BTO in Wales: A new vision
This appeal has finished. Read more about the Welsh BTO Office. Thanks for your support.
Since opening a BTO office in Scotland, ten years ago, we have seen how much more closely staff can work with birdwatchers and with conservation and decision-makers, simply because there is a BTO office within the country. We now plan to provide the same impetus in Wales. By opening a new office, we shall be able to provide better support for our members and volunteers in Wales and also the key habitats of the west of Britain.
Wales is full of special birds and dedicated birdwatchers but subject to specific pressures too, particularly linked to the future of farming, marine policies and the need for power and water.
Monitoring bird populations in Wales can be a problem, simply because there are fewer birdwatchers available to watch birds.
By increasing the profile of the BTO’s work, we hope to find more volunteers who can help us to understand what is happening to birds across Wales, especially in key habitats such as uplands and Atlantic oak woodlands.
Iolo Williams,Wildlife presenter and President of the Welsh Ornithological Society, voices his support for the Welsh appeal.
''BTO Cymru will provide a clear focus on the key habitats of western Britain – from oak woods, through hill-farms and upwards to the mountains. With development pressures, losses of woodland birds, unexplained disappearances of Green Woodpeckers and Cuckoos, fewer Whinchats on the moors and Lapwings in farmland, there has never been a more important time to count birds in Wales.''
Welsh update - August 2011
The appeal has so far attracted £32,000 from birdwatchers and has enable us to move forwards with the office in Wales. We now have Kelvin Jones in place as Development Officer and he will be working with our committed Regional Representatives, to recruit more volunteers, promote the work of the Trust, develop courses for birdwatchers and represent the BTO in the media.
A Senior Ecologist has also been recruited and will start in October. This position will provide the link between science teams in our Thetford HQ and potential partner organisations in Wales, helping to focus our attention on issues facing birds in Wales and other western parts of Britain. New surveys and ecological projects will all strengthen evidence-based conservation.
The BTO Cymru initiative is warmly welcomed by Welsh institutions, such as the Countryside Council for Wales, RSPB Cymru and the Welsh Ornithological Society, and we aim to increase the number of partners with whom we will work.
We are currently trying to secure widespread and long-term support for the new Welsh office. If you would like to help the BTO to engage with the issues affecting birds in Wales, and western Britain more generally, we hope that you will support our BTO Welsh Appeal.