This year’s British Ecological Society annual meeting was rewarding as ever. It has been a few years since I last attended, but great to meet up with colleagues and friends and make new contacts – I am looking forward to seeing more of people in the coming year. And of course, there were also lots of interesting of talks and posters to keep everyone busy between the lunch and other social events. It was great to see so many Southampton ecologists (and Southampton alumni) present from across the Faculty – there must have been over 15 of us! Adham Ashton-Butt presented one of his PhD chapters in the impact that replanting for a second generation of oil palm has on soil quality – a paper which will hopefully be out in the new year. Jen Ball also presented a talk in the Nature and Humans session, where she detailed the perceptions different stakeholders have of the ecosystem services provided by chalk rivers. Work that will inform her work on ecosystem service assessment of the rivers Itchen and Test. Thank you to the talented Holly McKelvey for creating a graphic record of Jen’s talk! You can see more of the Nature and Humans session and other sessions she covered in her twitter feed.