Britain's birds need runners

01 Jan 2012 | No. 2012-05

It is well known that some of our favourite birds are in trouble. Birds like the Swift, Cuckoo, House Sparrow and Starling. If you can run, you can help.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), based in Thetford, Norfolk, has reserved a number of places in this year’s Brighton marathon, to be held on 15 April, and it has a small number of them left. By taking part for the BTO, money raised will help conserve Britain’s birds. Last year, runners in the Brighton marathon, helped to fund much-needed research into birds like the Cuckoo, Nightingale and Swift, all of which have shown dramatic declines as breeding birds in this country.

Rachel Irvine, of the BTO, commented, “It is amazing what people will do for Britain’s birds, we have had people jump out of aeroplanes, shave their beard off and cycle coast to coast, all to raise vital funds for research and conservation.”

She added, “Over the last twenty-five years, we have lost over half of our breeding Cuckoos and, more recently, over half of our Nightingales and a quarter of our Swifts. Whilst we know some of the pressures that these birds face, we don’t have the whole picture; until we have this it is difficult to target conservation action to help reverse these declines. By running twenty-six miles you can help birds like these that travel up to ten thousand miles each year.”

Right now we are tracking cuckoos in their winter quarters in Congo, Central Africa, using the very latest satellite tracking technology. These birds have already told us a lot we didn’t know but there is still a lot more to learn.”

To follow the cuckoos visit

If you want to secure a place, or for more information, please visit or call Rachel Irvine on 01842 750050

 Notes for Editors

  1. The BTO is the UK’s leading bird research organisation. Over thirty thousand volunteers contribute to the BTO’s surveys. They collect information that forms the basis of conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Norfolk, Bangor and Stirling, who analyse and publicise the results of project work. The BTO’s investigations are funded by government, industry and conservation organisations.
  2. Image of Nicola Storey, 2010 Brighton Marathon.
  3. For more information on The Brighton Marathon visit

Contact Details

Rachel Irvine
(Individual Giving Fundraiser)
Office: 01842 750050
Email: fundraising [at]

Images are available for use alongside this News Release.Please contact images [at] quoting reference 2012-05

The BTO has an ISDN line available for radio interviews.Please contact us to book an interview. Office: 01842 750050

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