With Colin Tubbs’ death from cancer on 17th October 1997, the wildlife conservation movement and ornithology have lost one of their most effective campaigners. Born in Portsmouth, Colin left Portsmouth Grammar School aged 16, taking a number of short-term jobs, including two years as a forest worker on a Hampshire estate, followed by National Service in the Dorset Regiment (1955-57). Joining The Nature Conservancy in 1960 as New Forest summer warden, he continued with the Conservancy and its successors, subsequently becoming senior Hampshire and Isle of Wight officer based in Lyndhurst, until his early retirement in 1993. The ornithological and conservation seeds had been sown at an early age; he was writing about the birds of Langstone and Portsmouth Harbours at 13, becoming a founder member of what became known as The Portsmouth Group and initiating one of the first long series of wildfowl and wader counts in the UK–a forerunner of the Wetland Birds Survey. He began studying Common Buzzards Buteo buteo, Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio and Dartford Warblers Sylvia undata during camping expeditions to the New Forest; the Forest, on which he was to become an acknowledged authority, was his first love. Early fieldwork set the pattern for his lifelong ornithological interests in wildfowl–especially Brent Geese Branta bernicla–waders and raptors, to which many of his publications are devoted. Without formal academic training, Colin’s activities spanned the amateur/professional divide as if it was non-existent. His professional role was characterised by his selfless and successful advocacy, at numerous public enquiries,
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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.