Thetford-based national bird charity celebrates big birthday

04 Jul 2023 | No. 2023-21

Members and supporters of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) came together this weekend to celebrate the leading bird research and monitoring charity’s 90th birthday at its headquarters in Thetford, Norfolk.

BTO president and BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner joined BTO Chief Executive Professor Juliet Vickery, staff from across the organisation and around 200 guests – many of whom have made huge contributions to its work as volunteers – on Saturday 1 July. Visitors enjoyed a day of talks, guided walks and lots of birthday cake, 90 years to the day since a letter in The Times called for people to support establishing a new organisation to monitor UK bird populations. 

Staff from the organisation presented updates on its vital conservation work and helped to showcase the varied wildlife of the BTO Nunnery Lakes reserve. Visitors enjoyed talking to like-minded people from across the UK and seeing a variety of species up close at bird ringing and moth trapping demonstrations.

On hand to help cut the BTO’s birthday cake was longstanding BTO member Rose Newsom, also celebrating her 90th birthday this year. At the other end of the spectrum, members of the BTO Youth Advisory Panel spoke about their work to engage more young people with birds and conservation. 

BTO has been based in Thetford since 1991, when it moved to its current home at
The Nunnery, just outside the town centre. 

BTO Chief Executive Professor Juliet Vickery said: "We were delighted to celebrate our 90th birthday with so many of our wonderful supporters. It’s thanks to their dedication and expertise that we have such an extraordinary understanding of the UK’s birds. Together, we will continue to play a vital role in conserving our birds and other wildlife for other generations to enjoy."

Contact Details

Tom Stewart (BTO Media Manager)
Mobile: 07585 440910
Email: press [at] (subject: News%20release%20enquiry)

Mike Toms (Head of Communications)
Mobile 07850 500791
Email: press [at] (subject: News%20release%20enquiry)

Images are available for use alongside this News Release. These can be downloaded here with the password BTO90

Alternatively, please contact //press [at]" target="_blank">press [at] quoting reference 2023-21

Notes for editors

BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. BTO maintains a staff of 150 at its offices in Thetford (England), Stirling (Scotland), Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.

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