Thousands expected at Birdfair at Rutland Water

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THOUSANDS of people will descend on the county this weekend for one of the country’s biggest wildlife events.

The 24th annual Birdfair 2012 starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday on the shores of Rutland Water. About 22,000 visitors are expected to flock to the nature reserve at Egleton to enjoy wildlife cruises, lectures and nearly 350 trade stands.

Leading bird and wildlife experts including Bill Oddie, Simon King, Nigel Marven, Stephen Moss, Robin Smith, Nick Baker and Mike Dilger.

One of the organisers Tim Appleton, from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “Birdfair has grown enormously over its 24-year history, with many dubbing it the wildlife event of the year and some even calling it ‘Glastonbury for wildlife lovers’.

“What I love about it, though, is that despite its size and popularity, it still manages to capture a relaxed, friendly and fun atmosphere. There’s something for everyone at Birdfair, no matter how old or young you are or how much you know about wildlife.”

Profits from this year’s event will go to BirdLife International’s Flyway Programme, helping conservation efforts to protect intertidal wetlands on the East Asian-Australasian flyway.

Adult entry costs £12.50 a day, children enter free. For details or tickets visit