The Buckland Foundation’s Trustees had another positive year promoting Frank Buckland’s objectives in support of fisheries and marine science, both in the British Isles and internationally. Professor Felicity Huntingford of the University of Glasgow delivered her 2016 Buckland Lecture to conferences in South Korea and Italy in addition to Stirling and London, and generated interest and involvement by the riverine fishing community. There was no appointment to a Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship this year following a decision to offer scholarships to Marine Scotland and CEFAS to further analyse previously collected data.
Dr Richard Shelton, after long and inspiring service as a Trustee, retired as Chairman at the Spring AGM but continuing as Patron, and Dr Colin Bannister took over the Chair with new Trustee Dr John Armstrong becoming Vice-Chair to maintain the balance between the two nations. The financial and asset position of the Foundation’s investment portfolio, managed by Brewin Dolphin’s charity team in Edinburgh, remained reasonably secure despite the continuing and new challenges from national and international economic markets. The Foundation’s generous support by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther continued, and the Foundation’s web presence on the Museum’s site was further developed.
At the start of the year, Richard Girling contacted the Foundation to say that he was writing a new book on Frank Buckland, and that he wished to visit the Museum to explore the casts and artefacts associated with Frank Buckland held in its archives. Dr Shelton and the Clerk met with Richard Girling and together looked at the casts which he photographed, and briefed him on the formation, role and activities of the Foundation. It was agreed that the Foundation would seek to help Richard Girling to launch and promote his new book which contained much new material and written to appeal to a wider audience. The research for the book had taken the author to a number of institutions and collections, and included conversations with surviving members of the Buckland family.
The Clerk contacted Chatto & Windus, Richard’s publishers which welcomed the support of the Foundation, and agreed to collaborate over the launch. The book, The Man Who Ate the Zoo, [details at the end of the report] was launched in November with a reception at Holt in Norfolk, attended by Dr Bannister who gave a short talk on the Foundation and its support for fisheries science. Chatto & Windus very kindly donated 10 copies of the book to the Foundation for its use, and it was decided that further copies would be purchased to present to recent and future Buckland Professors as an appreciation of their contributions. The Trustees also suggested copies would be donated to the libraries of the main fisheries science centres in the UK, and to the Buckland Archives in the Museum.
The 2016 Buckland Lecture was given by Professor Felicity Huntingford of the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow. Her topic was How smart are fish? Integrating what scientists and fishers know, and to support such integration invitations to the UK lectures went out to fishers who responded by attending in large numbers and making important observational contributions. Professor Huntingford gave early versions of her presentation to international marine science conferences in South Korea and Italy and thus helped further promote knowledge of Frank Buckland, his fisheries science contributions and his Foundation.
The UK lectures were given in October at the University of Stirling, where she was supported Andy Walker (a previous Buckland Professor) sharing his perceptions as a fisher; and in London where Charles Elliot gave the fisher community’s response to the Lecture’s conclusions. Both these events attracted over 70 attendees, with a majority being active fresh water fishers, and generated new observational insights on which Professor Huntingford and her research colleagues might focus future research. Further Buckland Lectures by Professor Huntingford are scheduled for Pitlochry (February 2017) and Trinity College Dublin (March 2017) where the fisher’s talk will be given by Ken Whelan. A web-based e-learning version of the 2017 Buckland Lecture is being prepared for the Foundation’s website, and through which Professor Huntingford will further extend the Foundation remit in terms of fisheries science issues, international visibility and its reporting technology.
The Trustees agreed to invite Professor Paul Hart, of the University of Leicester, to give the 2017 Buckland Lecture, and incorporating a presentation at the Oceans 17 Conference in Aberdeen. It was also agreed that there should be a third Buckland Colloquium in 2018 to be held in Edinburgh in partnership with the Royal Society of Edinburgh on a freshwater fisheries theme, and incorporating Dr Ronald Campbell’s 2018 Buckland Lecture. The Clerk and Trustees will investigate possible funding support for the Edinburgh event, and for further presentations in ZSL and Ireland. Dr Bannister continued finalise the texts of the 2013 and 2015 Colloquia to be held and made available from the Foundation’s website.
