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Buckland Foundation Annual Report for 2018

OVERVIEW OF BUCKLAND FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES IN 2018.

The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation had a productive year, both in promoting Frank Buckland’s educational and research objectives through the Professorship and the Lectures, and through the Summer Studentships. A number of changes and improvements have been made to the Mandates and Conditions of the Professorship and the Studentship to ensure that they can continue to be appointed and delivered on a long-term sustainable basis in what may well be a continuing period of national and international economic turbulence. These changes are explained below.

Dr Ronald Campbell of the Tweed Foundation accepted the Trustees invitation to deliver the 2018 Buckland Lectures on A History of Salmon Management in the British Isles; and the 2018 Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship was a follow-up second award to Anastasia Moutaftsi for a research attachment with Marine Scotland to continue assessing the accuracy of fish recording cameras in measuring caught fish.

Dr Bannister continued to chair the Board of Trustees on which there were no changes during the year; and the Board met twice during the Spring and Autumn of the year at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. The Trustees are grateful to the Museum Trustees, staff and volunteers for their continued support and hosting both the Foundation’s archives and meetings.

The financial and asset position of the Foundation investment portfolio, managed by the Brewin Dolphin charity team in Edinburgh, remains secure despite difficult economic conditions. David Hourston of Brewin Dolphin met with the Trustees to review the investments and confirm the Foundation’s Investment Policy. The Foundation is confident that the long-term ability of the Trustees to pursue Frank Buckland’s objectives can continue.

BUCKLAND FOUNDATION LECTURES.

The 2018 Buckland Professor, Dr Ronald Campbell of the River Tweed Foundation, began his tenure with a very successful Buckland Lecture at the National Aquarium in Plymouth which he later delivered in St Andrews, Dublin and which is planned to be completed with a final presentation at Faskally in June 2019. His Lecture traced the long history of salmon management in the British isles beginning in the early medieval period and the evolution of policy and practice as new scientific knowledge has both informed (and sometimes mis-informed) management at local and national levels. It is planned that a summary version of Dr Campbell’s presentation will (as is now standard practice) be available from the Foundation’s website, but the Trustees are also pleased that their 2018 Professor will transform his Lectures into a book. The accessibility of Buckland lectures is further addressed below in the section on Buckland Books and Publications.

The Buckland Professor for 2019.

At the 2018 mid-term meeting in Anstruther, the Trustees agreed to a proposal from Dr Righton that Dr Lucy Hawkes, Senior Lecturer in Physiological Ecology at the University of Exeter be appointed the 2019 Buckland Professor. Dr Hawkes has accepted the invitation and will be working with Dr Righton to prepare the three Buckland Lectures for 2019. Dr Hawkes research focus is on the costs and drivers of migration in vertebrate and invertebrate animals using emergent technologies such as satellite telemetry, heart-rate logging, accelerometry and metabolic rate measurements. Her work also addresses external forcing factors including climate change and disease ecology on migration and breeding ecology, issues of importance to fisheries science.

At the Autumn 2018 meeting of the Trustees a number of candidates for the 2020 and 2021 Professorships were identified and these will need to be narrowed down. If possible, a Lecture on Pelagic Fisheries would be welcomed as a return to Frank Buckland’s primary interests, especially in the context of commercial fisheries policy and its environmental implications.

Whilst addressing such currently sensitive issues, the Foundation will always preface the Lectures and any subsequent digital or other publications with a clear statement that the Buckland Foundation is not an NGO or policy-making body but simply providing an independent forum and platform to present and debate issues in pursuit of the original objectives of Frank Buckland.

The Trustees are aware that the 100th Anniversary of the first Buckland Lecture is on the horizon in 2024, and that consideration should be given to how best to celebrate and promote this important milestone. The possibility of a Buckland Colloquium presenting and reviewing the achievements and impact of the Foundation since its establishment in 1926 will be addressed by the Trustees during 2020, and thought will be given to the feasibility of using archived documents and new descriptive materials to create an appropriate research exhibition promotional event at our customary regional venues.

BUCKLAND-SMITH STUDENT BURSARY.

The 2018 Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship.

