Thousands of visitors will tell you the British Birdwatching Fair, organised by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with RSPB, is the place to be in August each year. For three days from Friday 16 August the Birdfair - often described as the birdwatchers’ Glastonbury - will celebrate its 25th year at Rutland Water Nature Reserve.
Over the three days visitors to Birdfair can enjoy a broad range of entertainments and wildlife lectures; browse almost 350 stands; enjoy glimpsing wildlife celebrities including Simon King, Bill Oddie, Nick Baker, Johnny Kingdom and Charlie Hamilton-James. They will be joined by Matthew Gordon who brings the famous penguin cams from his TV series.
Co-founder and organiser of the Birdfair, Tim Appleton of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “For all its serious focus on raising funds and awareness to help some of the world’s most threatened species and habitats, we recognise that the Birdfair is also great fun. We’re delighted that it still has the relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere it did when we started 25 years ago.”
A one day ticket online is £12.50 saving £2.50 on the gate price. A three day ticket online is £30. Entry is free for children under 16 and students in full time education (proof required). Don’t forget that if you are a Wildlife Trust member there is a special price on Sunday of £10 on-line and £12.50 on the gate. For further information on the 25th Birdfair and to buy advanced, discounted e-tickets, visit www.birdfair.org.uk
Visit the Trust stand where LRWT staff and volunteers will be on hand to give advice on getting the best out of a visit to the Trust’s 32 nature reserves including Rutland Water Nature Reserve – one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain.
The Trust’s Rutland Osprey Project will be a key feature of the stand, giving up to the minute information on the activity and breeding success of these magnificent birds at Rutland Water.
Buy The Rutland Water Ospreys at the Trust stand for £17 (a saving of £3) and get it signed. This new book tells the full story of the Rutland Osprey Project and is brought to life by John Wright’s fantastic photographs and artwork.
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Watch will have lots of interesting and fun activities about wetland birds including themed arts and crafts, puzzles and competitions with prizes to be won. Have a go at making a water bird mask, playing the osprey fishing game, creating a flying wetland bird, and solving our wetland birds’ crossword quiz.
The Urban Birder, David Lindo, will lead children’s birdwatching on Saturday 3 – 4pm and Sunday 2.30 - 3.30pm. Hurry and book your place on the day at the LRWT stand as places are limited. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)