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Spurn Bird Observatory Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust working relationship

Spurn Bird Observatory is the oldest mainland Bird Observatory in the UK and has been operating on the Spurn peninsula in excess of 70 years. Data collected there in that time by observatory staff, volunteers and visiting birders has greatly enhanced the study of bird migration, has fed directly into national monitoring schemes and has helped shape conservation policies. Furthermore the lead taken by SBOT at the Easington Little Tern colony has made a significant difference to the survival of this rare breeding bird. In addition, SBOT has a special place in British birding and ornithology, with events such as MigFest and a widely applauded annual report complementing and cementing its place as a social birding hub. We think it would be fair to say that without SBOT, Spurn and the local area would not look like it does today.

As you may have seen Yorkshire Wildlife Trust recently placed a message on their website re the working relationship with SBOT. They have stated that they have decided not to renew SBOT’s license to operate on YWT land at the Warren and along the peninsular at Spurn due to continued reports of alleged “harassment at work and online from people associated with SBOT”.

For the avoidance of doubt, SBOT does not in any way condone any type of activity that could be considered to represent harassment or intimidation at work or online and also strongly refutes that it has been involved in or sanctioned any such behaviours.

Clearly this situation is not ideal for both organisations and consequently the charities are working hard to find a resolution to the issues, with future meetings being scheduled to review progress towards resolution. Both parties remain hopeful that ringing by SBOT on Spurn will start again soon.

We would be very grateful if everyone with an interest in SBOT would carefully consider actions that may be construed to be detrimental to our ongoing discussions with YWT.

Should anyone have any questions whatsoever regarding the above then please do not hesitate to contact Rob Adams on [email protected]

Spurn Bird Observatory Trust

4th July 2018

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Posted: 04 July 2018