Anastasia Moutaftsi, a undergraduate student at the University of Aberdeen, who was the recipient of the Buckland Foundation’s 2017 Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship hosted by Dr Coby Needle at the Marine Scotland Laboratory in Aberdeen, was awarded a second Summer Studentship for 2018 at the request of the Aberdeen Laboratory. This would enable continued research on The assessment of data accuracy extracted from CCTV compliance footage of a Haddock population where the results of her 2017 research had identified a number of important technical constraints to the use of such monitoring in policy compliance, especially in relation to emerging EU and UK policy on fish discards. The second studentship further assessed the accuracy of video length measurements along the conveyor belt in the context of its use not being regarded positively by fishermen, and thus of not having their support for its use despite its potential for stock assessment data collection. Anastasia showed a poster on her research at the Laboratory’s Open Day that was well received.

It is evident that there are a number of issues in the use of CCTV to measure fish on the onboard conveyor belt system, and the research identified reasons for the present inaccuracies in the measurements and suggested possible solutions. The Studentship Report to the Trustees concluded that at present video systems should be combined with the presence of onboard observers until the system shows more consistent and reliable accuracy.

Future Buckland-Smith Studentships.

The Buckland Trustees recognise that the £1,000 value of the original Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship is no longer sufficient to cover the costs of a research placement for undergraduate students. It was agreed to change the Mandate and Conditions for the Summer Studentship to a biennial award of £2,000 from 2020 onwards. This is the only way that the Foundation can maintain the Studentship at a worthwhile financial level without threatening to exceed the Trust’s resources. There may also be a potential to investigate whether the Trustees and Clerk could seek additional funds for the Summer Studentship from appropriate fishing industry sponsors.

TRUSTEE MEETINGS AND COMMUNICATIONS.

The Trustees held two meetings in the Scottish Fisheries Museum during 2018 : the Annual General Meeting on April 12th and the Autumn development meeting on 1st November with the latter being followed by Dr Campbell’s Lecture in the Management Centre at the University of St Andrews. Dr Righton represented the Foundation at the Buckland Lecture in Plymouth, and three of the Trustees and the Clerk were at the St Andrews Lecture. In addition, Capt Du Vivier and the Clerk met with David Houston, the Brewin Dolphin manager of the Foundation’s investment portfolio, in the company’s Edinburgh office to review fund performance; and the Clerk later attended Brewin Dolphin’s annual conference for charities in the National Museum of Scotland. The Trustees confirmed that they require two meetings a year: the AGM including a review the performance of the previous year, and the Autumn meeting to confirm current and future financial flows, Professor and Studentship awards, and to explore longer-term operational improvements and initiatives.

Both the meetings in Anstruther were followed by the now traditional Buckland Lunch provided by the Foundation’s Patron, Dr Richard Shelton. Thought will be given to planning a celebratory programme and Lectures in 2024, possibly including a Buckland Dinner.

Adoption of New Professorial and Studentship Mandates.

During the year the Trustees reviewed the existing Mandates and the Terms and Conditions for the Buckland Professorship and for Buckland Smith Bursary as it had become clear over the preceding years that the existing conditions allowed for some confusion on a number of aspects of the awards and their administration. Following the AGM Dr Bannister drafted and circulated draft papers setting out revised Mandate and Administration, and Terms and Conditions governing future awards of the Buckland Professorship and the Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship. These explain the origin, objectives and structure of each award; guidance for the Clerk and Trustees on how they should be administered; and the terms and conditions to which the appointed Professor and Student must adhere.

The Trustees reviewed these over the summer and the four documents were adopted at the Autumn meeting as setting out the future policy and administration of the awards. It was also agreed that the new conditions can be amended in future should experience require it. The new mandates and conditions will be made available on the Foundation’s website, and copies sent to those appointed as Professors and Students.

New Data Protection.

The English and Welsh and the Scottish Charity regulators are introducing and requiring enhanced requirements of the data protection, procedures and registration for charities, and the Foundation reviewed the recent General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements that also apply to charities, and the requirement to have a GDPR policy. The Trustees believe that their obligations under GDPR relate primarily to the personal contact details of the Patron, Trustees, Clerk, Professor and Student, as there are few qualifying interactions with individual and group members of the public, but the Trustees are nevertheless committed to meeting its obligations under the new legislation during the coming year. As a safeguard it will explore with the Scottish Fisheries Museum the possibility of nesting the foundation’s relevant personal details and electronic and other files within the secure systems of the Museum which has already fully adopted the relevant GDPR requirements.

