The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation used 2015 to further develop and enhance the recognition, knowledge and visibility of the Foundation’s purpose and objectives, and to continue the move from a largely reactive organisation to one that positively sought to promote independent research and debate on all aspects of commercial and recreational fisheries. At the centre of this change was the second Buckland Colloquium held in London in June 2015 (reported on below), which for the first time featured two Buckland Professors sharing the annual Lecture.
It was also a year that saw the Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship focus on a new aspect of the Frank Buckland legacy through an appointment in the graphics and design department at Dundee University on a project that will also generate a new corporate livery for the Foundation. The background and output of this project by Lauren Millar is explained below, and during the course of the project the Chairman was introduced to Lauren’s Mother, Sylvia Millar, a portrait painter. This resulted in a commission to produce a portrait of Frank Buckland for the Foundation which will eventually feature in the proposed Buckland centre in the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, which holds Buckland papers and artefacts in its archives. Development of this aspect of the Museum remains a priority in its development plan for the site in St Ayles.
The financial and asset position of the Foundation’s investment portfolio, managed for the Trustees by Brewin & Dolphin’s charity division in Edinburgh, remains reasonably secure despite the difficult national and international economic environment, with the Trustees and Clerk seeking to ensure that Frank Buckland’s 1880 investment requirements and goals are always borne in mind.
The 2015 Buckland Lecture was jointly given by Dr Colin Bannister, a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Buckland Foundation, and Dr Carl O’Brien from CEFAS, currently the UK delegate to ICES. Their Buckland presentations formed the core of the second London Colloquium held in Fishmongers’ Hall on Tuesday 2nd June. The programme was organised by the Buckland Foundation, and the Fishmongers’ Company kindly hosted the day and provided sponsorship and support. The theme of the second Colloquium was Securing the Supply of Food from Marine Fisheries, with Professor Bannister exploring whether “fisheries management has achieved stock recovery” and Professor O’Brien setting out a perspective on “future fisheries management and governance in the European Union”. Both Buckland Lectures were comprehensive presentations which will eventually be available through the Buckland Foundation website, together with a summary of the results of the Colloquium discussions.
Four supporting speakers also made important contributions to the Colloquium. Dr John Pinnegar, from CEFAS Lowestoft spoke on “the role of climate change in fish stocks”; Barry Deas of NFFO provided an insight from “the catcher’s perspective”; and Huw Thomas from Morrisons plc set out “ a retailer perspective”. The Buckland and other lectures, supported by an afternoon of facilitated discussion groups, were well received by the over 60 delegates, and the view was expressed in the concluding plenary session that the Buckland Colloquium should continue to be held on a biennial basis. The Buckland Trustees are grateful to the Fishmongers Company for kindly hosting the Colloquium in Fishmongers Hall; to Mrs H E Leftwich and the Shellfish Association of Great Britain for their organisational support and office facilities; and to Professor Bannister and Professor O’Brien for generously waiving their Buckland Lecture Honoraria.
The success of the London Colloquium and the Foundation’s wish to make the research findings and implications of the two Buckland lectures more widely available outwith London, led to a revised version of the Colloquium being held on 20 October at Edinburgh University, hosted jointly by the Buckland Foundation and the recently created Edinburgh Marine Network. Professor Colin Bannister and Professor Carl O’Brien delivered their Buckland Lectures and David Righton (a Buckland Trustee) presented a paper on “Climate change and a vision for fisheries in 2050”, which was based on Dr John Pinnegar’s paper at the London Colloquium. The papers and discussion were greatly appreciated by an audience of over 40 that included a delegation from the fisheries department in South Korea which was visiting Edinburgh University.
In November, Professor Colin Bannister also presented an overview of the 2015 Buckland Lectures on the theme of “has EU fisheries management achieved the recovery of depleted stocks?” at the University of Hull, which had awarded him the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa to recognise the importance and influence of his long career in the assessment and management of marine fisheries and shellfisheries. The Buckland Foundation were especially pleased at this well-deserved recognition of its Chairman and his long presence at the centre of UK, European and international research in fisheries science and policy.
It is intended that versions of the Buckland Lecture presentations will be available to view and download from the Foundation’s website once they have been finalised, and printed versions placed in the Buckland archives in the Museum to ensure that any future changes in electronic hardware and software do not result in a loss of the important research delivered by the Buckland Professors. It is now the practice for names, organisations and email details to be requested from the audience attending the Foundation’s lectures and talks in order to build up a mailing list of appropriate researchers and others so that they can be informed of forthcoming events and Buckland Foundation developments and initiatives.
At the autumn meeting of Trustees, it was agreed to invite professor felicity Huntingford of the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling to give the 2016 Buckland Lecture on the general theme of “Are fish smart?” Candidates for the 2017 and 2018 Lectures were also suggested, and it was agreed that the Foundation would seek to host a third biennial Buckland Colloquium during 2017, with a probable focus on freshwater fisheries.
The Trustees at their autumn 2014 meeting had decided that the funds available to the Foundation were sufficient to offer two Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship awards, and an initial call for applications was scheduled for spring 2015. In late autumn 2014, the Clerk was approached by Lauren Millar, a final year student at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, a constituent college in the University of Dundee. She had encountered frank Buckland in her third year, and was inspired to undertake “a creative visualisation of this eccentric character” as the theme for her final year project.
Following meetings with Richard Shelton and the Clerk it was decided to offer Lauren Millar a 2015 Studentship to help her develop a graphic exhibition on the theme of Frank Buckland, and as part of this to design and develop a new corporate livery and stationery for the Buckland Foundation that would be memorable, distinctive and reflect the unique person that was Frank Buckland. She began work on the Studentship in summer and the final year presentation of her Frank Buckland portfolio, which encompassed not just posters, pictures and stationery but such as mugs and tote bags, helped Lauren gain a first class honours degree and to secure employment with Moving Brands, a global graphics design corporation. The move to London delayed the delivery of the Foundation’s new and striking corporate livery until late on in the year. The Trustees were very impressed with the livery and plan to introduce it over the next year or so.
