Birdfair: The British Birdwatching Fair 2013. Rutland, UK.

From 16th to 18th August we have visited Birdfair, the British Birdwatching Fair in Egleton, Rutland, UK. It is the event of the year in the world of birds and wildlife that encompasses all the birdwatching industry while supporting their global conservation.

This event celebrates its 25th anniversary with overwhelming numbers: it gathers every year more than 20,000 visitors, who can enjoy over 160 talks and over 300 exhibitors. More than 250 volunteers collaborate in the organization, shared by the “Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)” and “Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust” and this year has raised over 250,000 pounds for conservation.

Birdfair logo - two birds one stone


25th anniversary Birdfair Logo

After a long journey from Valladolid in which one of us traveled via Santander to Stansted Airport and the other via Madrid to Heathrow Airport, we met in Stamford, Lincolnshire, which would be our base for the next few days. We were surprised by the beautiful countryside landscape of the area, mainly consisting of golden grain fields, grazing lands for cattle and sheep and magnificent trees. We were also pleasantly surprised by the pretty city of Stamford and its well-preserved historic center with its stone houses and especially his beautiful train station that welcomed us.

The first day of the fair we awoke to heavy rain, which of course did not scare the locals who faced the mud that was forming everywhere shimming their best wellies. Not surprisingly this event is known as the Glastonbury of birds.

As soon as you enter the fair you notice its overwhelming magnitude. We headed quickly to the stand of Castilla y Leon, where people from the TRINO program, Tourism of Castilla y Leon and the different companies gathered over the next few days and placed on the map the excellent tourism offer of our region.

Stand Castilla y Leon Birdfair 2013 - two birds one stone
Castilla y Leon stand in Birdfair

Once the introductions were made we started three days of contacts with people who approached the stand, conversations with colleagues full of ideas, projects and collaborations that we hope will materialize in the coming months; visits to tour operators to introduce our products, and of course, nosing around the stands of conservation organizations, publishers, artists, clothing, food for birds and varied material that populate all the fair.

It is worth mentioning the impressive assortment of optical material. This fair gathers all manufacturers of binoculars, telescopes and accessories with their latest so it is an ideal place to test the entire range. In fact, it has been very helpful when deciding to choose the new material that we will make available soon to our travelers.

There we have evidenced the impressive array of nature tourism from all the corners of Spain. Starting at the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO) it is possible to travel to Extremadura, Andalucia, Castilla y Leon, Navarra, Cataluña y Aragón. Our country is probably one of the most outstanding destinations in this fair.

The conclusions we draw: we have had the opportunity to see the positive response among the public of our ecotourism experiences encompassing nature, food and rural culture and have made some interesting contacts with various agencies in different countries. We return full of ideas that will enhance our proposal in the coming months. And the most important, we have established what might be described as the basis of our "local office" in the UK that will allow us to reach the numerous public of UK nature lovers.

We want to thank Alberto Bosque, from Castilla y Leon Tourism, for his invaluable help when moving through the fair during our first visit; to all people who have come and let us inform them about our ideas; to all agencies who received us so kindly and have given us a few minutes to present our experiences; the great work of the organization and, above all, of the volunteers, without whom an event of this magnitude would be impossible.

We are moving now.

We will tell everybody where we are once we arrive.