Leave a gift in your Will

Help us to secure a brighter future for the UK’s birds

By remembering us in your Will, you’ll be helping safeguard our wonderful birds and their environment for future generations to enjoy - a truly valuable gift.

How your gift can help BTO make an even greater impact

BTO relies on gifts in Wills from supporters like you: supporters who are passionate about birds and the environment, and who want to continue to play a part in our vital work after they are gone, helping us demonstrate the powerful impact our science can have on bird conservation.

Thanks to incredible volunteers and skilled scientists, BTO is perfectly positioned to fight for a better future for birds. Leaving a gift to us in your Will helps us continue working collaboratively with volunteers, partners and communities.

That vital work ensures that the data you collect, and the research we produce, make the biggest impact they can to address the challenges of climate change, loss of habitat and avian disease that we are facing.

  • Registered Charity Number 216652 (England & Wales), SC039193 (Scotland).

Types of gift you can leave BTO in your Will

Leaving us a gift in your Will can take many forms. A financial gift is of course popular, but is just one of many different types of gifts that can help us deliver greater impact and inspire people’s passion for birds:

  • Gifts of money can be used by BTO where the need is greatest;
  • Equipment in good condition: such as binoculars for instance can be shared with young people who might not be able to afford them via our Equipment Donation Scheme;
  • Rare books and noteworthy papers add to the wealth of knowledge in our Library and Archives;
  • Unique photos, prints and paintings. For example: our Archives include glass plate negatives, lantern slides and prints from photographers like Oliver Pike and John Barlee.

Making a Will ensures your wishes are honoured

It’s very important to have an up-to-date Will to ensure your loved ones are cared for and your lasting wishes are honoured. If you don’t have a Will, the law denotes how your Estate will be distributed. So, if you would like to leave us a gift, it’s critical to state that in your Will. 

Any gift you do give, no matter how large or small, can make a real difference. By leaving a gift in your Will to BTO, you’ll continue to help us make a positive impact for the birds you have enjoyed throughout your lifetime.

Download our free booklet

Writing a Will is easier than you think but you might not yet know all the steps and things you need to consider. That’s why we’ve put together this short guide.

It will help you understand what the steps are and which types of gift you can leave, how to choose an Executor and Beneficiaries, and how to validate your Will.

Download our Free Booklet

Ignite a passion for birds

Frances Hurst is an inspirational volunteer and former BTO Trustee who has kindly decided to remember BTO in her Will.

Listen to her story of how she became interested in ornithology and how watching woodpeckers with her grandmother ignited a life-long passion for birds.

We are eternally grateful to Frances for all her support.

Invest in the next generation

David Walsh is a loyal BTO member and enthusiastic volunteer who has pledged to leave a gift in his Will to BTO:

‘Inspiring young people was the main reason I decided to include BTO in my Will, but it wasn’t the only one. I enjoy taking part in both the weekly Garden BirdWatch and the annual Breeding Bird Survey; the way BTO uses data from volunteers to underpin a range of fascinating scientific research really sets the standard.’

David Walsh, BTO Member

Inspire more people

‘When I was a young man I trained to be a bird ringer. I can still remember catching a ringed willow warbler a year after I ringed it. Knowing that it had flown all the way to Africa and then back again to arrive at my little patch of heaven was simply awe inspiring.

It was only natural that when I left this planet for good that I should reward BTO with what little I have left and hope that many other people are able to be as inspired as I have been.’

Malcolm, BTO Member

Find out in person how your gift can make a difference

Each year we hold a small number of events to highlight how gifts in Wills supports our research and monitoring. Because these events are held on a small scale, there is ample opportunity for supporters to chat with BTO staff.

They are usually held at The Nunnery in Thetford, but we do occasionally hold events online. If you would like to be invited to in person or online events of this kind, please email legacies [at] bto.org.

Help with making a Will

Deciding how best to apportion your Estate can feel overwhelming but there is help available in addition to our free booklet.

BTO is part of the Remember a Charity consortium and their website has lots of useful information to guide you through this sensitive process. They also have some helpful videos on their website answering some of the common questions people have about making a Will.

If you do decide to leave a gift in your Will to BTO we hope you feel able to share this with us so that we are able to say thank you in your lifetime by contacting Samantha Rider on legacies [at] bto.org. We appreciate this is a very private matter so any information would be kept confidential.

Will writing services from the National Free Wills Network

BTO is a member of the National Free Wills Network – a network of local law firms that offer Will writing services to supporters of UK charities. If you are a BTO supporter and wish to find out if you are eligible to take up a free Will offer through the Network, please email legacies [at] bto.org.

Help for Executors currently dealing with an Estate

If you are currently dealing with an Estate which includes a gift to the BTO, please contact Samantha Rider, Legacy Manager, by email or letter at BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU. Email: legacies [at] bto.org

The Institute of Legacy Management have produced some helpful guidance for Executors dealing with gifts for charities.

Thank you for considering leaving a gift to BTO

If you do decide to remember us in your Will, you will be giving an invaluable gift; helping safeguard our wonderful birds and their environment for future generations to enjoy.

If you have any questions, please email Samantha Rider, Legacy Manager:

  • legacies [at] bto.org

Registered Charity Number 216652 (England & Wales), SC039193 (Scotland)

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