The British Birdwatching Fair has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1989. The idea evolved from a local event held in 1987 at Rutland Water Nature Reserve called “The Wildfowl Bonanza”. The event was a great success and after much deliberation, in the local pub appropriately named The Finch’s Arms, the idea of a birdwatchers’ fair was hatched by the organisers Tim Appleton and Martin Davies. The Fair takes place on the nature reserve at Rutland Water which itself is a huge water storage reservoir owned by Anglian Water. The nature reserve is a RAMSAR and Special Protection Area and is managed by The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
If this is your first Birdfair, you’re in for a real treat. As the people who come back every year will tell you, this is the event of the year if you’re into birds and wildlife. There is certainly something for everyone here – you’ll soon find that there’s so much going on at Birdfair, you’ll be spoilt for choice and wish you’d come for longer.
As well as indulging your passion for wildlife, you’ll be helping our adopted BirdLife International conservation project for the year. Previous Birdfairs have raised money for places as diverse as the rainforests of Sumatra, the wetlands of Madagascar and the dry forests of Peru – these projects have enjoyed great success – you can read more about them on the Projects pages.
It is remarkable to reflect that, as we enjoy ourselves again at this year’s Birdfair, standing around in tents in a field in Rutland, there are now forests, wetlands, grasslands and albatrosses that have a more secure future thanks to the collective efforts of Birdfair supporters. Working together, we are making a difference.
Have a great weekend!
Tim Appleton & Martin Davies