I was nervous because I knew they were expecting a talk about walking along the river, or its redirection in the middle ages, but I'd decided to talk about its recent history – since the second world war, which is when the conservation issues come in. They are issues that are still live and haven't been resolved, mostly arising from the introduction of modern intensive farming methods; so it's the reduction in bird habitats and the pollution of the river by excessive nutrients from agricultural run-off, that kind of thing.
It went down really well, I think because I was able to give them information that they didn't have before. It was the smallest group I've spoken to, but they bought more books than any of the others. I was really pleased with the way I was received – and I'm happy to do more talks if anyone would like to invite me.