Become a Witherby Custodian

Harry Forbes Witherby was a visionary ornithologist.
Harry Forbes Witherby

He donated £1,400 – about £125,000 in today’s money – from the sale of his unique collection of bird skins to establish the BTO.

His contribution to the body of knowledge of ornithology was exceptional. For many years he was a member of the BTO Council and took the greatest interest in our work.

Today you can make a different, but no less valuable, contribution by becoming a Witherby Custodian for a donation of £1,400. 

As a supporter of BTO you will know that it has grown to become a respected and trusted organisation harvesting the knowledge and experience of more than 60,000 birdwatchers.

Now, in the 21st century, birds and nature are under threat as never before, but we are challenging these threats and seeking solutions thanks to our army of volunteers, our skilled and committed scientists and our use of the very latest technology.

However, if we are to continue to be at the cutting edge of conservation science we need to redouble our efforts. This is where you can help.

Custodians have an important role to play

As a custodian you'll have an important role to play in helping us care for birds and safeguard our science by:

  • Sharing your experience, advice and support to help sustain and grow the BTO
  • Giving your input to our plans and strategy in meetings with the BTO board and staff
  • Joining us on special trips to learn more about BTO work, led by our staff
  • Attending an annual event for updates and briefings from key BTO personnel
  • Becoming an ambassador for our crucial role in saving threatened birds and wildlife

Become a Custodian Today

More information

If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Witherby Custodian, please email: fundraising [at] or call us and ask for the Fundraising Team: 01842 750050.

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