Lauren Millar, the 2016 Buckland-Smith Summer Student completed her design work in early 2016 after taking up employment with Moving Brands in London, a major global graphics design company. The suite of new corporate livery for the Buckland Foundation is now available to Trustees and the Clerk as online digital templates. Lauren may be asked to make some final changes following discussion by the Trustees at both of their 2016 meetings, principally a request to replace the skull with a more appropriate marine image. This will be completed by summer 2017. The portrait of Frank Buckland by Sylvia Millar (Lauren’s mother) has been framed and will now oversee Trustee and other meetings in the Museum and occasionally elsewhere.
At the AGM the Trustees considered possible research topics for future Students, and it was decided that the opportunity to host Studentships to undertake research on fisheries data already collected but not analysed should be offered to scientists at Marine Scotland and CEFAS, and that this new focus should continue for the next three years. The Trustees see this as important as both institutes have comparatively large holdings of research data that both remain unexplored and that also have the potential to produce important scientific and policy findings. Dr Righton undertook to promote this with his contacts in Aberdeen and Lowestoft, and the first of the Summer Students would be supervised by Dr Coby Needle in Marine Scotland from Spring 2017 and examining Automatic Monitoring of Fisheries Discards.
It is also planned that, once the Museum’s upgrade of its website is completed, a full list of the holders of Buckland-Smith Summer Studentships will be posted on the Foundation’s pages alongside the existing list of Buckland Professors and their Lectures.
The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation held two meetings during 2016. The AGM was held in the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, followed by the traditional Frank Buckland lunch created by Dr Shelton and attended by six guests. This year’s autumn Trustees meeting was held on November 2nd in the Regents Bar and Kitchen in Regent’s Park London, and was followed by their attendance at Professor Huntingford’s 2017 Buckland Lecture at the Zoological Society of London which was followed by a reception hosted by the Foundation.
The Clerk also represented the Foundation at the Stirling Lecture and reception, and had meetings early in the year in Anstruther and Laurencekirk with Dr Shelton, and continued to promote the Foundation’s interest in contributing to the Museum’s evolving interest in presenting fisheries and marine science to the public and especially to schools.
The Foundation still benefits from a continuing small royalty income from the sale of the books and monographs published by John Wiley & Co, although at £83.41 this was down from the previous year. It is probable that this royalty income will continue at a declining rate, especially as the stock of publications held by Wiley and by the Foundation in its archives is diminishing. The Trustees and Clerk will continue to give thought on whether there would be interest in digitising the most popular of the Buckland Lecture publications. There remains one Lecture publication that is planned to emerge in a standard book format, but it is now clear that recent and future publications of Buckland Lectures and associated colloquia will be in an online digital format principally through the Foundation’s website but also by other electronic journals. The Trustees recognise that generating revenue from digital papers and presentations is almost impossible. The Museum, as host of the Buckland Foundation’s online presence began in late 2016 an essential update of its website software that will enable it to host more complex and bigger documents for the Foundation, and Trustees will discuss a contribution towards the cost of this at the 2017 AGM.
At the March 2016 AGM, Dr Richard Shelton, who was first appointed a Trustee of the Foundation in March 1999 and who had been Chairman since 2009, resigned as a Trustee with thanks to all his fellow Trustees and Clerks who had supported him during his seventeen years with the Foundation. Dr Bannister, Chairman of the Trustees, thanked Richard for his leadership of and contributions to the Foundation and Frank Buckland’s mission in promoting fisheries science throughout the UK. The Trustees agreed with Capn Paul Du Vivier that Dr Shelton continue meeting with the Trustees as Patron (in the French style) with a remit to promote Frank Buckland’s epicurean research.
Dr John Armstrong, Director of the Marine Scotland Freshwater Laboratory, took up his appointment as Trustee at the March meeting, and as Vice Chairman of the Foundation for the period to March 2019. Captain Paul Du Vivier, RN and Dr David Righton continued as Trustees, and John Firn as Clerk to the Trustees.
