The British Birdwatching Fair is a highlight of the year for my local reserve, Rutland Water, as it hosts thousands of visitors from all over the world to share in their passion for birds.
I have been fortunate to attend the fair quite a few times due to it being in my home county, and every year I revel in the colourful and lively event and all that it has to offer.
In the past few years I have attended the fair as a volunteer, taking on various roles to help the weekend run as smoothly as possible, and also have time to enjoy what the fair has to offer. This year, the Cameron Bespolka Trust were involved in the Young Bird Photographer of the Year competition- Ondrej Planke won the Cameron Bespolka Award and the competition with his stunning photograph of a whiskered tern. Chris Packham (head judge) agreeably stated that the “standard of photography was extremely high”, which is evident in the photos submitted. For me, it is so great that the Trust had a part to play in this year’s Bird Fair, and it would be great to see more in the years to come- perhaps one day a stand to showcase and advertise the opportunities offered to young people by the Cameron Bespolka Trust.
If you haven’t visited Bird Fair before, I would definitely recommend that you do so next year (17th-19th August 2018). All proceeds from the fair are donated to Birdlife International projects, with a record amount of £350,000 donated last year to protect Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in Africa, and £4.3 million raised so fair (excluding 2017 efforts) for Birdlife. I am so looking forward to seeing the figure raised at this year’s Birdfair for saving ‘paradise in the Pacific’!