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Country News - 2003

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A partridge in your pear tree?

Monday 01 December 2003

BRITAIN'S top ornithologists want to know if a partridge appears in your pear tree this Christmas. Or a robin, a thrush, a chaffinch - or any other bird for that matter.

For many years, the British Trust for Ornithology has run a sponsored bird-watch over the Christmas period, an idea launched by the late Chris Mead, one of the trust's leading members until he died earlier this year.

The idea is that people put aside just one day over the holiday period to get out and about listing the number of bird species they spot - or even spend the day logging the birds in the back garden.

People can get friends to sponsor themselves for, say, 10p for every species and many people sponsor themselves. Although this is considered a fun day, the information gained, when fed back to the BTO, gives a very important snapshot of bird life as winter sets in.

And this year, the operation has an extra significance because the money raised will go to a memorial fund to build the Chris Mead Library, planned as the most comprehensive data base on bird life in Britain.

For more details, phone 01842 750050 and asked for Helen or log onto the trust's website, www.bto.org.


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