British Birds Charitable Trust

Each year, any surplus generated by sales of British Birds is passed to the BB Charitable Trust, and used to further our conservation and other aims. The Trustees then dispense this money as small grants. In most recent years, some £5–6,000 has been spent annually in this way, and the projects sponsored are listed below. Individual grants are mostly in the range £500 to £1,500. Some cover the entire cost of a project, but most act as a contribution to a bigger project.

Because of the relatively small number of grants we are able to award each year, we have not invited applications from the readership at large. Instead, proposals are put forward by Trustees and Board Members, and from this total 4–5 are selected each year for funding. One of our current objectives is to encourage readers to donate money (whatever they feel they can afford) to enlarge the funding pot, and if this is successful, we may eventually be in a position to open applications from the readership at large. We would like to use donations to support young people (see below) or other volunteers doing good work who do not have access to organisational funding.

In recent years, we have in addition paid out a number of smaller grants to young people to support their interest in birds. These ‘Young Birder Grants’ have been awarded for the purchase of ringing equipment or nest boxes, or to fund a residential stay in a Bird Observatory. Increasingly, though, these grants have been used to support research projects, such as ongoing seabird studies.

The Young Birder Grants are not included in the list below. They are mostly in the range £50 to £250 and, unlike the main grants, they are advertised here on the website and on social media, and individuals are invited to apply. The amount available as grants to young people has already been supplemented by donations from generous BB subscribers. Sam Buckton’s report on his 2017 visit to Foula is a good example of the impact these grants can have: BB.British Birds Foula report

Grants awarded in 2017

– To Birds of Arabia, and the production of an app, which would further encourage the study of birds in the area. (£1,000)

– To the Hookpod company, to support their work developing and distributing the Hookpod device, to protect birds being caught on fish hooks in longline fishing. (£1,000)

– To David Turner, North York Moors, for tagging young Eurasian Curlews in an established volunteer project to monitor movements and survival. (£1,200).

– To Batumi Raptor Migration Watch, an established watch site for raptor migration in Georgia, to help fund the travel and training of young Georgians. (£1,000)


Grants awarded in 2016

– To the Upper Onny Wildlife Research Group in Shropshire towards their work on Curlews (£1,500)

– To the European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 (EBBA2) to support surveys in remote areas (£1,000)

– To help with Rat eradication at Blakeney Point National Nature Reserve (£500)

– To the BTO for satellite tracking of Cuckoos (£1,000)


Grants awarded in 2015

– To Birdlife International towards their study of illegal bird killing in Arabia   (£1,000)

– To the BTO and China Birdwatching Society in support of the satellite tracking of Cuckoos from China (£1,000)

– To Birdlife International towards their campaign to save African vultures (£1,000)

– To the Spurn Bird Observatory Appeal (£1,000)

– To volunteers for work on Woodlarks, in memory PAD Hollom (£1,080)


Grants awarded in 2014

– To two volunteers to support their work on Nightjars in Norfolk (£1,260)

– To support further work led by RSPB on rat removal from Henderson Island (£1,000)

– To support the production of a book Birds of the Middle East in Arabic (£1,000)

– Towards a survey of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in the most important wintering site at Martaban Bay in Myanmar (£1,000)

– To Birdlife International for work on declining vulture populations (£1,000) 


Grants awarded in 2013

– To Hong Kong Bird Watching Society to support counts of Spoon-billed Sandpipers and other waders on a newly-discovered stop-over site (£1,000).

– To the Hawk & Owl Trust towards management work on Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve in Norfolk (£1,000)

– To two volunteers to support their work on Common Sandpipers in northern Scotland (£1,500)

– To a programme helping to combat bird killing in the eastern Mediterranean (£500) 


Grants awarded in 2012

– To the World Land Trust for use in Armenia to support work on a major IBA (£1,000)

– To Nature Iraq, towards the publication of Key Biodiversity Areas of Iraq (£1,000).

– To Farlington Ringing Group, Hampshire, towards work on Greenshanks (£1,000)

– To the New Forest Woodcock Group, towards work on Woodcock movements (£1,000)

– To the Isle of May Bird Observatory Appeal (£400)


Grants awarded in 2011

– To the BTO in support of the satellite tracking of Cuckoos (£1,500)

– Towards the RSPB-led rat elimination project on Henderson Island (£1,000)

– Towards the WWT-led Madagascar Pochard project (£1,000)

– To A Rocha for work on Roller conservation in France (£1,000)


Our first grant

Regular grant giving could not begin until 2011, but one earlier donation of £5,000 was given in 2009, to A Rocha Kenya for monitoring wintering terns and waders. The grant was given in memory of BB director Terry Smeeton and BB staff member Philippa Leegood, both of whom died suddenly.