My story is somewhat different to that of other SBBOT trustees in that I do not yet live locally! Peter (husband) and I are imminently to make SE Kent our home, having lived for the past 55 years in the West Midlands. We have an apartment in Canterbury to which I travel weekly to look after our grand daughter, who has complex physical needs.
For 12 years, until July 2022, I was Chair of Trustees of the West Midland Bird Club, but step down finally in 2024 at the cessation of my term of office. I would describe myself as a keen birder regularly joining the Club’s residential weekends (April and November) and monthly Sunday field trips, contributing to the reports for the Club’s magazine and data set. Living near Edgbaston I am predominantly an urban birder, visiting the West Midland reserves as often as I am are able and, when in Kent, visiting the Observatory. Indeed I have brought our Deaf grand daughter along to some of the Observatory nature days, together with her Interpreter, although I am a confident user of British Sign Language.
Pre-Covid Peter and I regularly joined organised bird watching holidays in Wales, Scotland, Northumberland and Norfolk, as well as various parts of Europe. We were able to visit North Ronaldsay and Shetland last autumn and, once we have moved, hope to join more adventurous overseas birding holidays and engage in more local events!
As a keen allotment gardener I have organised dawn chorus walks for plot holders and their families, followed by breakfast in the allotment Pavilion: I should explain that until recently I managed the largest allotment site in Birmingham (c250 plots/300 tenants), encouraging plot holders to learn more about, understand and enjoy urban birdlife. Working with local park rangers I have introduced plot holders to a small RSPB reserve adjacent to the allotment site and have planted wild flower meadows on the allotment site to attract bees and other wildlife, including birds.
As a former teacher my absolute passion is to enable children and young people to better understand and appreciate the nature on their door step and to take positive steps towards local conservation.