Our August 2019 Lunch

Speaker Secretary Ian Rutter reports:

Our speaker for August was Professor Julian Evans, a forest scientist and Past President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

In 1985, partly for research and partly as a hobby, Julian and his brother-in-law bought a 30-acre neglected woodland from the Forestry Commission. It is situated just south-west of Basingstoke, next to a railway line, on what was once part of the Steventon Estate, owned by the family of Jane Austen.

Over the years since the purchase, Julian, assisted by his family and friends, have restored the site back to the working woodland, which it used to be. However, warned Julian, if you are tempted to buy a small wood of your own, you will not get rich on the income which it generates!

He recounted the story of the purchase, the replanting and the various encounters with the local people and fauna, including a guide to the  disposal of troublesome grey squirrels. The whole presentation was laced with anecdotes and featured much natural history, all delivered in Julian’s infectious, enthusiastic style.

Probus ’83 Club member, David Drake, gave the well-deserved vote of thanks.