Families, budding conservationists and nature lovers alike are being welcomed to the UK’s biggest wildlife event- a weekend packed with fascinating talks, fun activities, a food market and the ever-popular wildlife cruises.
Birdfair, which raises funds for global conservation projects, will address the big issues of the day including climate change and wildlife decline.
On Friday evening join Chris Packham, Carrie Symonds, Deborah Meaden, Hannah Stitfall, Isabella Tree, Philip Lymbery and Tony Juniper for a Question Time session looking at the current state of wildlife, chaired by Dominic Dyer.
Simon King’s talk on living lighter will look at how we can change the world one step at a time.
Saturday’s schedule is filled with opportunities for visitors to discover how to take the first steps in a range of careers. You’ll hear how a range of passionate conservationists, including broadcasters Mike Dilger and Mary Colwell, got started.
And you’ll be able to chat to young conservationists in a variety of roles in career speed dating sessions plus there will be a chance to polish your CV with expert advice.
Visitors can also look forward to fun quiz sessions including Would I Fly To You and Bird Brain of Britain hosted by Stephen Moss as well as Iolo Williams’ talk on "Life before Telly" and Angie and Jonathan Scott’s Big Cat Tales.
Other treats in store include Birdfair’s wildlife cruises on Rutland Water, the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards with Chris Packham, local food market and for young families a production of The Lion King.
Birdfair founder and manager Tim Appleton said "There’s really something for everyone this year.
“Whether you’re a Birdfair regular or a first time visitor, this is going to be a fantastic three days. And it’s worth remembering that everyone visiting is making a real difference by contributing towards wildlife conservation projects."
Each year Birdfair raises vital funds for conservation across the planet, through entry ticket sales and a charity auction.
This year’s event will raise money for BirdLife International’s “Conserving Cambodia's Big Five” project.
It will benefit Western Siem Pang Wildlife Sanctuary, a forest in the Mekong basin that stretches across the border between Cambodia and Laos. The site is notable for its unusually high concentration of Critically Endangered species; five in total, including the towering Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis, and three declining vulture species: White-rumped, Slender-billed, and Red-headed.
This globally important site is in dire need of protection to protect its habitat from threats such as unsustainable hunting and deforestation; this year’s project will help secure its future by scaling up existing work with local farmers to develop eco-friendly practices.
Birdfair is jointly promoted by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.
The event is held at Rutland Water Nature Reserve which is cared for by Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water. A spectacular wetland, it provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in the UK, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl.
The entry ticket covers all the daytime events: separate tickets can be purchased for evening events and cruises. Parking for Birdfair is free of charge and entry for children is free too.
Tickets are available from www.birdfair.org.uk
You can also follow Birdfair on Twitter @TheBirdfair – and Like Birdfair on Facebook for news and updates.
Image: Giant ibis by Jonathan Eames
Last Updated: Thursday 23 May 2019