The British Birds Charitable Trust has awarded a number of grants to young birders to help defray the cost of ringing equipment or visiting a bird observatory since 2014.

The BBCT is again looking for applicants from young people aged 16–21 for projects in 2023.  It could fund a small-scale research project, habitat creation at a local patch or perhaps an observatory visit. The aim is to encourage young people with their birding. Grants would be up to a maximum of £250. To apply please complete this application form and e-mail it to [email protected] (deadline 3st1 May 2023).  Applications will be assessed on 1) how the grant will benefit the applicant in their birding (career or hobby) and 2) how the grant will benefit birds and other wildlife more broadly (i.e. scientific knowledge, conservation, public engagement, education).  All successful applicants will also get a year's free access to BB Online.  All we ask in return is a short write-up of how the grant was used, which will be featured in the British Birds Newsletter and on our website.  You can read write-ups from previous years here. This grant scheme has been generously assisted by Ed Keeble and we welcome other donors to what we consider is a very worthwhile enterprise. 


Thanks to the generosity of BB readers and other donors, the British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT) was able to award £17,285.00 to support seven projects in 2022. These and the grants awarded in previous years are listed below and cover an exciting range of topics. Each was chosen to advance ornithological knowledge, education or conservation. The Trust welcomes applications for grants for projects, and donations to supplement the funds from BB to support its charitable activities. The Trust’s aim is to expand the interest in birds across as many and as diverse a population of people as possible, with the focus being on projects involving birds of the Western Palearctic (whether on their breeding grounds or their wintering areas to the south) and the UK Overseas Territories. The deadline for each year's round of applications is 30th September with successful applicants receiving funds by around Christmas.

In addition, we pay 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 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: British Birds Foula report

To contact the Trust to obtain an application form for a grant, or make a donation and obtain a covenant form to enable the Trust to recover tax, please e-mail [email protected]

Grants awarded in 2021

– Investigation of hatching failure in New Zealand Hihi, thought to result in infertility or embryo death arising from in-breeding depression - Institute of Zoology London

– Expansion of the BTO's Bird Camp programme across the UK with the aim to organise a camp in Wales where young birders will learn from specialists and Youth Representatives on different aspects of birding - BTO

–  To replace a small wooden hide on Bardsey Island with a stronger more permanent structure for wader viewing and storage space for ringing equipment - Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory

–  Study of Little Terns at Beacon Lagoons, Spurn through ringing adult birds with the aim to increase sightings and knowledge of movements - Spurn Bird Observatory Trust

– Extension to the Save our Curlews work sponsored by BBCT in 2020, locating and protecting curlew nests and radio-tagging chicks to find out what happens to them - Shropshire Ornithological Society

– Collection of blood samples and other data from two Western Island wren subspecies to generate their genomes. Information will be used to investigate how they have adapted to life on the islands - Dept. of Zoology, Univ. Of Oxford

– Use of GPS tags on Nightjars to provide accurate measurements of timing, location and habitat usage of migrating birds - BTO

Grants awarded in 2020

– Save our Curlews - Shropshire Ornithological Society

– Curlew Fieldworker's Kit - Curlew Action

– Woodpecker Workshop - Hungarian Woodpecker Working Group

– West Oxfordshire Farmland Bird Project

– Replacement of Observatory Cabin at South Walney - Walney Bird Observatory

– Forty Years of Offshore Recording - North Sea Bird Club

– The BTO Youth Representative Scheme - BTO

– Protecting South Walney Nature Reserve Gull Colony - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

– The Impact of Birds of Teak Invasion into Native Forests - A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute

– Bird Hide at Hengistbury Head - Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group

Grants awarded in 2019

– To the Southern Colour-ringing Group for the development of dynamic interactive mapping of colour-ringed birds, particularly Brent Geese. (£500)

– To Bonita Johnston of the BTO to support GPS tagging of Short-eared Owls to investigate movements and habitat use of individuals throughout the year. (£2000)

– To the Abberton Reservoir Ringing Group to train local ringers, and undertake outreach and research based on waterfowl monitoring. (£1950)

– To the Galapagos Conservation Trust to investigate causes of rapid decline in Vermillion Flycatchers. (£500)

– To the National Trust to support the continuation of the rat erradication programme on Blakeney Point. (£1200)

– To the Wiltshire & Swindon Recrords Centre / WWT to radio tag breedign Curlews to determine hatitat use during the breeding season. (£3000)

– To the Batumi Raptor Count to scale up their educational programme for Georgian teachers and children to counter shooting of raptors. (£2000)

– to Chris Payne to increase the number of infra-red cameras for SKOLKHOLM LIVE, and to include Manx Shearwater nests. (£1150)

Grants awarded in 2018

–  To the UK Twite monitoring project to continue colour-ringing and trial the use of bioacoustics to monitor Twites in inaccessible locations. (£402)

–  To Friends of Red Kites, to support Satellite tagging of Red Kites in northeast England. (£2,863)

–  To Marcel Gil Velasco to study the use of bioacoustics to monitor Barolo Shearwaters on the Canary Islands. (£1,030)

