TV naturalist Chris Packham has added his weight to the Fair Isle Bird Observatory (FIBO) rebuild appeal, describing the fire that struck in 2019 as an “ornithological catastrophe”.
Packham, who has been presenting nature programmes for more than 30 years, including the BBC’s popular Springwatch series, produced a short video for the appeal yesterday (Monday).
His video highlights the important work of observatories around the UK in developing our understanding of birds – but also their role in getting people in touch with nature, particularly young people.
“These ringing stations, birds in the hand, that’s the sort of thing that can ignite a lifelong interest,” he said.
Packham also noted the particular importance of Fair Isle Bird Observatory to the local community and its economy – as well as its offer to showcase “some of the most sexy birds that ever arrive in the UK”.
He described Roy Dennis, president of FIBO, as one of the “leading lights in conservation in the UK”.
FIBO thanked Packham for his “delightfully passionate message of support”.
An international crowdfunding appeal has been launched to raise at least £650,000 towards the &.4m cost of rebuilding the observatory was launched in August.
Spearheaded by FIBO patron Ann Cleeves, who wrote the best selling series of Shetland crime thrillers. the appeal has seen donations coming in from across the world.
According to the latest update, on 14th October, almost £180,000 had been raised.
Visit the crowdfunding page here to donate.