A SOCIETY is trying to track down the author of a mystery map.
Members of Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society were given the map at a bird fair at Rutland Water about four years ago, which has notes of birds seen between 1920 and 1970.
The map covers as far afield as Hambleton in the west, Easton-on-the-Hill in the east, Empingham in the north and Tixover in the south.
Sue Graham, who is chairman of the society, and her husband Ian, who is president, are keen to find out more about the author.
Sue, of Cropston in Leicester, said: “The more of the map you read, the more fascinating it gets and we just get more curious.
“It gives a good account of birdwatching throughout that period and a lot of the birds mentioned, such as corncrake are no longer common.”
Sue said the map was given to the society by a man called Ken Barnard, who had bought the map along with a similar Second World War map, at a car boot sale in 2004.
The pair have ruled out the map belonging to the founding members of the society, which was set up in 1941.
They have also attempted to cross reference the map’s observations with their own records, which date back to the 1800s, but there is no correlation between the two.
Sue said: “This person may have had nothing to do with the society but they were obviously a keen bird watcher and we are keen to find out more about the person.
The hand-drawn map, which measures 58cm by 48cm, reads ‘50 years of birdwatching on the south-west side of Stamford 1920 to 1970’.
On each corner, there is a coat of arms representing the four counties of Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire and the map depicts villages, rivers, roads and railways before Rutland Water was built.
There are references to birds seen in North Staffordshire and Cheshire before 1920, so Sue and Ian believe the author might have had a connection in that area.
They are keen to hear from anyone who might know anything about the map. They can be contacted by phoning 0116 236 6474 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.