The Buckland Foundation Archives.

In July the Chairman, Dr Shelton and the Clerk spent two days in the Museum going through the Foundation’s artefacts and papers which are held by the Scottish Fisheries Museum, and identified a number of important letters, papers and books which need to be both better known to and accessible by scholars and others interested in Frank Buckland. It is hoped to prepare initial articles on specific aspects of the archive to go on the Foundation’s website, including the transfer of the Buckland papers from the Science Museum to the Museum in the 1990s.

One important long-term priority will be to acquire those published Buckland Lectures that are neither in the archive nor the Museum Library; and the Clerk will discuss with the Museum’s Curator the possibility of finding sponsorship for St Andrew’s University students cataloguing the archive contents.

The current leather-bound Minute Book of the Foundation, which covers the meetings, discussions and activities of the Trustees from October 1964 onwards, is almost full, and a search will be made for a similar volume to accommodate the next 50 years of Foundation business. The relevant papers, accounts and reports collected by the present Clerk since his appointment in 2011 will be progressively transferred to the Buckland Archives in St Ayles during 2019.

BUCKLAND BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS.

The continued transformation of the Buckland Lectures from printed books to digital presentations and papers continues, and 2018 was notable in that for the first time the Foundation received no royalty payments from John Wiley for the Lectures that it had previously published. There were in the past a number of promised by previous Buckland Professors, but given the editorial and financial costs of book production, the demise of the Fishing News books series, and the uncertain popular appeal of our specialist subject matter, it is clear that, with the welcome exception of Dr Campbell’s 2018 Lecture, the dissemination of Buckland Lectures will for the most part be via PowerPoint presentations on the Foundation’s section of the Scottish Fisheries Museum website currently looked after by Alaistair Ramsay of the Museum, whose contribution is much appreciated by the Foundation Trustees.

Investigation of the ease of digitising the earlier printed Lectures and of finding a means of charging for access to the Foundation’s archives, continue. A number of the recent Lectures given individually or at the 2013 and 2105 Colloquia have the potential for publication as bound booklets, but this needs further exploration.

The Clerk has purchased a stock of Richard Girling’s book on Frank Buckland (The Man Who Ate the Zoo) as gifts for Professors and Summer Students. The Trustees have also raised the possibility of developing a presence on Wikipedia with links into the Lectures and other information held on the Buckland web pages and this will be progressed in 2019-20.

THE BUCKLAND FOUNDATION TRUSTEES.

There were no changes in the Foundation’s Trustees during the year but at the Autumn meeting Dr Bannister confirmed that he would wish to stand down as Foundation Chairman and Trustee from the Spring 2020 AGM. The Trustees discussed a number of possible new Trustees and identified a candidate to be approached during 2019 for the vacancy created by Dr Bannister ending his long and valued role in the Foundation. It was agreed that the present CEFAS-Marine Scotland contribution of Trustees is important and would be continued in the future. The Clerk has also expressed a wish to stand down in Spring 2020, and is hoping to find a successor who lives locally given that the Foundation is now firmly based in the Scottish Fisheries Museum, and that the research and scientific interests of both bodies have very similar objectives and priorities.

FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS.

The annual accounts of the Buckland Foundation covering the year to 31st December 2018 are attached as an annex to this annual report. They have been reviewed and approved by Ken Fraser, the Independent Examiner of Accounts appointed by the Trustees at the 2018 AGM held in Anstruther. The Accounts and the Independent Examiner’s Report are lodged with both the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Charity Commission in England.

Over the year from January 1st 2018 the Foundation’s investment portfolio experienced a fall in value of £13,566 (7.7%) reflecting the very difficult international economic environment. This followed a number of years of real growth in value of the portfolio, and the Trustees are reflecting the future by adjusting the Professorship and Studentship funding to ensure that the long-term activities of the Foundation remain within budget. The average cash income flow from the portfolio to fund the Foundation’s activities declined slightly over the year and is well below the 2015 cash income in real terms, but nevertheless sufficient to cover the Foundation’s expenditure during 2018.

