Date:26 October 2018 - 28 October 2018
Price:Various - see under 'Charges' opposite or the booking form
Time:Registration opens from 3.30pm on Friday
Venue:Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Birds in the Human Landscape
* Apologies, the Conference is fully booked for Residential Delegates however remains open to Day Delegates. There may be some general room availability left at the resort - please enquire directly with the hotel *
There are two approaches to conservation: One is where you create reserves in wild places where you leave people out (land sparing), the other is where you embrace people and attempt to conserve wildlife within increasingly human-dominated environments (land sharing).
We have had a century of land sparing, leading to many conservation success stories. But is it now time to concentrate on land sharing? Is wildlife in remote, inaccessible areas likely to be forgotten if it doesn’t remain in the places where people actually live and work? Can we ignore the increasing evidence that wildlife around us, on a day-to- day basis, makes us happy in terms of improving our quality of life and our mental health? This surely means that we need to conserve the commonplace everywhere, not just rare species in special places. This year’s conference explores and celebrates this idea with the theme.
The talks and displays over the weekend will explore the opportunities for wildlife around us, in gardens and cities, recreated habitats such as woodland replanting, and new habitats such as sewage works and off-shore oil platforms. We explore how important it is to get people aware and enthusiastic about the wildlife around them for effective conservation; from House Sparrows in cities, to raptors in landscapes where they are still perceived as a pest, to the wilder landscapes of Scotland where so many of us spend our weekends, creating both problems and solutions. And we finally consider the overall relationship between birds and humans - as a source of inspiration, wellbeing and just plain fun.
We hope you can join us in Speyside – where examples of the opportunities for birds in human-dominated landscapes abound, from Swifts to Red Grouse and Peregrines – for an informative, thought provoking and sociable weekend where we celebrate our co-existence with the wildlife around us.
Rates are per person and include lunch and programmed refreshments. Evening meals and ceilidh are not included and must be booked separately
- Both days: £89 (£79 SOC members)
- One day: £47 (£42 SOC members)
- Student one day rate: £20
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Click here for details of this year's AGM.
Registration (Residential delegates)
SCOTLAND: The Big Picture – Pete Cairns, Conservation Photographer
Visit exhibitor stands or join one of the organised outings
Registration (day delegates)
Introduction and announcements
City living: gardens, birds and the built environment – Mike Toms, BTO
What are the impacts of woodland creation on biodiversity? – Eilidh McNab, University of Stirling
Scottish Raptor Reintroductions: Success, challenges & progress - Andrew Stevenson, SNH
From sludge to incineration: The story of Beddington, the last sewage farm - Derek Coleman, Beddington Farm Bird Group
Conference Dinner & Ceilidh
Registration (day delegates)
Introduction and announcements
The Loss of our boreal pinewoods: Causes and consequences for birds and other wildlife - Dr Ron Summers, RSPB Scotland
Bringing people, science and conservation together: The Glasgow House Sparrow Project - Kat Jones/Ross McLeod, RSPB Scotland/Glasgow University
Birds, bats and beasties- 40 years of offshore recording - Andrew Thorpe, North Sea Bird Club
Birds and People - Dr Nigel Collar, BirdLife International
Branch awards and Raffle Draw
Close of Conference / Lunch
Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Bird outings - Saturday 27 October
Autumn can be a fantastic time for birding in Speyside; the geese and other wintering wildfowl will be in, as should the winter thrushes. SOC Highland Branch members will lead three field trips on the Saturday morning, all starting from the hotel and returning around noon in time for lunch. Options 2 & 3 will be on a car-share basis to minimise vehicle numbers. The options below are subject to change, depending on weather conditions and what birds are around at the time. If you are interested in joining one of the trips, please indicate your preferred option/s on the booking form.
Option 1: A walk around Aviemore (departing 0930)
Option 2: A drive to the ski car park on Cairngorm (departing 0900)
Option 3: A drive to Insh Marshes RSPB reserve (departing 0900)
Here's who we have lined up for you (with more speakers to be added):
Andrew Thorpe, North Sea Bird Club
Andrew was appointed to the part-time post of NSBC Recorder in 1999 and has remained in post ever since, being based in the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab facility at Newburgh, north of Aberdeen. The Recorder’s role primarily involves liaising with offshore observers and verifying the records sent in and helping to identify birds, insects, marine mammals and cetaceans from the many photos now also sent in. He is responsible for maintaining the Club’s database (which now holds 150,000+ records) and producing an Annual Report. He promotes the Club through talks and magazine and newspaper articles and responds to the many requests for data from around the world, for those interested in analysing aspects of the offshore environment.
Pete Cairns, Conservation Photographer
Pete is a conservation photographer with two decades of professional experience under his belt. For him, the power of photography lies with its ability to make us feel, make us think; to elicit a response at an emotional level. Pete is a Senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Mike Toms, BTO
Mike Toms (Head of Communications, BTO) is responsible for how the BTO communicates with a range of audiences, presenting the BTO's science and monitoring work and promoting the role of its volunteer fieldworkers in the provision of data that support conservation science and inform policy. He has spent 17 years working on urban birds and, in particular, the use of gardens and is author of the forthcoming New Naturalist volume on Garden Birds (due 2019).
Andrew Stevenson, SNH
Andrew is Policy and Advice Officer -Ornithology for SNH, a role he has carried out since 2007 and is the SNH policy and advice lead for most raptor topics. Besides chairing the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Group, Andrew is SNH lead for the reintroduced White-tailed Eagle and Red Kite, and nominated officer for national raptor survey contracts. Andrew's role also involves being the casework adviser on bird matters for the SNH Argyll and the Outer Hebrides Area. Andrew has been actively involved in raptor monitoring in Scotland for over 25 years.Originally from Ayrshire Andrew has been based in the Uists since 1997.
Derek Coleman, Beddington Farm Bird Group
Derek has been birdwatching since he was a child and learnt his birds at Beddington, which has been his local patch during his working life in cancer research and since he retired. He was chair of the Beddington Farm Bird Group for a number of years and was one of the authors of The Birds of Beddington Farmlands. Derek was BTO Representative for London for twelve years and is now one of the editors of the London Bird Report. His biodiversity interests have increased and he is now more likely to be searching out moths and caddisflies than birds!
Dr Ron Summers, RSPB Scotland
Ron Summers is a Conservation Scientist at the RSPB and, over the past 28 years, he has been involved in studies of a range of Highland birds and particularly pinewood species. He is from Dundee, and attained a BSc in Zoology and PhD after studying at St Andrews and Aberdeen Universities. Further bird studies have taken him to the University of Cape Town, Goose Green in the Falkland Islands, and the Norfolk coast before joining the RSPB in Inverness.
Kat Jones/Ross McLeod, RSPB Scotland/Glasgow University
Kat manages RSPB Scotland's work with people in an area spanning Argyll and the Islands, via the Central Belt and south to Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders. She had set her mind to work for the RSPB since joining the Young Ornithologists Club at the age of five, but took her time to get there working with SNH for a decade after her PhD on Lesser Black Backed Gulls.
Cutting Edge Ceilidh Band
Exhibitors confirmed so far...
What does this year’s theme mean to you?
We asked conference attendees for their thoughts on what this year’s theme of ‘Birds in the Human Landscape’ meant to them. Here’s what they shared...
Mike Thornton, SOC Lothian Member:
- https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/11956860.2017.1374322 (a scientific paper on Edinburgh’s urban hawks).
- http://www.edinburghhawkwatch.org.uk/ (the hawk watch website).