Projects

We are so pleased to be involved with so many ongoing activities that help children and young people engage with nature.

Our projects are predominantly in the UK, as we are a UK charity, but we are at present also involved in helping a group of children from a Homeless Shelter In Florida. This cause is particularly poignant as Cameron spent a lot of time in Florida. All our projects have one objective: to encourage a love of nature in future generations. Please scroll down and take a look.

Creating opportunities for children and a future for wildlife

Help us ensure Cameron's love of wildlife lives on in future generations

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We were once again delighted to sponsor this year’s Bird Camp at Thetford, Norfolk by partnering with BTO. A wonderful group of young birders arrived on Friday 26th at the BTO headquarters, excited to be able to participate on our second annual event.

Their home for the weekend

The young birdwatchers were aged between 12 - 18 and participated in birding (banding), nest finding and monitoring, bird surveying and moth trapping. They also saw ornithology in action with the fitting of a GPS-tracker to a Nightjar as part of our ongoing research in Thetford Forest. They visited a number of nature reserves and a local bird observatory and heard talks from group leaders and volunteers. The group recorded more than 100 species of bird over the weekend and found a number of new nests for the monitoring programme on the nature reserve. New birds were seen, new friendships formed and for some, a new career path almost certainly developed! Have a look at this video which speaks for itself:

“It was so fun! I really enjoyed it and saw many new species and met some great people and am very grateful to have been chosen. Thanks sooooo much it was amazing! I hope to meet again and can't thank you enough and the Cameron Bespollka trust for funding the event.”

Michael Sinclair , 12

Blogs and Tweets
Please check out these incredible stories and blogs written by some of the young birders who attended.

Michael Sinclair (12):
Read Michael's Blog

James Miller (15):
Read James' Blog

Ieuan Evans:
Read Ieuan's Twitter Story

Thank you so much giving us such an amazing summary of a wonderful weekend.  We look forward to next year.  


Cameron Bespolka



Together with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, we are delighted to have set up a group of young people, aged 13 - 17, who share a love of nature, called the Young Naturalists. 

Under the excellent supervision of Tracy Standish, this group meets every last Sunday of the month at their Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve in Ringwood, on the edge of the New Forest. Sessions include practical conservation and habitat management, species surveys and monitoring, learning from local wildlife expert(s) and more.  Our hope is that over the next 4 years, this group will grow and offer exciting new opportunities which amongst other things, will include a summer school, traineeships and accredited learning programmes.

We were delighted to have recently received an award of Highly Recommended in the Young People category by the CPRE  (The Campaign to Protect Rural England). This award recognises schemes which celebrate a beautiful, diverse and living countryside that everyone can value and enjoy.

You can read about what The Young Naturalists have been doing every month by going to Blashford Lakes blog

Dawn Chorus
Follow this link for details of the dawn chorus session

For more information contact Tracy Standish on 01425 472760 or email Tracy.Standish@hiwwt.org.uk

“I enjoy wildlife and nature and want to look after it.  When I first heard about the Young Naturalists, I thought it looked like a fun way to be involved.”

Jackson, 14

Young Naturalists visit to Martin Down

4th June 2017

On 4th June 2017, twelve Young Naturalists joined us for a trip to Martin Down National Nature Reserve, one of the largest areas of uninterrupted chalk downland in Britain. Jointly owned and managed by Natural England and Hampshire Country Council, the reserve is home to a fantastic variety of plants and animals associated with chalk downland and scrub habitats.

View Article

Beaulieu Weekend

13th May 2017

Click on the links below to find out more about the exciting activities the Young Naturalist group got up to during their residential weekend in Beaulieu.


Cameron Bespolka



An important element of the Bird Photographer of the Year competition ethos is the encouragement and recognition of the younger generation of birders and photographers. The Cameron Bespolka Trust Young Bird Photographer of the Year Award is designed to meet this aim, an award specifically for those under 18.

There are also second and third place prizes of £200 and £100 respectively. Prizes will be awarded by Chris Packham at the Rutland Birdfair in August 2017.

And it’s not just about the prizes but recognition for your work too. The winners will be featured in the Bird Photographer of the Year book published by Harper Collins and marketed around the world. The images will also be displayed in an exhibition at Kew Gardens to run from September 2017 to January 2018.

