Report from the British Birdwatching Fair
This year's event was a huge success, attracting large crowds in spite of some heavy downpours on Friday. I was told that there were 45,000 visitors on Saturday alone.
There was plenty going on, with celebrities Bill Oddie, Chris Packham and Nick Baker taking part in 'Just a Linnet' in the events marquee and also specialist talks on exotic destinations for bird and wildlife watching. Many of the exhibitors were companies offering birdwatching tours. There were also equipment and clothing companies, as well as wildlife and conservation organisations from all over the world. Our grateful thanks go once again to Colin and Susan Smith for providing support with materials and manning the IAR stand for the second year. The tombola proved a great way of attracting people and during the three days we handed out approximately 1000 copies of the latest edition of our Animal Tracks newsletter.
A ten-minute video highlighting the cruelty of the 'dancing' bear trade was also on display at the stand. We are currently in the process of distributing this to our existing supporters with an appeal for further help to expand the sanctuary. It was astonishing how many people who visited the stand had travelled to India and seen the ’dancing’ bears. Unsurprisingly, they were all hugely supportive of IAR's campaign to stamp out this barbaric practice.