Celebrating BTO’s 90th birthday
Celebrating BTO’s 90th birthday03 Jul 2023
Members and supporters of BTO came together this weekend at our headquarters in Thetford, Norfolk, to celebrate 90 years of working together for birds, science and people.
BTO’s history stretches back 90 years, to a letter in The Times calling for people to support establishing a new organisation to monitor UK bird populations. Since then, we have been been at the forefront of ornithological research and monitoring in the UK, providing vital evidence about the nation’s bird populations through the work of dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers.
Saturday 1 July marked a celebration of this history, with staff from across the organisation and around 200 guests – many of whom have made huge contributions to its work as volunteers – joining the event. BTO’s president Frank Gardner, well-known as the BBC’s Security Correspondent, joined BTO Chief Executive Juliet Vickery alongside other attendees.
For 90 years, BTO has been at the forefront of ornithological research and monitoring in the UK, providing vital evidence about the nation’s bird populations through the work of dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers.
The event brought together all generations of birdwatchers, from longstanding BTO member Rose Newsom, who also celebrates her 90th birthday this year and helped cut BTO’s anniversary cake, to members of the BTO Youth Advisory Panel who spoke about their work to engage more young people with birds and conservation.
Staff from the organisation presented updates on our vital conservation work, including a talk from BTO’s Director of Science James Pearce-Higgins about the impact of BTO’s science. Harry Ewing, who has recently joined BTO as a Research Ecologist, discussed the findings of his research into Curlew conservation in the Brecks, while Seabird Monitoring Programme organiser Sarah Harris spoke about the importance of continuing to collect data about the nationally important breeding seabird colonies around the UK’s coasts.
A talk on the history of ringing was led by BTO’s Mark Grantham, and visitors were delighted to see a ringing demonstration in progress during the event, alongside moth-trapping and various guided walks around the Nunnery Lakes Reserve. Guests were also invited to explore the Chris Mead Library and BTO’s archives which hold material from many notable ornithological figures, from pioneering photographer Emma Louise Turner to George Bristow, accused fraudster of the Hastings Rarities Affair.
BTO Strategy 2023–30
As we look back over 90 years of working for birds, science and people, we’re moving forward with our strategy for 2023–30.
As we look back over 90 years of working for birds, science and people, we’re moving forward: our new strategy sets out how we intend to secure the future for birds and for nature, while inspiring others with the wonder of birds and empowering them to work with us.
Join BTO today
Our work depends on the support of people like you. Join us today and help us secure a brighter future for birds, science and people.
Volunteer with us
We welcome volunteers at every stage of their birding journey. Whether it's counting birds in your garden or at remote cliff colonies, there’s a project for you with BTO.
The Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) works to support the protection and conservation of our internationally important seabird populations.
A Blue Tit diary
Hazel McCambridge walks through the diary of an average Blue Tit during the breeding season.