Inverness man receives national award

No.:  2010-12-59
December 2010

Hugh Insley, from Inverness, received a national award for services to ornithology at the annual conference of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The BTO Bernard Tucker Medal was presented by Baroness Young.

Hugh Insley 

Hugh has been instrumental in coordinating
an army of volunteers to undertake fieldwork
for BTO surveys

The Tucker Medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to the scientific work of the Trust. Hugh joined the BTO in 1966, became an active bird ringer in 1967. After moving to Inverness in 1990 he became a member of the Highland Ringing Group, involved with many of the group’s research activities, including work on Redshanks on the Moray Firth, geese, ducks and waders across northern Scotland, and work on Peregrines with Natural Research. He has also undertaken long-term ringing and research on Storm Petrels and seabirds on Priest Island and Eilean Hoan at Durness.

As the BTO Regional Representative for Inverness-shire east and west, Hugh has been instrumental in coordinating an army of volunteers to undertake fieldwork for BTO surveys in challenging and difficult terrain, tackling some of the most remote 10km squares in Scotland. He has achieved 100% coverage for winter visits and 90% coverage for summer visits for the BTO 2007-11 Bird Atlas project, the biggest stock-take of Britain’s birds ever undertaken.

It doesn’t stop with his huge contribution to field studies. Hugh has served on various committees for the BTO including the Population & Surveys committee (1980-82), Regional Network Committee (1997-2001), BTO Council (2000-2003) and the Finance & Operations (2002-2003) committee.

Dr Mark Rehfisch, Development Director at the BTO, said, “The contribution Hugh has made can’t be under-estimated. Since becoming a member 45 years ago he has contributed a huge amount to the scientific work of BTO, and in doing so to British ornithology generally. He is a more than worthy recipient of the Tucker medal.”

Hugh, commented “Receiving the BTO Tucker Medal was a great honour for me.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Bernard Tucker Medal is ‘for outstanding service to the Trust’ – i.e. for outstanding contributions to the Trust’s scientific work, through Trust surveys or trust-aided investigations. The Medal was first awarded in 1954, in memory of the BTO’s first Secretary, Bernard Tucker.
  2. The BTO is the UK’s leading bird research organisation. Over thirty thousand birdwatchers contribute to the BTO’s surveys. They collect information that forms the basis of conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Norfolk and Stirling, who analyse and publicise the results of project work. The BTO’s investigations are funded by government, industry and conservation organisations.

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