Monday 22 August 2016

Birdfair 2016

After the success of Birdfair 2015, we just had to do it again. For the second time, Swift Conservation, Swifts Local Network and Action for Swifts got together to showcase Swifts, their challenges and opportunities.

Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation gave a well-received talk at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre (AWBC) encouraging everyone to put up some Swift nest boxes.

On our stand, with plenty of help from SLN members, we got to talk to a large number of people including important celebrities, Chris Packham, Nick Baker, Richard Porter and Mike Clarke, RSPB CEO.

We had 3 TV monitors showing rolling videos, and an attraction call system drew people into the stand. 5 swifts flying in a mobile above the front of the stand made us easy to find. 

This all impressed the judges to the extent that we were awarded Second in the Best Stand Awards 2016, conservation category.

We had a first production example of the new Manthorpe Swift Conservation Brick, which was universally acclaimed as a game changer: It is mass produced, so is a low price, very easy to install, conforms to all building standards and is unobtrusive. It should gain wide acceptance by builders and architects. Chris Packham quickly got it, saying "this is the way to go".

We recovered our costs by selling John Stimpson Model 30 Swift boxes, attraction call systems, mobiles, badges and nest concaves, but more importantly we think we persuaded a lot of people to do something to help Swifts.

We will surely be back next year.

There are a few pictures below and many more pictures by Judith Wakelam here

Dick Newell demonstrating the Manthorpe Swift Conservation Brick 
to Chris Packham. Edward Mayer looks on from the right
Just some of the proud team members after receiving our award
Mike Clarke, RSPB CEO, showing off the Manthorpe Swift brick 
with Dick and Vida Newell

Dick Newell discusses the Manthorpe Swift Brick with 
Rebecca Pitman, RSPB Swift Cities lead.
A busy stand
Another view of the stand.
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  1. A brilliant effort by all concerned. Setting up and running a stand like this over three days is really tiring work so a massive thank you to everyone involved. You are really raising the profile of swifts to a huge audience.
    Nick (Derbyshire)

  2. Thank you Nick, we have a great team!

  3. I always enjoy my visits to the Action for Swifts stand, but the trouble is it becoming so popular you have to time plan in the same way as you do for a journey on the M25. Good to see such conservation heavyweights as Chris Packham and Mike Clarke there, as well as RSPB swift champion, Rebecca Pitman. Keep up the great work. Richard Porter

    1. Thank you Richard (and Julia) for stopping by - it is always a pleasure.