Whilst this meets the annual income drawdown target agreed with Brewin Dolphin in 2005, it does not address the requirement adopted in the years following the 1920 bequest – nor indeed of the later bequest by Fred Smith that established the Summer Studentship – of maintaining the real long-term value of the Foundation’s assets, a target that, thanks to progressive inflation, has been out of reach for many years now. This urges caution by the Trustees in the drawdown of income from the portfolio, especially as the management fees charged by Brewin Dolphin rose in 2017 to reflect new regulatory requirements. These management fees are reviewed by the Trustees on an annual basis, and the investment policy and priorities agreed with Brewin Dolphin at the annual meeting with the Trustees.

The Foundation’s total operating expenditure during 2018 was £6,126.34, down from the previous year and lower than for some years past. Part of this reduction is explained by the delay in payment of the Professor and Studentship fees before the end of the year as a result of their required final presentation and research report being delayed until early 2019. Future annual payments for these core components of the Foundation’s charitable activity will fluctuate because of the adjustments in the periodicity of Professorial and Studentship honoraria outlined earlier in this report both of which will be introduced from 2020 onwards, but will average out to be the same as before over the long-term.

The wisdom of the above changes is illustrated by the Foundation’s income over the year to 31st December 2018 being significantly down from 2017 although sufficient to meet expenditure needs without accessing the portfolio’s capital, apart from investment fees and portfolio management expenses of Brewin Dolphin which are charged to capital. At 31st December cash balances of £8,409.74 in the HKSB Current Account and £4,270.30 in Brewin Dolphin’s Cash Account enabled the Trustees to plan the Foundation’s 2019 charitable activities without liquidating capital. The Trustees continued to require Brewin Dolphin to only transfer funds into the no-interest yielding HKSB current account sufficient to cover the Foundation’s necessary expenditure, with other portfolio income being used to build up the portfolio asset value. The Trustees with delegated authority to counter-sign cheques alongside the Clerk are the Chairman, Dr Shelton and Captain Du Vivier: this will be reviewed during 2019.

LINKS WITH BUCKLAND DINING AND OTHER SOCIETIES.

There have been no contact or links with Buckland Dining Clubs or societies, and it appears that these have gently faded into history. The forthcoming 100th Anniversary of the Foundation’s activities in 2024 might be an opportunity to bring people, institutions and the industry together to celebrate the importance, influence and impact of Frank Buckland, both as an individual and through his Foundation. The Clerk and the Trustees could explore the possibility of using artefacts and papers from the Buckland Archives held by the Museum and others to produce a touring exhibition – provided funding support can be secured.

OUR HOSTS IN ST AYLES.

The Buckland Foundation is fortunate to have the Scottish Fisheries Museums as its registered base, where the Sun Tavern is the location for its Trustee meetings and Buckland Lunch, and which is the location of its archive and website with the kind support of Museum’s curatorial team led by Linda Fitzpatrick. The Trustees thank the Museum’s Trustees, staff and volunteers for their continued support and kindness; and look forward to working with the Museum in its future development and in promoting fisheries research.

John Firn, Clerk to the Trustees of the Buckland Foundation.

R C A Bannister, Chairman.

The Buckland Foundation.

11 June 2019.


BUCKLAND FOUNDATION TRUSTEES AND CONTACTS.

The Buckland Foundation Trustees at 31st December 2018 were :

  • Dr RCA Bannister, Chairman of the Trustees.
  • Captain PE Du Vivier, RN. Vice-Chairman.
  • Dr David Righton.
  • Dr John Armstrong.
  • Dr RGJ Shelton, Patron.

The Clerk to the Trustees is John R Firn (079 1936 1689) and johnfirn@hotmail.co.uk. The Registered Office for the Buckland Foundation, through which Trustees and the Clerk can be contacted and which also hosts the Foundation’s Archives, is :

The Buckland Foundation,

Scottish Fisheries Museum,

St Ayles,

Harbourhead,

Anstruther,

Fife KY10 3AB.

Further information on the Buckland Foundation, its objectives and activities can be found on-line via :

http://www.scotfishmuseum.org/the-buckland-foundation.

For a recently published introduction to the life and impact of Frank Buckland and the Foundation see Richard Girling, The Man Who Ate the Zoo : Frank Buckland – Forgotten Hero of Natural History, (London, Chatto & Windus,2016). ISBN 971784740405.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd
St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
E-mail: enquiries@scotfishmuseum.org
Tel (within UK): 01333 310628
Tel (from outside UK): +44 1333 310628
Charity Number: SC 006185
VAT Reg Number: 270 2790 64
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