In 1968 the council of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds established a subcommittee, known as the Rare Breeding Birds Panel, to collect together in one place the records of rare breeding birds in Britain. This subcommittee consisted of A. W. Colling, Peter Conder, I. J. Ferguson-Lees, David Lea (Secretary) and Dr J. T. R. Sharrock. Details of the scheme were circulated to 46 county and regional report editors and the great majority approved it (43 in favour, one against, two not replying). While many records were received by the Panel, the response was less complete than had been hoped. As a result of this and also the departure to Orkney of David Lea, the Panel was reconstituted in December 1972 as an autonomous body separate from the R.S.P.B., financed jointly by the British Trust for Ornithology, the R.S.P.B. and British Birds, and including, as before, a representative of the Nature Conservancy. The members of the Panel are fully aware that the data on rare breeding birds submitted to them are usually confidential and that the records will continue to be sent in only if county recorders and others can be sure that the information will remain secret. Basically, this comes down to having confidence in the individuals concerned. Over the years there are bound to be changes in the Panel's composition and it has, therefore, been agreed that any such changes shall be subject to approval by the councils of the B.T.O. and the R.S.P.B. and by by the editors of British Birds. David Lea's departure has already necessitated such a change and these bodies have approved R. H. Dennis as the Panel's new member and Dr Sharrock as its Honorary Secretary.  

Issue 4
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