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

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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The Eagle Huntress’ and the Kazakh tradition of eagle hunters

Just before Christmas I went to a small cinema in Leicester to see the critically acclaimed ‘Eagle Huntress’ directed by Otto Bell and narrated by Daisy Ridley (of Star Wars fame), a documentary film which follows a young Kazakh girl called Aisholpan Nurgaiv as she is trained by her father to hunt with a golden eagle on horseback.

This process requires skill and determination, and more extraordinary is the way in which Aisholpan’s father defies the age old tradition of … 

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Hedgehogs and the Community

On Saturday I took part in a workshop at Rutland Water Nature Reserve as part of the Wild Horizons group, run by Simon Thompson from Help for Hedgehogs (Warwickshire Wildlife Trust). I learnt a lot about hedgehogs, a peculiar and special mammal which could really do with our he

Erinaceus roumanicus, or the northern white-breasted hedgehog, is the species of hedgehog which is found in the UK. With between 5000 and 7000 spines under muscular control, these are an instantly recognisable … 

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Reflecting on 2016, looking forward to 2017

I hope that for us all, 2017 will be a year full of great things for ourselves and for global wildlife. Although we mustn’t forget about the huge declines in wildlife populations worldwide, we should still celebrate the small successes which we have achieved as a result of hard work and dedication to our causes.

At the end of December it was announced that China announced it will ban all trade in ivory by the end of 2017, the UK committed £13 million to tackling the illegal … 

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