Thank you for visiting us at Birdfair 2013
2013 was another very successful year for BirdFair celebrating its 25 year anniversary, held on Friday 16th to Sunday 18th August. With 25,000 birders and nature enthusiasts in one place, along with exhibitors, organisers and volunteers, this ensures it the UK’s largest and most popular fair for the bird watching community, a spectacular show for everyone into birds, nature and wildlife.
Falkland Island Holidays have had a stand at BirdFair for a number of years and this year we saw a few changes.
Sue Smith joined Arlette Bloomfield and Carol Murphy as part of the team promoting Falkland Islands Holidays. Sue, new to the team this year, has already been welcoming and assisting last season’s tourists on Island and has now had an opportunity to meet future travellers along with experiencing her first travel/wildlife show. Sue commented on how large and varied the fair was and how much interest there is in the Falkland Islands. The stand was busy for three days with enquiries on how to visit and what to experience on these amazing Islands in the South Atlantic.
Arlette also managed some home baking, providing visitors with authentic Smoko Buns and Muzzie’s Ginger Biscuits. In fact they were so good there were none left!
Arlette, Manager of FIH commented: “BirdFair is my favourite event of the year, it’s not only promoting the islands to potential visitors and discussing their tailored requirements, the event is also very social and friendly. I look forward to seeing familiar faces of people who have already visited and to meet people who have booked to visit in the future. It is always so lovely to catch up with them, to hear of their fond memories of their trip and to simply see some amazing photographs. We obviously think we have a unique, natural and beautiful destination with an abundance of wildlife and culture, but when our clients confirm this, it is so rewarding. Thank you to everyone who came to see us”
The other change is that the Tourist board has now moved to marquee five, joining us and Falkland Islands conservation as neighbours.
Falkland Island Tourist Board also co-sponsored the 25th anniversary event, maximising the awareness of the Islands. The Falkland Islands was promoted by a large advert in the event guide, banners around the site and exclusively on the exhibitors badge lanyards. Smoko was also being served on the stand helping to showcase the Islands produce by using diddle-dee jam, (a local berry) for the scones and teaberries for the rather unique “tipple” that was on offer!
Martin Beaton presented two talks on the Islands, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Martin once again provided an excellent birders insight into the Islands. Mentioning many of the 200 species of birds on island, and some with more than one name, it made it exceedingly difficult to do so in 20 minutes. However, he ensured it was very interesting and informative and captured the audience’s attention with his engaging personality and wit.
Martin’s presentations generated a lot of interest and brought additional people to the stands to find out more about visiting the Islands.
Tim Appleton MBE co-organiser and founder of BirdFair visited the Islands at the end of February this year with a small group of trade and media birding enthusiasts, he was quoted in Birding247.co.uk:
“My recent visit to the Falklands confirmed everything I had ever read about these wonderful islands set deep down in the Atlantic Ocean, they are simply wonderful! A naturalists dream, an amazing range of wildlife so tame and approachable whether it be a two-ton Elephant seal, a tiny endemic Cobb’s Wren or a rookery of Penguins. The Falkland Islands has to be one of the top global wildlife destinations and one everyone must visit before they die!“
It was also great to see that Ascension Island had exhibited at BirdFair for the first time, on a joint stand with St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. Along with various packages Ascension islands are promoting a three day “Add On” package available to travelers flying between the Falklands and Brize Norton.
Described as the birdwatcher’s Glastonbury, The British Birdwatching Fair is jointly organised by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.
BirdFair encompasses the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation. This is the event of the year if you enjoy birds and wildlife.
If you missed us this year please put this fascinating event in your diary for next year Friday 15th - Sunday 17th August 2014, Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Falkland Island Holidays plan to be located in its usual location Marquee 5, stand 3. If we don’t hear from you before we look forward to meeting you then.
For more information visit http://www.birdfair.org.uk/
Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Egleton, Rutland, LE15 8BT