–   To Sandwich Bay Observatory Trust for the Restharrow Scrape Appeal. (£1000)

–   To the Aldabra Clean-up Project, supporting students from Queens College, Oxford, to clean accumulated plastic pollution from Aldabra and to put in place a plan and resources to maintain the clean-up process in future. (£1,500)

–   To the European Breeding Bird Atlas to sponsor the species account for Willow/Red Grouse. (£450)

–   To Action for Swifts to fit cameras into Common Swift nestboxes and use the output to inform more people about their decline and what can be done to help them. (£2,000)

–   To Flamborough Bird Observatory towards the construction of a cliff-top sea-watching shelter. (£1,000)

–   To Hookpod Ltd. to further their work using hookpods to reduce the bycatch of albatrosses and other seabirds during long-line tuna fishing. (£1,000)

–   To Chris Payne to implement SKOKHOLM LIVE, a project using mini IR cameras to observe the behaviour of nesting Storm-petrels and Puffins on Skokholm. (£1,550)

–   To Simon Gillings of the BTO to use audio recording to monitor the calls and movements of nocturnal birds. (£1,015)

–   To A Rocha International to carry out fieldwork in the forests of Eastern Nigeria. (£1,110)

–   To the Felbeck Trust towards the purchase of tools to improve habitat and access to Sustead Common in Norfolk. (£1,500)

–   To Liz Humphreys, BTO Scotland, towards her work on the movements of Arctic Skuas during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons. (£354)

–   To the A. P. Levantis Conservation Foundation towards extension of the Becheve Reserve, Nigeria. (£3,000)

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.


Data protection policy

1. What data we collect and why we collect it.

The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT) is a charity whose prime asset is the shareholding in BB 2000 Limited, publisher of British Birds. It also raises funds for its charitable objects, supporting ornithology and the conservation of birds, and makes charitable grants from funds raised and the distributable surplus from BB 2000 Ltd,.

In order to conduct our activities, we obtain details of private individual donors (name and address) which we use to enable us  to reclaim tax from HMRC.

We will also have names, addresses and sometimes other contact details of individuals who are either candidates for grants and awards or the named contact were the candidate is a group or organisation, and where the grant applicant is under the age of 18 years, of their parent or guardian. Without these details we would not be able to notify candidates of the decision on their award, or send them the payment.

We do not share the information with any other organisation, except that the names of successful individual recipients of awards, or their representatives, will be passed to BB 2000 Limited for publication in British Birds as part of the promotion of the trust and its work, and applicants for grants who apply using BB 2000 Limited’s website will supply their personal contact information as part of such route for their application.

As the collection and use of this personal data is an essential part of the charity’s function and it is only used for such function, we rely on the legitimate interest ground in the General Data Protection Regulations.

2. Storage and Security

The personnel who keep the information we receive are as follows-

Donors’ names and addresses – these will be held by the trustee responsible for financial administration, the names being shared among trustees for information purposes and with directors of BB 2000 Limited, the trust’s trading subsidiary.

Names and addresses of individuals nominated to represent grant applicants – these will be held by the trustee or trustees responsible for administering the trust’s principal grant making activity. The name and address of the contact of the successful nominees will be supplied to the chair, the trustee responsible for financial administration and to the administrator of BB 2000 Limited to enable cheques for the grants to be drawn, signed and dispatched.

Names and addresses of individuals nominated for young persons’ awards – these are collected and held by individuals to whom the trust delegates running the scheme. The name and address of successful applicants will be supplied to the trustee responsible for grants and the administrator of BB 2000 Limited to enable cheques to be drawn, signed and dispatched.

All trustees and the others responsible for administering donations and grants store this information on personal computers, protected by off the shelf anti-virus software. As part of the trust’s regular meeting agendas, trustees will be reminded of the need to delete personal information for applicants, or contacts for applicants, when the information is no longer required. BB 2000 Limited itself has a data protection policy for personal information it holds or processes.

All individual information (other than names of successful individual donors and grant applicants, which will be kept permanently as a record of their success and the activities of the trust) will be deleted once used for consideration of grants, acknowledgement of donations and reclaiming tax on gifts under covenant, subject to retaining donor details for a period as recommended for data for tax purposes by HM Revenue and Customs.

Although we do not currently do so, we may carry out some analysis of the grant applications we receive and source of individual donations to enable us to understand better the effectiveness of our fundraising and donation activity which will be carried out before such data is destroyed, but the results of the analysis will not include any individual’s data that would enable any donor, grant recipient or nominee to be identified. No other processing of data will be undertaken.  

3. Your rights in relation to data we hold

Under UK and EU data protection legislation, individuals whose data is held by an organisation have rights in relation to such data. These are (in outline, and insofar as relevant to our activities) rights to be informed of the information held, to be supplied with copies, to require details to be corrected or updated, to require deletion of information no longer needed, and to restrict the use of data or its processing. Should you wish to exercise any right, please contact the trust’s chair (currently Neil Bucknell, c/o 4 Harlequin Gardens, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 7PF, email – [email protected]).






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