If you’d like to work in nature conservation, this year’s Birdfair, which runs from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 August in Rutland, is the place to be. On the Saturday the UK’s biggest wildlife event is packed with opportunities for visitors to discover how to take the first steps in a range of careers.
You’ll be able to chat to young environmentalists in a variety of roles in career speed dating sessions, and have a chance to polish your CV with expert advice. You can also hear how a range of passionate conservationists, including broadcasters Mike Dilger and Mary Colwell, got started. Want to fight for an important nature cause? Come along to Birdfair’s 'how to be a campaigner' session and discover how to fight for the causes that matter to you.
Birdfair is also addressing some of 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 nature, 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.
Birdfair visitors can also look forward to fun quiz sessions in the form of Would I Fly To You and Bird Brain of Britain hosted by Stephen Moss, Iolo Williams’ talk on "Life before Telly" and Angie and Jonathan Scott’s Big Cat Tales. Other treats in store include Birdfair’s ever popular 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! In 2019 Birdfair will welcome 45 new exhibitors, and brand new hand picked caterers at the "Nourish and Flourish Hub".
You’ll be able to chat to young environmentalists in a variety of roles in career speed dating sessions, and have a chance to polish your CV with expert advice.
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 fundraise for BirdLife International’s “Conserving Cambodia's Big Five” project. This project 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 that will improve the fortunes both of the site’s wildlife, and those who live on its borders.
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.
Parking is free of charge.
Tickets are available for Birdfair 2019 here: www.birdfair.org.uk