BirdFair Conservation Cause for 2019

British Birdwatching Fair, or BirdFair for short, is an annual event held at Rutland Water in August. Now entering its third decade it is described by some as a birdwatchers' Glastonbury; it is the event of the year if you're into birds and wildlife. With attractions ranging from equipment and lectures, to bird food, artwork and holidays, Birdfair caters to the whole spectrum of the birdwatching interests.  

Birdfair is one of the world’s biggest wildlife events and arguably its most important role comes in supporting global bird conservation. Its fund-raising potential is vast: during the 2018 Birdfair alone it raised £322,000 for conservation, the money going to help create a haven for flamingos a Mar Chiquita in Argentina. This took the total raised over the years to more than £5 million.

Thermalling flock of White Storks. Photo ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

Thermalling flock of White Storks. Photo ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

Protecting the World’s Seas and Oceans was Birdfair’s 2014 conservation project and it helped species such as this endangered Zino’s Petrel. Photo ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

Protecting the World’s Seas and Oceans was Birdfair’s 2014 conservation project and it helped species such as this endangered Zino’s Petrel. Photo ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

2015: Protecting Migratory Birds of the Eastern Mediterranean was Birdfair’s 2015 conservation project and it helped species like Honey-buzzard and White Stork that pass through the region in vast numbers.

Migrating Honey-buzzards. Photo ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

Migrating Honey-buzzards. Photo ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

Bird Photographer of the Year is proud to support BirdFair’s charitable goals, which align with its own. So, this year we created a special Inspirational Encounters award and thanks to the generosity of Wildlife Worldwide £1,500 will be donated towards the conservation project supported by BirdFair 2019. The project, dubbed ‘Saving Cambodia’s Big Five’ will secure protection for the Western Siem Pen Wildlife Sanctuary and its critically endangered flagship species: Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture and Red-headed Vulture. Find out more about BirdFair’s previous conservation projects here and help with future ones by donating money.

Rob Read