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Somerset Birding News

The 2015 edition of the Avon Bird Report is now available. The cost is £9.50 including postage obtainable from Harvey Rose at Arncliffe, Coast Road, Walton Bay, Clevedon, BS21 7FW.


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The Society is giving advanced warning of next year's Members' Day, which will be held on the afternoon of Saturday 8th April at Cheddon Fitzpaine Village Hall.

This represents an exciting development for the Society. We are lining up a varied array of speakers from within and outside of the County. The day will include a short AGM. We hope this new format will attract many members.

Full details will be announced as soon as we have them. In the meantime, please note the date in your diary!

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It is with much sadness we report the death of Hugh Boyd.

Hugh was a pioneer of waterbird science and conservation and was the first ornithologist at Slimbridge. His membership of the Society goes back to the 1960s.

We offer our condolences to his family.

For more information on Hugh, click here.

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On 28th April Natural England opened a new tower hide at its Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Somerset providing local nature lovers with spectacular views across the Avalon Marshes landscape.

Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is one of England's most important wildlife site and home to rare species like Bittern, Bearded Reedling and Marsh Harrier, as well as wildlife spectacles such as the winter starling murmurations. The tower hide is located just a short distance from the Ashcott Corner car park. It offers far reaching, elevated views over the lakes and extensive reed beds of Meare Heath, the opportunity to glimpse some stunning wildlife and brings improved access and visibility for all visitors. The new hide was designed by Shattock Associates of Bridgwater and has been built thanks to the donations from the many supporters of the reserve (including the Society) during a 'crowdfunding' campaign in December 2015. Over £17,000 was raised to build the new hide. Simon Clarke, Senior Reserve Manager for Natural England at Shapwick Heath NNR said, "The public support we received in December was phenomenal and very humbling. It's provided us with the funds to create an incredible new hide that will really enhance the experience for all visitors to the reserve and allow them to enjoy a very special wetland. I'd like to thank everyone that has donated to the project, the really hard work of the contractors who've built the hide, and all those who have made this possible". The opening ceremony was attended by over 40 supporters of the project. The hide was opened by Dr Andy Clements, Director of the BTO (British Trust of Ornithology) and board member for Natural England.


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The 2016 AGM was held at Ruishton Village Hall on 14th April.
The most significant change was to create the role of Chairman. Roger Dickey resigned as President and now assumes the role of Chairman. This brings the Society’s structure in line with most other similar organisations, where a Chairman rather than a President heads the committee running the organisation. We are pleased to announce that Stephen Moss, broadcaster, producer and author and our Indoor Meetings Secretary until recently, has accepted the position of President. Stephen will be a huge benefit to us in this largely honorary role.
Other notable changes are Brian Hill becoming Indoor Meetings Secretary, Alison Everett Field Meeting Secretary and Simon Breeze, newly appointed to the Committee, Surveys Secretary.
The revised list of Committee and Contacts is set out here. The new Rules will be posted on the website soon.

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Become a Member of Somerset Ornithological Society.