The annual accounts of the Buckland Foundation covering the year to 31st December 2016 are attached as an annex to this report. They have been reviewed and approved by Ken Fraser, the Independent Examiner of Accounts appointed by the Foundation’s Trustees at the 2016 Annual General Meeting in Anstruther. The main items of the accounts, the Trustees and the Foundation’s charitable activities, are also reported to The Charity Commission and are available on its website.
The annual earnings from the Buckland Foundation investment portfolio managed by Brewin Dolphin from their Edinburgh office, remain sufficient to support the costs of the Buckland Lectures and the Summer Studentship, cover the essential expenses incurred by the Trustees and Clerk in delivering the Foundation’s charitable activities, and secure a modest growth in the asset value of the investment portfolio.
Over the past three financial years the value of the assets in the investment portfolio has risen from £153,400 at 31st December 2014 to £167,919 at 31st December 2016, generating an average cash income over the period of £6,038.70 for the Foundation, representing an average gross investment yield of 3.6%. Whilst this meet the annual income target to support the Foundation’s activities currently agreed with Brewin Dolphin as investment managers, it does not address the long-term inflation impact on the real value of the assets bequeathed to the Foundation by Frank Buckland in his 1880 endowment, or the additional assets bequeathed by Fred Smith in 1997 to establish the annual Summer Studentship.
In this, the Foundation is no different from most charitable trusts, and in the context of the recent difficult international economic and market conditions the Trustees find the investment management performance acceptable. The year marked a change in Brewin Dolphin’s investment management charges to a quarterly fee, and this resulted in the overall year’s management charges being £1,540.92, slightly higher level than under the previous agreement. The Trustees requested that the level of fees be kept under review, and be an agenda item at the annual meeting between the Trustees and Brewin Dolphin. The Trustees and Clerk will continue to give thought to generating additional income and assets for the Foundation.
Following the Spring AGM meeting, when there had been a request by the Trustees to review its investment policy and priorities, David Hourston, the Foundation’s Investment Manager in Brewin Dolphin, provided a draft investment policy statement for consideration and confirmation by the Trustees. This was discussed at the autumn Trustees meeting in London, and Capn Du Vivier expressed a willingness to redraft the statement to give it a stronger performance objective, for discussion with Brewin Dolphin at the 2017 AGM, where the Trustees consideration on ethical investments will also be agreed.
The Foundation’s expenditure during 2016 was £6,417, with the investment management fee and the Trustee travel and subsistence expenses up a little because of attendance at the autumn meeting and Buckland Lecture in London. Income was broadly comparable with earlier years at £5,810, with cash balances at the end of the year of £10,410 with £7,582 in the HKSB current account and £2,828 held by Brewin Dolphin. At the start of 2016 the Clerk had requested Brewin Dolphin to make payments into the Foundation’s HKSB account on a quarterly basis and to ensure that the annual flow remained below £10,000 to meet current Charity Commission reporting requirements.
At the Foundation’s AGM in March there is now a tradition of following the meeting with a Frank Buckland lunch in the Museum provided by Dr Shelton, and attended by the Trustees and guests from the Museum staff; and where the menu reflects Frank Buckland’s epicurean curiosity in all forms of marine and terrestrial life. There have been no known lunch or dining events celebrating Frank Buckland in either the UK or elsewhere, but it may be that Richard Girling’s new book will re-awaken interest by organisations and societies in hosting Frank Buckland lunches or dinners.
R C A Bannister. Chairman of The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation.
The Buckland Foundation Trustees as of 31st December 2016 were :
The Clerk to the Trustees is John R Firn. (079 1936 1689 firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Registered Office for the Buckland Foundation, through which the Trustees and Clerk can be contacted, is :
The Buckland Foundation, Scottish Fisheries Museum, St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB.
Further information about the Foundation and its activities can be found on-line on the Foundation’s website : http://www.scotfishmuseum.org/the-buckland-foundation.
The new book on Frank Buckland published in 2016 is :
Richard Girling, The Man Who Ate the Zoo : Frank Buckland - Forgotten Hero of Natural History, (London, Chatto & Windus, 2016). ISBN 9781784740405.