Great Fen goes to Birdfair

Short eared owl at the Great Fen - Kevin Robson

Birdfair encompasses the whole spectrum of the bird watching world whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation, and this year the Great Fen returned to have its own stand.

During the process of putting together a talk for the Birdfair, the decision was made to have a stand once again, and we were fortunate to be able to do so this year; and what better time, with some much wildlife colonising the Living Landscape.

Over the course of the weekend at Rutland Water, we met with visitors who had travelled to the Birdfair from as far afield as Kent and Sussex, Gwynedd and Gwent, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and Edinburgh. Visitors from several other countries including Holland, Germany and Ecuador also visited the stand.

The interests of the visitors we spoke to included: general wildlife, birds (birds of prey such as short-eared owls in particular), invertebrates (including butterflies and dragonflies), plants and photography. It was useful and enjoyable to have a mixture of Great Fen Project Partner staff (Natural England and the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire) and volunteers, with different roles and interests, to engage the visitors, and answer their many questions.

The Great Fen stand was their to update to the public on the developments at the Great Fen; the wildlife and the latest results of the monitoring and research, as well as promoting the  new ‘Water Works’ project, and also the forth-coming book by the former Natural England manager of Woodwalton Fen (Alan Bowley).

Many thanks to those on the stand this year, a great effort: Andy Frost, Anne Barker, Catherine Weightman, Chris Donnelly, Helen Bailey, Justin Tilley, Mark Ullyett, Martin Parsons, Mike Weightman and Paul Wyer.

We are looking for to the next birdfair;  Birdfair 2020, from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 August.

Henry Stanier (Great Fen Monitoring and Research Officer)