BTO Bird Camp
- England, Thetford, 20–22 May 2022
- Scotland, Haddington, 3–5 June 2022 - for more information and to apply for the Scotland camp, visit the SOC/BTO Bird Camp page (note that this camp is open to ages 10–16 only)
- Northern Ireland, Castle Ward, 17–19 June 2022
- Wales, Stackpole, 1–3 July 2022
The BTO Bird Camps 2022 are open for young people in secondary school or college at the time of camp, as long as you are under 18 during the camp.
BTO Bird Camps are free of charge, to make them accessible to as many young people as possible. However, if you are financially able to do so, any contributions made will ensure that we can keep running our camps for free in future.
We understand that equipment such as binoculars can be expensive. We will therefore have an option in the application process to apply for an equipment loan during Bird Camp. You may also wish to apply for our Equipment Donation Scheme. If you do, let us know which camp you’re planning to attend.
The programmeEach of the camps will follow a similar itinerary, outlined below, although this will vary based on location and the weather. A more detailed itinerary will be shared with successful camp applicants closer to the time.
(Late afternoon) Arrival at camp, getting to know each other, health & safety, evening activity (e.g. bat identification or arts).
Day-trip to local nature reserve(s), learning about BTO surveys, bird identification, learning about science, creative workshop, evening activity (e.g. campfire or stargazing).
Ringing demo (weather-permitting), identifying birds by song, final presentations and pledges.
Accommodation varies at each of the camps, but all locations will consist of either shared rooms or shared tents for participants. At the Wales and Northern Ireland camps, all accommodation will be indoors in shared rooms, with either single or bunk beds. In England, accommodation will be in shared bell-tents. We understand there are occasions when certain accommodation may be unsuitable for you. If this is the case, please email us at youth [at] bto.org and we will try and arrange suitable alternatives, where possible.
We are committed to making all Bird Camps as accessible as possible. Our ambition is to support all aspiring young birders and nature enthusiasts to participate in our camps if they wish to. If you have any accessibility requirements or concerns you would like to discuss, please email us at youth [at] bto.org.
Safeguarding participants is of paramount importance. All of our staff and volunteers have completed safeguarding training and will be DBS checked and cleared. A Designated Safeguarding Lead will be present at each camp. You can read our Safeguarding Policy on our website.
How to apply
To apply, download the application pack and fill in the forms. You can email them back to us at youth [at] bto.org, with “Camp application” in the subject line, before the deadline of 11.59pm on April 18th. You can either fill the forms in digitally, or print them off and send us a scan or photo of the completed forms. The application can be as creative as you like; you can include drawings, videos, or anything else that will help you tell us why you’d like to camp. Just include it in your email!Q&A 22nd March
Would you like to learn more?Q&A 8th April
We’ll be hosting two informal Q&A sessions on 22nd March and 8th April where you can learn more about the camps and ask any questions you might have.
Cameron Bespolka Trust
The Cameron Bespolka Trust is a charity that has been set up in Cameron's memory to inspire young people to love and appreciate animals, in particular birds, nature, and our environment. By experiencing the outdoors first hand, teenagers can connect with nature and make a difference to our planet.
British Birds Charitable Trust
British Birds is a journal for everyone interested in the birds of the Western Palearctic. Published monthly since 1907, the journal contains a range of material on behaviour, conservation, distribution, ecology, identification, movements, status and taxonomy, as well as the latest news items and book reviews. British Birds is regarded as the British birdwatcher's journal of record, with regular reports on rare and scarce migrants, and rare breeding birds. All the main contributions are peer-reviewed, and the journal aims to interpret scientific research in an easily accessible way.
The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
Dame Bridget D'Oyly Carte (1908 - 1985) established The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust in 1972 to support her personal interests which included her enjoyment of theatre, music and gardening, and, in particular, helping disadvantaged and disabled children. Today, the Trust continues her legacy through its three grant programmes: arts, medical welfare, and the environment.
BTO Data Reports
Our reports provide rigorous scientific information to inform Environmental Impact Assessments in the UK.
Birds and pollution — a masterclass
Increasing human activity brings more pollution into the environment. This can take many forms and can affect birds in a number of ways, as Nina O'Hanlon explains.