallace collection in London, where Rupert is an official guide. This is an extensive and varied collection, probably much less known than other major art galleries but with some excellent paintings.
After an excellent lunch, when full advantage was taken of the beautiful weather, the day was rounded off by Mark Lewis with an historical romp through images of London through the eyes of a range of artists across three centuries.
Many thanks to all the 'behind the scenes' team work that came together to provide an excellent day.