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Great West Bird Fair Takes Off
Philippa Forrester
Philippa Forrester: Got her fans in a flap
Last updated: 15 February 2005 1520 GMT
line TV presenter Philippa Forrester opened The Great West Bird Fair at The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire at the weekend.
(February 2005)
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Audio

Listen to Philippa Forrester interviewed by BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Trish Campbell Audio

Listen to the official opening of The Great West Bird Fair Audio

Listen to Lady Scott interviewed by BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Trish Campbell Audio

Listen to Vernon Harwood taking "Breakfast With The Birds" Audio

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2005 Features Archive

BBC Nature: Birds

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WWT Slimbridge

Sir Peter Scott

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The Great West Bird Fair at The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), Slimbridge soared into action when TV presenter Philippa Forrester declared it open officially, kicking off a whole series of activities for all the family.

swans

Philippa's fans were in a flap as the star of 'Zoo Watch', 'Tomorrow's World' and 'Robot Wars' took to the microphone and got the event off to a flying start.

Philippa and her children are regular visitors to Slimbridge. She said: "I can bring the family so easily and everything is accessible. Every time we come we have a good time; they learn something and I learn something."

Exclusive interview

BBC Radio Gloucestershire was there too with Trish Campbell and Brian Bailey hosting a special two-hour edition of 'Country Matters'.

The programme featured an exclusive interview with another Philippa; Lady Scott whose husband, Sir Peter, founded the original Severn Wildfowl Trust in 1946.

quote Every time we come we have a good time; they learn something and I learn something.quote
Philippa Forrester

Even after nearly 60 years, Lady Scott is optimistic about the future of the Trust; "There's always more you can do and there's no lack of ideas. There's lots of outreach we can do; our education programme could grow, our research programme could grow… there's no end to the things we could do," she said.

Packed programme

From dawn until dusk visitors to the Great West Bird Fair got stuck in to all things avian, from Breakfast with the Birds at 6.30am to Floodlit Swan Feeds at 6pm and a packed programme in between.

Slimbridge is known world-wide for its conservation work and special Threatened Species Tours of the grounds revealed the plight of many of the world’s waterfowl.

goose

This year’s theme was the Red-breasted Goose, the word’s smallest and most colourful goose. Sadly, it is in grave danger and Dr Baz Hughes gave the inside track on what WWT is doing to help.

Slimbridge is synonymous with Bewick’s Swans which migrate from Arctic Russia each year and a team of WWT swan researchers were on hand to reveal the secrets of these stunning winter visitors.

Majestic birds

Afternoon and Floodlit Swan Feeds were popular with people eager to see these majestic birds feeding just feet from the window of the Peng Observatory.

quote There's always more you can do and there's no lack of ideas. There's lots of outreach we can do.quote
Lady Scott

Guest speakers regaled visitors with tales of Birds in the Baltic, the Species of South West Cape Province and the Islands of Britain while visitors with a creative streak joined artist, Trevor Smith, for a lesson in sketching Winter Wildfowl.

Meanwhile heats of the quiz "A Question on Birds" took place on both days with teams of expert birders pitting their wits against each other in fast-paced, knock-out rounds.

Bird paraphernalia

All the Bird Fair events were complemented by trade stalls from wildlife artists to bird food suppliers, outdoor clothing specialists to wood carvers and all manner of bird paraphernalia.

Watch this space for news of the Great West Bird Fair 2006 !!

Photo Gallery
(Gallery 1: 20 photos)

Photo Gallery
(Gallery 2: 20 photos)

Photo Gallery
(Gallery 3: 13 photos)


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