Naturalist series. I bought London’s Natural For birdwatchers in the Britain of 1952, a newly History soon after it was published, and it was published bird guide by Richard Fitter, and both a revelation and an inspiration to a young illustrated by Richard Richardson, came as a birdwatcher living in the suburbs. I still think it revelation. It introduced many innovations, the is one of the most original books in the series, most obvious of which was to have paintings of with its blend of history, nature, literary allulookalike birds together on the same page, with sions, and urban ecology. The publication of the outline of a sparrow to give a quick idea of this book marked a watershed, for Richard left scale. The text was a mine of information, there London for Oxfordshire, and devoted himself were keys to aspects of appearance, behaviour to writing about country matters, initially as and habits, and a useful migration table; and all deputy editor of The Countryman, and in a in a book which would actually go in the column for The Observer newspaper. pocket. It brought the author’s and illustrator’s While in London he had taken particular names before a national audience, but Richard interest in the Black Redstart Phoenicurus Fitter was not one to rest on his laurels, and ochruros, and following his first note about it in became a prolific author and conservationist. BB in 1941, he went on to document its status in Richard was born in London,
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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 £70,000 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.