Posted: 06.08.19 at 20:58 by The Editor
This year's highly-anticipated Birdfair will be addressing some of the big issues of the day, including climate change and wildlife decline.
The birdwatchers' Glastonbury is at Anglian Water Nature Reserve in Egleton, cared for by Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water, from Friday, 16 to Sunday, 18 August.
On the Friday evening join Chris Packham, Deborah Meaden, Hannah Stitfall, Isabella Tree, Philip Lymbery and Tony Juniper for a Question Time session looking at the current state of wildlife, introduced by Carrie Symonds and 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.
On Saturday the UK’s biggest wildlife event is also packed 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, and have a chance to polish your CV with expert advice.
Also on Saturday, Chris Packham, Dr Mark Avery and Ruth Tingay will be interviewed on stage by Charlie Jacoby from the Fieldsports Channel on the issues surrounding General Licenses.
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 the Lens' 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.
For 2019 Birdfair will welcome 45 new exhibitors and brand new hand-picked caterers at the Feed Station and across the site.
Throughout the event, younger visitors to the Wild Zone can join in fun wildlife-themed events and activities including pond dipping and bug hunting.
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.
Rutland Water Nature Reserve is a spectacular wetland, providing one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in the UK.
Discounted online tickets to Birdfair, including free parking, are available until 5pm on Friday (9 Aug), with free entry for children under 16.
Entry ticket covers all the daytime events and separate tickets can be purchased for evening events and cruises.
Birdfair opens at 9am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and closes at 5.30pm on Friday and Saturday, and 5pm on Sunday.
For more information and to buy online tickets click the red button below.