Wader Quest is a charity that aims to get more people directly involved in wader conservation through
projects, or indirectly as a Friend or Sponsor of Wader Quest.
Raising funds for, and awareness about, wader conservation.
It is to me he most striking instance of what bird-protection can and should, be, not a matter of Acts of Parliament and schedules hung on police station walls, but a combined effort of people living in their own countryside to save, it may be for one year only or it may be for posterity, some portion of the beauty of our marshlands which our forefathers too often allowed to perish.
Lt.-Col. J. K. Stanford, O.B.E., M.C. August 30th 1950.
These words are as true today as they were when they were written 25 years ago and they sum up rather well how we think the future of wade conservation should go.
|Vast expanses of intertidal habitat are under threat from 'reclamation' and development on an unprecedented global scale.|
We support Community Wader Conservation where local groups and communities, mostly volunteers, work to protect their local wader populations whether they are breeding, passage or non-breeding populations. We think of this as the conservation arm of 'citizen science' and believe it to be equally as important. We also believe that the cumulative effect of these small conservation projects is significant and it gives concerned people a real sense that they are able to become involved and that they are making a tangible difference in their own back yard to tackle an acute global ecological crisis.
Wader Quest is seeking to become a registered charity with the Charity Commission, and will formally apply to do so once we meet the commission’s rigid requirements. The Trustees adopted the Constitution in March 2104 that sets out Wader Quest's aims and objectives to operate within the structure of being a charity. In the meantime we have been notified by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that we are now recognised as a charity for tax purposes. This is good news as we can now take advantage of Gift Aid from donations made by British taxpayers and benefit from other tax exemptions. It also means that our finances are subject to strict rules and scrutiny and this should allay any worries that potential sponsors and donors have until we become fully registered.
We do not take a wage and 100% of donations, Friends subscriptions and sponsorship payments are guaranteed to go to conservation projects.
Wader Quest - the story so far.
· May 2012: Wader Quest created to raise money for Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme.
· August 2013: Fundraising for Hooded Plover begins at British Birdwatching Fair.
· March 2014: Small charity created with inaugural Trustees meeting in London.
· May 2014: First AGM of the charity held in London.
· June 2014: Application made to HMRC to be recognised as a charity.
· October 2014: Wader Quest recognised as a charity by HMRC allowing us to claim Gift Aid and other tax benefits.
Wader Quest Board of Trustees
Rick Simpson - Trustee (Chair)
Co-founder of Wader Quest with Elis Simpson.
A life-long birder having followed a circuitous route to conservation from garden birder as a child through local patch watcher, British birder, twitcher, world birder and bird guide. It was being a guide in Brazil that led to running local community and school conservation projects with Elis in the Atlantic forest. In addition he was involved for several years in making twice yearly survey counts of aquatic birds for the Contagem Naçional de Aves Aquáticas (CNAA) for Wetlands International in Brazil.
Volunteered at British Natural History Museum bird collection Tring: volunteer collector (road kill) for MZUSP.
Bird guide in UK and Spain for Capital Birding Tours and in Brazil as Rick Simpson Birding Services.
Since returning to the UK Wader Quest has taken over his life taking him around the world to six continents, birding on all nine flyways to see one hundred and seventy-five species of wader; giving talks in many places along the way. Wader Quest has become a conservation effort for a group of birds about which Rick is passionate becoming more and more concerned about the pressures they face and the seemingly low profile their problems have among birders and other wildlife observers.
Together with Elis became Membership Sectretary for the International Wader Study Group in March 2014
Writer, speaker, blogger and artist.
Joint paper entitled Willet (Tringa semipalmata) Status Update in South-eastern South America. Published in Ornitologia Neotropical 25: 135-144, 2014.
Several records published as papers in Atualidades Ornitológicas in Brazil (Brown Noddy, Scarlet Ibis, Western Willet, Rufous-chested Dotterel, Austral Negrito)
Paper entitled List of Documented Bird Species from the Municipality of Ubatuba, State of São Paulo, Brazil published by the University of São Pualo Zoological Museum(MZUSP).
Paper in Cotinga (Neotropical Bird Club journal) and article in Psittascene about Brown-backed Parrotlets feeding, resting and social behaviour.
Article Bird Watching magazine re Wader Quest
Article The hatching of Wader Quest: A charity to support wader conservation. Published by International Wader Study Group Wader Study Group Bulletin Vol 121 Issue 2 pp 100-102. http://www.waderstudygroup.org/article/5800/
Guest blogger for ABA website; open mic. (19 blogs)
Writes blogs and articles for Wader Quest site and Rick Simpson Birding site.
Author of self-published Confessions of a Bird Guide about his birding life and time in Brazil.
Currently working on a book about Wader Quest's travelling adventures in search of waders with Elis around the world.