The 2017 competition is now closed but start taking some photos to enter for the 2018 competition.  Entries for this will be open after the awards ceremony during Bird Fair next summer 18th - 20th August.

For more information and to see the final short list that has just been selected for this year,  please visit: http://youngbpoty16.picturk.com

Winners will be announced during Bird Fair 18th - 20th August.


Cameron Bespolka



Florida's Birding and Photo Fest in St. Augustine, Florida, takes place in April every year.  The Cooper, Dahlstrom and Schnyder families have so kindly sponsored a Young Birders Photography category in Cameron’s memory. 

This year’s event was another excellent display of birding and outdoor photography. Some amazing photos again and some truly beautiful and striking birding moments captured by some very talented young birders. Congratulations to all the 2017 Young Bird Photography entrants.

Below are the photos that were shortlisted:

The Winners

The two photos below were selected as our winners for their outstanding composition, light and originality.  

In first place, was Colin Shephard with the Great Egret.

 In second place was Ralphi Oakley with the Brown Pelican.

  Congratulations to both of them for outstanding bird photography skills.

“I am honoured to have my photo selected as the winner of this year’s contest!  Being able to connect to nature through photography is an amazing experience.  I hope this photo and the others submitted will inspire others to pursue photography, while appreciating all the beauty that nature provides”

Colin Shepard, 1st place winner of the 2017 Cameron Bespolka Photography Award for Young Birders Photo Contest.

“The Cameron Bespolka Photography Award for Young Birders gave me the confidence to pursue my passionate dream of becoming a photographer.  It gave me the beginning of a journey that has lead to many life changing opportunities both photographically and personally.  I hope my journey will never end and it all started by winning this special award”.

Ralphi Oakley, 2nd place winner of the 2017 Cameron Bespolka Photography Award for Young Birders Photo Contest.

Well done Colin and Ralphi.  Thank you to everyone who submitted entries and we look forward to many more next year. 

Save the date for next year’s event 18th - 22nd April, 2018.  

 


Cameron Bespolka



Every summer Cornell Lab of Ornithology hosts a four day Young Birders Event. This Event brings young birders together who have a passion for birds and are interested in pursuing a career in ornithology. Every year we will sponsor one young birder from UK to attend this event.

The participants will meet people who have successful careers that involve birds in a variety of ways from ornithological researchers, tour leaders, computer scientists to audio specialists. There will also be lots of opportunities to discuss bird trends as well as conservation and environmental issues.

We are so thrilled to have sponsored Max Hellicar to attend this year's event earlier this month. This event is a life changer for any young birder and this is what Max had to say: "The Cornell Young Birders' Event 2017 was absolutely amazing. It was a privilege to learn so much from those at the top of the profession which I hope to go into. I learnt a lot about the scientific ornithological sectors as well as learning about the identification of species which were previously unfamiliar to me. The overwhelming sense of encouragement and willingness to share information on any subject from everyone at Cornell is very impressive and it was a great boost to my determination to have the privilege of visiting this early on in my career."

This is the second year we have sponsored someone to attend Cornell. Last year Amy Hall attended: "Being chosen for this trip meant a lot to me - I was massively supported by the Cameron Bespolka Trust and the BTO before I left.”

Amy Hall, wrote an in-depth report of her event. It is clear to see what an impression this trip has made on her. Click here to read her report

Please also  check out Amy's blog for her monthly updates on all sorts of interesting nature related topics.


Cameron Bespolka



The Cameron Bespolka Trust partnered with the Homeless Children’s Foundation and sponsored 11 homeless children in “  Florida” to attend a Nature Camp during March Spring Break.

These children live in homeless shelters, cars, motels and bounce from house to house.  The most recent data that was released in 2016 reported 265 homeless children in Indian River County.

This camp was held in the first National Wildlife Reserve in the USA, namely Pelican Island.  Children hiked and learned about the history of the national wildlife reserve.  The Reserve is home to over 140 species of birds and they were fortunate enough to see and identify 39 species during their week.    They also saw 42 alligators, 2 sharks, several dolphins, made camp fires and kayaked in the lagoon.  

“Spring Break is a difficult week for parents because they cannot afford a camp or babysitter. This camp offers these children an opportunity to be outside and enjoy many activities. We are so grateful for this incredible opportunity” says Hannah Trodglen, Executive Director of the Homeless Children’s Foundation..


Cameron Bespolka