Birdwatch magazine has excelled itself in this year’s Birders’ awards.
There are 10 categories in which you can vote (whether you consider yourself a birder or not). I can imagine the voting being pretty close in some categories – in particular the ‘Guano Award for Environmental Harm’ category. The four ‘contenders’ are the Countryside Alliance, Ian Botham, Liz Truss and Volkswagen. That’s a corker! Although it’s tempting to vote for the hopeless Truss, or the hapless Botham, it has to be between the Countryside Alliance and Volkswagen – and cheating on emissions kills people so it has to be VW – surely! There is the possibility that the CA would feel pumped up by winning the award – self-seeking exhibitionists that many of them often appear to be – and so the most shocking corporate cheating of my lifetime gets my vote.
What about heroes? This is tricky too. Very tricky! The contenders are Brian May, David Attenborough, Chris Packham, a dead lion called Cecil and the RSPB’s Roy Taylor. All are heroes, but I’d vote for Chris (who won it last year) as the better alternative to having a go at the Countryside Alliance, and because of his continuing support for badgers, campaigning against migrant massacre in the Mediterranean and for doing more than most will know to support lots of independent conservationists across the country, as well as speaking up for hen Harriers. But, they are all heroes.
The Campaign of the Year has to be, in my not so humble opinion, the Nature Alert campaign where over half a million of we Europeans responded to a consultation in favour of the Birds and Habitats Directives. It was an unprecedented turn out for an EU consultation – and the UK NGOs, working together, did a particularly good job. And it is a very important subject.
Rarity event of the year? Well, I’m not much bothered but it ought, surely, to be the first live Acadian Flycatcher which turned up for a day in Kent. Even though Empidonax flycatchers all look the same, almost!
There is a category for the blog of the year too.
And other categories.