Thousands expected at 25th British Birdfair

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Thousands of nature enthusiasts are set to attend British Birdfair which takes place at Rutland Water this weekend.

The event is celebrating its 25th year and organisers expect more than 22,000 visitors to turn out during the three-day event, which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday.

During the popular event, there will be a range of entertainment and talks from international wildlife personalities.

People can enjoy more than 300 stalls and a wildlife cruise while raising funds for BirdLife International’s Flyways Programme, which aims to save millions of birds on their annual migrations.

The focus this year is on the flyways between North and South America.

Many celebrities from the wildlife world are due to attend, including cameraman and presenter Simon King, bird expert extraordinaire Bill Oddie, film producer and writer Stephen Moss, wildlife presenter Nick Baker, wildlife filmaker Johnny Kingdom and many more.

There will also be a presentation on the Amazon rainforest from bird specialist Guy Kirwan, who participated in the 2012 inaugural Birding Rally Challenge in Machu Picchu.

The lecture will be held on Saturday, at 4.10pm.

The RSPB’s Martin Davies and Tim Appleton, of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, are co-founders and organisers of the Birdfair.

Martin said: “A quarter century anniversary is a perfect opportunity to look back and look forward.

“We are delighted that over 25 years the event has raised over £3 million for conservation and has helped species as diverse as albatrosses and hummingbirds.

“But looking forward, we’re hoping to achieve even more for conservation.

“The number of species facing extinction has risen considerably. If we all focus our efforts, we really can make a positive difference for conservation.”

There will also be a host of activities aimed at the next generation of birders and naturalists, including an art mural, arts and crafts, and quizzes and nature workshops, making the Birdfair a fantastic event for all the family to enjoy.

Gates are open from 9am each day until 5.30pm on Friday and Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. Tickets are £15 on the gate or free for children under 16 and students in full-time education.

For more information on the event, including timetables visit www.birdfair.org.uk.