Thirteen year old Findlay Wilde from Cheshire was presented with the Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist of the Year in London last Wednesday, after proving to be truly ‘Wilde About Birds’.
The ceremony was hosted by the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) and held at the Mall Galleries on the evening of the 28th October. Findlay was introduced by Andy Clements, the Director of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), before being presented the award by Peter Titley of the Marsh Christian Trust. The award identifies the significant impact Findlay has had on the communication and enforcement of conservation issues, especially amongst young people, as well as his devotion to birds and the environment.
Findlay is an extraordinary and effective communicator. At just 13, he has a huge online presence, successfully running his own blog, titled ‘WildeAboutBirds’. He also has a big twitter following (@WildeAboutBirds), and has written several guest blogs for well-known birders and conservationists.
Findlay has proven passionate about the work of the BTO. He has been involved and volunteered for many of their surveys and schemes, which he shares experiences of on his blog. He has also used BTO research and data to raise awareness of conservation issues to the public, as well as politicians, conservationists, and policy makers. Findlay has also been a part of the RSPB Sky Dancers on the Dee Project, which involves a series of events aiming to showcase the mysterious dance display performed by Hen Harriers, and the importance of protecting this magnificent bird of prey that is in danger of becoming extinct. Additionally, he has organised and overseen his own projects. For example just a few days before being presented with this award, he published a blog series titled ’13 Years Wilde’, which saw the broadcast of 19 tales written by wildlife enthusiasts about their relationship with nature when they were his age.
Shortly after being presented the award, he said: ”I am delighted to win this award for Young Ornithologist of the Year. None of this would be possible without the help of the BTO. They are a fantastic organisation, that has been brilliant at interacting and communicating with the younger generation, like myself and my friends. It’s really important that my generation have an interest in wildlife and the natural world, as we will be responsible for the protection of wildlife in the future."
Notes for Editors
- The Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist – made to an individual (or group of people) under the age of 18 who has/have made a significant contribution to BTO bird monitoring schemes and shared this information with their peers.
- Findlay Wilde
From his blog “About”: I'm Findlay Wilde. I am a young conservationist and fascinated by all wildlife, but especially birds. I want to do everything I can to protect nature now and in the future. Afterall, we are all just guests at nature's table.
- Marsh Christian Trust
The Trust runs a portfolio of Awards with a number of internationally and nationally recognised organisations such as Barnardos, the British Museum and the Zoological Society of London. The Awards seek to recognise unsung heroes who all aim to improve the world we live in. Recipients of Marsh Awards range from scientists working in conservation biology and ecology, to authors and sculptors from the arts world, and those who give their time unselfishly to work with the young, the elderly, people with mental health issues and for our heritage.
- The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Bangor (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.www.bto.org
- RSPB Dancers on the Dee Project
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