Edward Max Nicholson, born on 12th July 1904 in Ireland and known to all simply as Max, died on 26th April 2003. One of the most influential conservationists of the twentieth century, Max was an exceptional ornithologist too. He founded the BTO in 1933, and took on the role of its Honorary Secretary from 1935 to 1939, and that of Chairman in 1947-49. He was Director General of the Nature Conservancy from 1952 to 1966, and, among other offices held, he was President of the RSPB; both a Vice President and a Vice Chairman of the BOU; and the first Chairman and Chief Editor of The Birds of the Western Palearctic project, and a member of its editorial team for all nine volumes. Among the many honours bestowed during his long and exceptional career were the BTO’s Tucker Medal in 1956, the BOU’s Godman-Salvin Medal in 1962 and the WWF Gold Medal in 1982. In terms of this journal, Max Nicholson played a critical role after the tragic death of Bernard Tucker, then senior editor of British Birds, in December 1950. With characteristic vision, Max assembled a team of editors, of which he became chairman, and he served as the journal’s senior editor from 1951 to 1960. In doing so, he not only saw BB through the immediate crisis of Tucker’s death but he also managed to harmonise the standards and traditions of H. F. Witherby with the vigorous new forces apparent in post-war ornithology: he took the journal forward,
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £40,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.