There was no other interest in making applications for Summer Studentships, and it was suggested that the Trustees and the Clerk should explore different approaches to generating interest by appropriate final year students in fisheries science and the related areas that have been supported by the Foundation.
The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation held two meetings in Anstruther during 2015, the Annual General Meeting at the end of March, and an autumn meeting on the day following the Edinburgh Colloquium in October. The Clerk also represented the Foundation at both the London and Edinburgh Colloquia, and also had a number of meetings with the Chairman both in Anstruther and in Lawrencekirk. The Clerk and Richard Shelton also met with the director of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, Simon Hayhow, to progress the Museum’s proposals to develop its property in East Green into a centre to take forward and demonstrate Frank Buckland’s legacy in fisheries science, and its present and future policy relevance.
It is somewhat a surprise that royalties from book sales of earlier books and monographs published by John Wiley & Co continue to be paid into the Foundation’s account, and in 2015 these generated £137.82. Whilst it is probable that these royalties will continue but decline in the years ahead, the Foundation will need to give consideration to whether it can generate income in the future when printed books have been replaced by digital presentations held on the Foundation’s website. There may well also be merit in exploring whether the existing collection of published Lectures could be digitised to make them more widely available as enquiries to buy individual lectures still arrive in the Museum, which unfortunately does not hold a full set of the published lectures.
At the autumn meeting of the Trustees, Richard Shelton intimated that he would not wish to continue as a Trustee or as Chairman of the Trustees, having been first appointed in March 1999, and had would have served four terms by the 2016 AGM. The serious illness of his wife Freda had been a factor in this decision, but also that he felt it was time for a new Chairman. It was agreed that Colin Bannister would take up the Chair at the 2016 AGM, and that Paul Du Vivier would be Vice Chairman to maintain the England Scotland balance once he had overcome his serious illness.
At the suggestion of the Clerk, it was agreed that there would be merit in appointing an additional Trustee, and Dr John Armstrong was invited to meet the Trustees at the autumn meeting and – as a means of ensuring the national balance – to become Vice Chairman from March 2016. The Trustees agreed to review and confirm these appointments at the 2016 Trustee meetings and the health of the individual Trustees.
The autumn of 2015 was marked with the sad news of the death of the Chairman’s wife Freda after a long illness bravely borne. The Clerk represented the Trustees at the large congregations attending the services in Fettercairn and Johnshaven.
The annual accounts of the Buckland Foundation are attached as an annex to this report, and cover the financial year to 31st December 2015. The accounts, which have been reviewed by the Ken Fraser, the Independent Examiner of Accounts appointed by the Foundation. They show that the earnings from the Buckland Investment Portfolio continue to generate an annual income that enables the Trustees to support the annual Lecture and Studentship, to cover the operating costs of the Foundation and Trustee expenses, and to also gently allow some growth in the value of the investments managed for us by Brewin and Dolphin. Over the past three financial years the value of the investment portfolio has risen from £147, 283 at 31 December 2013 to £157,261 at 31 December 2015, generating an average cash income of £6,000 for the Foundation and representing an annual gross investment yield of 3.8%. Whilst this meets the Foundation’s income target agreed (and regularly reviewed) with Brewin Dolphin, it does not address the long-term inflationary loss of the real value of the assets bequeathed to the Foundation in 1880 by Frank Buckland in his will, or the 1977 Fred Smith bequest that established the annual Studentship. In this, the Foundation is no different from most charitable trusts, and in the continuing economic and market context, the Trustees consider that the recent investment performance has been acceptable. The Trustees and Clerk will continue to give thought to means for generating additional income over the longer-term.
During the year, the investment manager responsible for managing our investments at Brewin Dolphin, Nick Liddell, informed the Trustees that he was leaving to join another fund management group, and thus ending over 27 years capably managing the Foundation’s portfolio. The Clerk wrote on behalf of the Trustees to thank him for his stewardship and to wish him well in his new venture. The management of the portfolio within Brewin Dolphin is now the responsibility of David Hourston, who met with the Clerk to confirm the Trustees wishes and objectives, and who will meet with the Trustees at the 2016 AGM when one of the issues will be to confirm the Foundation’s investment policy statement.
The Foundation’s expenditure during 2015 was nearly 100% higher than in the previous year, but this reflects the payment of the £5,000 grant made by the Fishmongers’ Company in 2014 for the 2015 London Colloquium expenses : if this is excluded the level of expenditure was similar to earlier years. At the end of the year the HKSB current account held £6,961, and the Brewin Dolphin accounts held further cash balances of £1,946. The Foundation is thus well provided for in terms of undertaking its 2016 activities and those in future years providing caution is shown by the Clerk and Trustees.
There have been no known Buckland Society dinners or events which could be supported and attended by the Trustees, and it may be that this is something that could be made a feature of future Buckland Colloquia if sponsorship can be generated. The tradition is however maintained at the Anstruther meetings of the Foundation where Richard Shelton and the Museum’s café manager serve a lunch with an emphasis on Frank Buckland’s curiosity in all forms of sea and terrestrial life.
R G J Shelton. Chairman, The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation.
10 April 2016.
BUCKLAND TRUSTEES AND CONTACTS.
The Buckland Foundation Trustees as of 31st December 2015 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 the 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 online on the Foundation’s website : http://www.scotfishmuseum.org/the-buckland-foundation.