Who I am and how I became involved with the Cameron Bespolka Trust

My name is Amy Hall. I am a student in my final year of A levels at the King’s Cathedral School in Peterborough, and have just received a place to study zoology at the University of Exeter in September. My relationship with birds and other wildlife has been life-long, however it really flourished when my parents decided to move the family from the outskirts of Melton Mowbray to a marvellous house in the middle of the Rutland countryside. Just outside my back door are fields with plenty of exciting wildlife to discover; my most treasured find was that of an active barn owl nest in a nearby meadow, which is still home to a brood of fluffy chicks every spring- last year three fledged successfully after the intensive hunting efforts of an apparently single female with an instantly recognisable dodgy eye. The joy which I find in observing wildlife motivated me to sign up to the British Trust for Ornithology’s Young Birders Camp last May, which is possibly one of the best decisions I have made so far in my life. Not only did I learn a lot about how bird populations are documented by the BTO, but I also met many other young birders with huge knowledge on a wide array of species of bird. I was in complete awe of these people whilst we were out and about either bird watching or doing one of the other activities; their skill in bird identification was just out of this world.

About two or three weeks after this camp, I received a phone call to say that I had been chosen to attend the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Young Birder event in June. Over-whelming excitement and equal nervousness were the emotions I was feeling- America is so far away and full of so many different birds! This trip was funded by the Cameron Bespolka Trust, and I was very well looked after by them. Corinne Cruickshank from the Trust phoned me a few weeks before the trip to ensure that I was fully prepared, and has kept contact with me up until today. I am forever grateful to the Trust for allowing me to have the incredible opportunity to visit the States and the truly awesome Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca NY, and for also allowing me to stay involved with the Trust. I am very excited to be writing the regular blog for the Trust, which will be about all things in the world of wildlife to keep the Trust’s followers up to date with news and other interesting stories from our natural world. I have no doubt that great things will come from the Cameron Bespolka Trust in years to come; young people need wildlife and are its future, and together we can achieve great things!


Amy's Blog

White stork- Their heritage in the UK and potential future

Almost a fortnight ago, my Twitter feed lit up with photos and reports of the white stork which had been spotted at Rutland Water, my local reserve. This was super exciting being the second record for the reserve, and although I missed it I wanted to find out a bit more about this species which has a history in the UK, as well as some interesting folklore here and around the world.

The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is now extinct from Britain due to persecution (as a symbol of Christianity), … 

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The Origins of Modern Knowledge and Understanding of the Natural World

I believe that we, as humans, are living in an amazing and exciting time in terms of knowledge and understanding of the natural world around us. Technology has been developed to allow for many complex investigations into the workings of the natural world and its many components, which grant us an insight into the relationships between species and their environment. There is still so much to learn, however we have come so far since wildlife was first observed.

Aristotle was one of the first … 

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The Beautiful Everyday

After mock exams I have been feeling rather deflated and lacking in inspiration, however whilst reflecting on my week I thought about how I could make exams more bearable. With real exams looming in the future, and university coming over the horizon in September (yay!) I really need the motivation to complete my exams and achieve my grades. Where better to find inspiration than the everyday wildlife which we see regularly?

I started my quest for knowledge with birds, and particularly their … 

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Staying in Touch with our Wild Side

As a student preparing for my final A level exams in June, I often feel that my studies get in the way of my enjoyment of the great outdoors. This is probably the same for most young people in full time education, as well as anyone else with a full time job or responsibility. I find this a shame, as I certainly know what we’d all rather be doing… However, our occasional disconnection can be combatted with some simple activities that can keep that spark going until our next … 

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