The name of Bill Park will not be known to many birdwatchers today, for Bill, who died on 20th September 2003, aged 81, was one of that dwindling band who began birding before the Second Wold War. In 1938, he joined the London Natural History Society. After service as a bomber pilot during the war, particularly in the Middle East and Italy, he declined an invitation to become James Callaghan’s political agent in 1945, followed his father into the Board of Trade, and began to devote much of his spare time to the LNHS during that first post-war surge of amateur interest in ornithology. During the 1950s and early 1960s, he was successively ringing secretary, secretary and then chairman of the LNHS’s Ornithological Section (with over 1,000 members), and served on the Society’s governing Council. He was also one of two cameramen who, over a period of four years, filmed some 70 species for the Society’s 16-mm colour feature film `London’s Birds’, which had its premiere in 1963. He served as secretary of the Toxic Chemicals Committee of the BTO and as a member of the joint RSPB/BTO committee covering the same field, and was a founder member of Dungeness Bird Observatory. In 1961, he moved to the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC), where Max Nicholson was then director, and where life moved at a much faster pace than in the Board of Trade. For the next 20 years, Bill was in the thick of battles for the protection of, or
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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.