Who We Are

The Field Centre at dusk

The Field Centre at dusk

As an accredited bird observatory and registered charity SBBOT is committed to the conservation and recording of the natural environment in the Sandwich Bay area, and in so doing offer opportunities for education, training and research.

This work is carried out by our Warden and a team of volunteers and is financed largely by our members by annual subscriptions and attendance at Club events. These events, the shop and the accommodation are also open to the public.

At the centre of all of the activities is the Field Centre, officially opened in September 2002 by our President Bill Oddie, it also allows the Trust to give something back to the local community, by being:

  • a home for the various clubs run by SBBOT
  • by fulfilling the role of Visitor Centre for people coming to the Bay
  • by providing a classroom for schools and universities
  • by accommodating visitors in our self catering accommodation
  • and continuing as the home of the Bird Observatory.

We also maintain a number of habitats including Restharrow Scrape (primarily for birds); the Elms (rich in birds and fungi) and a dragonfly pond.

SBBOT supports the work of the National Trust, the Kent Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the management of the Sandwich Bay Nature Reserve and plays a major role in documenting the bird-life of the estuary.


The Sandwich Bay coastline and all the marshes inland to the River Stour have been created by the northerly drift of sand and shingle, together with deposits of alluvium over many centuries …

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The Observatory is run by the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust, which in turn is administered by the Council of Trustees.

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I don’t recall exactly when I realised that Fulmars weren’t gulls, or that some gulls come with a ‘five plumages for the price of one’ offer, but I do still vividly recall the bird that got me hooked. …

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