The Regional Network Committee (RNC)
The Regional Network Committee is responsible for planning and supervising a long-term programme of volunteer surveys, ensuring that the concerns of survey workers are addressed in survey planning and evaluation, and monitoring prompt feedback to them.
It appoints Regional Representatives and liaises with the Surveys Team in supervising Regional and Country Representatives. The Chair of RNC sits on the Board and is supported on the committee by two members of the Board and six other members. It meets twice a year.
Chair - Simon Marquis
Simon’s career was in the advertising, marketing and media sectors. He worked in a number of ad agencies before becoming the editorial director of a number of marketing magazines. He was appointed CEO of one of the UK’s biggest media planning and buying agencies. He subsequently took on a range of advisory and non-executive roles, including being the chair of a PR agency, media research company, media events business and TV post-production company.
He has had an interest in birds since childhood and became a trustee of the RSPB in the 1990s and chaired its Education and Membership committee. He is involved with the Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) and edits its quarterly newsletter.
Helen has been the BTO Regional Representative for Sussex since 2008 and the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) regional organiser in Sussex since 2005. She is also the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) local organiser for Sussex inland sites. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Sussex Ornithological Society and has organised many single-species bird surveys in Sussex on their behalf as well as organising and taking part in all BTO surveys.
She also runs a farmland bird monitoring scheme within the South Downs National Park and is a trustee for a local woodland nature reserve where she monitors 30 nest boxes. She lives near Brighton and spends most weekends walking long distances on the South Downs.
Dr Paul Fitzpatrick
Paul is an academic Research Chartered Psychologist dual qualified as an ‘Environmental Psychologist’: He focuses on (a) the mental health benefits of environmental contact (b) the significant issues of human impact on both non-urbanised areas and nature reserves/SSSIs. He chaired his university Ethics, and Equality, committees and headed a research team responsible for Cultural Cohesion in relation to both the Home Office and Welsh Government.
Paul has worked, and published from, Antarctica for three separate periods. He is a voluntary warden with the RSPB and South West Lakes Ecology Team, and is a council member for Devon Birds where he is responsible for Partnership, Ethics, and Diversity. Although recently retired, Paul remains an accredited academic for his university for ongoing research and supervision.
Annette became the BTO Regional Representative for Warwickshire in late 2018. She has a lifelong interest in natural history and birds in particular which began by feeding and audio recording birds in her childhood garden.
In 2010 she embarked on the Birmingham University’s MSc in Ornithology. This re-introduced her to the BTO which she then joined, engaging for the first time in bird surveys. She has worked as a volunteer for the Warwickshire Bio-records Office and is currently employed in the Agricultural sector.
Peter’s ringing career has been very much a game of two halves: he became a trainee in the 1970s under the expert eye of John McMeeking. A decade of varied activity included the early days of ringing at Treswell Wood, numerous Wash Wader Ringing Group trips and time as assistant warden at Dungeness.
Work (as a pharmacist and GP surgery Practice Manager) and family led to a 30-year sabbatical, and he returned to ringing five or so years ago. This return has included, amongst other things, heavy involvement in CES at Slimbridge, spells at Gibraltar Rock Bird Observatory, monitoring for Gloucestershire Raptor Group’s Kestrel nest box scheme, establishing a colour ringing House Sparrow RAS and winter CES in his garden and a community-based Swift nest box scheme around his village.
Jim started ringing in 1991 with the Severn Vale RG but since the millennium have been based in Nottinghamshire. He is endorsed for, and trains, most types of ringing and has been involved in about 20 BTO ringing courses.
His ringing includes seabirds on the Shiant Isles where they run four seabird RAS projects, farmland birds in the winter with local students who use the data as part of their studies, heron and egret pulli, a few hundred owl and kestrel boxes plus garden ringing as a training tool.
Jim brings to Ringing Committee experience of governance, partnership and funding issues within the public and voluntary sectors through his work with Natural England and RSPB.
Stephen is the Regional Representative for the Lothians and RO for the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Heronries Census. He has been a birdwatcher since childhood, his early interest being boosted by a couple of residential YOC courses. In his late teens/student years he volunteered as an assistant at both Havergate Island and Minsmere reserves.
Although family and work (as a solicitor) responsibilities restricted birding opportunities for many years, since retirement he has taken on 2 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) squares and a coastal Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) section, before becoming RR in late 2019.
He is also a member of the RSPB and the SOC, attending the Lothian Discussion Group (which plans and carries out many local surveys) of the latter. Apart from birding, he is a keen amateur musician, cyclist and has returned to university, currently working towards a (part time) Master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
Eve is the BTO Regional Representative, Heronries and WeBC Local Organiser for Somerset. She has been Honorary Secretary and Pension Fund Chair for the BTO, and was Chair of Somerset Wildlife Trust. Eve is currently BTO Representative and Treasurer for Somerset Ornithological Society and a Trustee for The British Birds Charitable Trust.
Wildlife has always been key to her life; involving everything from surveys and data to writing, painting, photography, and sheer enjoyment. Having trained as a biologist, Eve currently enjoys a career split between ecological and retail consultancies.
Simon is the BTO Regional Representative for Cornwall and works in a shipyard. His first interest in wildlife came in the 1970's as a small child accompanying his father John on Citizen Science projects with the Rossendale Ornithologists Club in East Lancs.
After a considerable period away from the world of birds and a move to Cornwall, Simon rediscovered wildlife in 2007 and became a BTO Citizen Scientist in 2009 with BTO's Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS). In 2010 Simon discovered nest recording and his main project now is the 150+ nest boxes in his local wood.
Stephen started ringing at Skokholm Island Bird Observatory in 2017. He subsequently trained with Gower and Mid-Wales Ringing Groups, getting his C permit the following year whilst back on Skokholm as a long-term volunteer and is now a qualified Trainer. He completed a PhD at the University of East Anglia in 2022, largely focussing on mechanisms of migratory connectivity in birds.
Now alongside training, Stephen leads or contributes to projects across a wide range of species with a particular focus on colour ringing. He is active across a wide range of techniques, including mist netting, dazzling (with and without a thermal imager) and hand catching.
In his spare time Stephen has developed a range of online tools for ringers to use to explore the BTO’s annual ringing report and their own ringing data and he has also developed colour ring reporting apps that give instant life histories.
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