BTO Cymru nests at new University office

Prof John Hughes, Bangor University's Vice-Chancellor cut a celebratory cake at The British Trust for Ornithology Cymru’s (BTO) opening reception recently. The BTO have newly settled into offices at the Thoday building alongside the School of the Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENERGy), The Head of SENRGy Dr. Christine Cahalan gave a brief speech welcoming the BTO to the University, seconded by the Vice Chancellor.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is an independent research institute which partners citizen scientists with professional ornithologists. The aim of the charity is to use evidence of change in wildlife populations, particularly birds, to inform the public, opinion-formers and environmental policy and decision-makers. Their impartiality enables their data and information to be used both by Government and conservation organisations. In addition to their headquarters in Thetford, the charity has an office in Scotland (based in Stirling University) and a BTO Ireland officer. BTO Cymru was officially launched at the Royal Welsh Show earlier on this year.

Vice Chancellor, Professor John Hughes cuts the cakeVice Chancellor, Professor John Hughes cuts the cakeBTO Cymru has two permanent staff members: Wales Development Officer Kelvin Jones and Senior Ecologist Dr. Rachel Taylor, who joined BTO from SENRGy at the beginning of October. During the opening they were pleased to welcome several members of University staff along with old and new friends from CCW, RSPB, CEH, BSBI, Snowdonia National Park, Radio Cymru and Herald Cymraeg, alongside some of BTO's volunteer Regional Representatives and other enthusiastic volunteer data recorders on whom so much of BTO's nationally important work depends. They were also honoured by a visit from Mr Peter Hope Jones, whose lifetime contribution to Welsh ornithology is second to none.

Kelvin said:

"We have received a very warm welcome here at the University and feel that this is the start of something big for the BTO in Wales."

Rachel added:

"I am relishing the opportunity to continue building on our existing partnerships in Wales, and to expand BTO's scientific research for the benefit of Welsh birds. Bangor University is the perfect launch pad for this initiative because of the fantastic depth of knowledge and experience here and its close links with CCW, RSPB and others".

Publication date: 31 October 2011