“The Annual Rutland Romp!” ?? I’m referring to the British Birdwatching Fair, the Birdfair of course! 🙂 Last week was my 5th time at the fair (I’ve been going every year since 2010). It’s on for 3 days over a weekend in mid August, and has been on every year for more than 25 years! I love that it’s not just people from all over Britain visiting Rutland Water, but people from all over the world that migrate to England’s smallest county for this annual and eventful occasion too!
Over the years – despite its name – Birdfair has evolved to not just be about birds and aiding their conservation, but wildlife and conservation overall. I often refer to it as a wildlife festival before telling people the name of it. It is an amazing place to meet and be surrounded by like-minded passionate people, and rub shoulders with TV personalities 😉 There are talks from wildlife TV presenters, naturalists, conservationists and filmmakers, as well as authors and photographers too. I could only do two days of the fair and arrived on Saturday, with my wildlife photographer friend, James Burman – who has taken some stunning pictures. We camped at Rutland Water Camping, on the lovely Hambleton Peninsula – where we saw Foxes and a Badger 🙂
Chris Packham’s talk was brilliant – in short; it was about cutting the crap regarding what dangers children might face outdoors, and to let them experience and enjoy nature in all its glory! Chris featured three young wildlife enthusiasts, who in turn talked about their experiences and passion for nature, and what they have been up to. I realised they each represented a region of England: Josie Hewitt – The South, Connor Coombes – The North and Georgia Locock – The Midlands. All of their talks were very good, and insightful 🙂 I’m hoping this is a progressive change, as it’s really nice hearing from a diverse range of people on stage in the Events Marquee. Connor with his Cumbrian accent and Georgia with her West Midlands accent (similar to my own), I couldn’t help but be moved, it was refreshing and humbling!
In various other marquees you can find hundreds of stands selling and promoting the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts – gadgets and clothing, scopes to sculptures, binoculars to bird food and eGuides to eco-holidays! 😀 I mainly go to the festival to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and to share it all with them! ❤
Since my 2nd time, I have met up with my friend Christine Hall, a great wildlife camerawoman, photographer and conservationist. It’s possible you’ve seen her video of a Red Squirrel on a previous series of Autumnwatch, it was slipping down a post whilst trying to get peanuts from a bird-feeder, and you may have recently seen her in the Springwatch Unsprung audience 😉
It was really good meeting Yusuf Akhtar, Victoria House and a mixture of AFON and NGB members (to name a few); Alexandra Hoadley, Ryan Clark, Susan Jones, Josie Hewitt, James Common, Georgia Locock, Drew Lyness, Billy Stockwell, Sorrel Lyall, Tom Mason and James O’Neill. Plus it was really nice catching up with Peter Cooper, Jack Perks, Josh Jaggard and Matt Collis 🙂
Every year at the Bushnell stand I chat to WildlifeKate quite a lot, we came to realise we’ve never had a photo taken together, so the picture above is the only one ever for now 😛
Mike Dilger and I chat quite a lot too, this year he bumped into me – in the Art Marquee – James and I happened to be getting to know the illustrator of his new book, Darren Woodhead – a wonderful artist. Mike’s new book is being released next year!
Simon King’s talk this year – as well as hearing about his recent wildlife filmmaking – contained a much needed reminder; a bit more needs to be done to conserve the natural world. We were made aware that nature is losing places in the dictionary! Words like Snowdrop are being taken out and replaced with the likes of “selfie” and “blog”. So I was pleased that towards the end of his talk we were informed about the Simon King Wildlife Project, which is a new charity assisting in the prevention of the degradation of the natural world, globally. The project intends to safeguard habitats, reclaim land for nature and engage people with wild creatures and wild places, which in turn will help keep the natural world intact! 🙂
Before my entry comes to an end – wildlife I observed around the reserve:
- Common Sandpiper
- Muntjac Deer
- Barn Owl
Thanks for visiting 😀