The Birds of Berkshire Conservation Fund is managed by the BOC. It receives profits from the sales of The Birds of Berkshire atlas and avifauna, donations from Club members and others. It is dedicated to conservation in Berkshire of wild birds and their habitats and to underpinning research and monitoring. After awarding grants totalling £18,000 since its inception in 2003, in August 2020, the fund had around £30,000 available for further conservation projects. The work the fund has supported includes:
- The Newbury Ringing Group for its work on reedbeds at Thatcham and elsewhere.
- Lavell’s Lake nature reserve with a grant for a sluice to give better control of water levels, to help breeding birds and enhance birdwatching from the hides.
- A grant to protect an area of open land at Paices Wood, near Aldermarston for ground-nesting birds like Lapwing and Little Ringed Plover.
- The Birds of Berkshire Atlas Group for bird survey work for the revision of the county Atlas and Avifauna.
- Provision of a telescope for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust to assist wardens at Greenham Common.
- A nest box project with the National Trust at Basildon Park and Barn Owl boxes at many sites across the county.
- Woodland management for bird conservation as part of the “Be Wild” project led by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre.
- A winter feeding project to determine whether Tree Sparrows were present at a number of potential sites in Berkshire.
- Support for work at Fobney Island Nature Reserve and Padworth Lane Gravel Pit.
- Construction materials for BOC’s Swift nestbox programme.
- Protection of a new breeding site of Little Ringed Plover in West Berkshire.
A report of the Fund’s work from 2003 to 2020 can be downloaded here.
Call for proposals
The Club is now inviting proposals from local organisations or individuals for grants to support bird conservation work in Berkshire. It is unlikely that individual grants will exceed £1,000. Proposals will be judged against the following criteria:
- Will the project help locally threatened species to breed or winter more successfully?
- Will the project’s benefits be sustainable in the longer term?
- Will the grant result in increased benefit to users of the site?
- Project management: Is there a convincing plan for the execution of the project and its subsequent maintenance? What measures are being taken to ensure value for money; for example, how much of the work is to be done by volunteers, have donations “in kind” been obtained?
- How important is the grant to the success of the project (what other funding is available or being sought; what will happen if a Birds of Berkshire grant is not awarded)?
Proposals, stating the work to be done and the conservation benefits it will provide and addressing the above criteria, should be sent to Renton Righelato, 63 Hamilton Road, Reading, RG1 5RA; tel 0787 981 2564; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download an application form here.
Applications will be judged by a committee representing the authors of The Birds of Berkshire and the Berkshire Ornithological Club.