Well received speaker at various clubs, societies and schools around the world on Wader Quest, Plover lover's world of delights, Confessions of a bird Guide and The birds of south-east Brazil.
Amateur artist (one book cover for BTO to his credit and illustrations in various magazines and newsletters).
Website: Rick Simpson Birding
Rachel Walls - Trustee (Secretary)
Rachel has been a housing professional for over 20 years working at several housing associations in south London and for Sustainable Homes where she enthusiastically promoted a greener and more sustainable housing industry.
She is a keen conservationist and devotes much of her spare time to a Brazilian rainforest charity known as REGUA for which she manages an extensive volunteer programme, organises a busy stand at the British Birdwatching Fair and which she promotes through various social media.
She is passionate about both keeping fit and baking, which are getting harder and harder to reconcile as the years go by (she tells us).
Website: RAW BAKING
Elis Simpson - Trustee (Treasurer / Membership)
Co-founder of Wader Quest with Rick Simpson.
Growing up in Brazil with a strong connection to nature and love of pristine, wild environments. Became interested in photographing the beautiful birds of Brazil and is now rarely seen in the filed without her camera although she insists that she is not a bird photographer but a birder who takes photographs; she always carried her binoculars too. Starting in Brazil watching the destruction of the Cerrado near her home and latterly travelling the world Elis has become a passionate conservationist and her interest in waders has given that passion direction.with whom she ran conservation projects with children in local communities and schools in Brazil and took part in bi annual water bird counts (CNAA) for Wetlands International.
With Rick organised and ran conservation projects in Brazil, including community and school projects as well as the CNAA, twice annual, water bird counts.
Prolific photographer with credits on many websites around the world and also in magazines and journals illustrating articles and papers many of which she has co-authored with Rick.
Elis keeps Wader Quest in touch with the world through social media on numerous facebook and twitter pages.
Lee Dingain - Trustee
Lee is a life-long naturalist and birder. An environmental scientist by training he has however spent most of his professional life in the information technology industry.
For the last eight years he has divided his time between work and his passion for conservation, mainly working with a Brazilian organisation called REGUA to conserve and restore Brazil's highly threatened Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro and when at home in the UK continues to organise the REGUA website.
He writes on the subject of natural history and conservation having articles and papers published in Neotropical Birding (Neotropical Bird Club), New ID feature of Long-tailed Potoo & REGUA forest specialities; Butterfly, Mothing with Giants; Birdwatch Protecting the Atlantic Forest and Staines and Stanwell Moor; London Bird Report, Avian History of Staines Moor.
He is also an accomplished wildlife photographer having had work appear in a number of publications and websites including Birding World, Birdwatch, Butterfly, British Birds and Neoptropical Birding as well as in various journals, tour company brochures, county bird reports, and several books; Wildlife of Australia, Cotingas and Manakins, 52 Wildlife Weekends and Owls of the World.
Website: Almost Birding
Chris Lamsdell - Trustee; and ringing consultant
Chris has been interested in birds for most of his life but did not become an active birder until his early twenties; he also has a very keen interest in butterflies.
He was involved in the London Bird Report as a section author, he is a former bird recorder for Middlesex and also a section author for the Cyprus Bird Report.
For six years he has been a trustee of the Ornithological Society of the Middle-East, the Caucasus and Central Asia and spent eighteen months as a council member of BirdLife Cyprus, plus seven years as Vice-Chair and Director of the London Fraud Forum; a limited liability non-profit organisation.
His professional career has seen him working against wildlife crime though the majority of his working life was spent in the anti-fraud area.
He is a BTO licensed A ringer and is involved in a number of projects in the UK and overseas including wader ringing projects in the Thames Estuary and The Solent.
Chris currently works as a self employed ornithologist and occasional tour guide but devotes most of his time to birding and ringing.
Allan Archer - Trustee
Allan works as Commercial Project and Business Manager at the BTO in Thetford. He has had an interest, some would say obsession, in wildlife since visiting Kruger National Park when he was twelve. Whilst he had an all-round passion for wildlife and science, birds provide the main attraction, with a bias towards waders.
Having worked in various marketing roles, including holding the position of Group Head of Marketing for one of the UKs largest Training and Recruitment organisations, he became a founder director of both AdviserPlus in 2000 and Riverview Law in 2012.
In 2000 he set up ‘talk: Wildlife’; a website specialising in news, interviews and comment from smaller, less know conservation charities. He ran this successfully in parallel with his ‘day job’ for three years before closing it to concentrate on his role in AdviserPlus.
In 2014, he joined the BTO after deciding to take his career in a new direction; combining his interest in birds with his knowledge of business and marketing. He cites assisting a BTO licenced ringer to survey the nests of and ring Stone Curlews as one of the highlights of his birding activities and looks forward to one day becoming a licenced ringer himself.
Allan provides Wader Quest with the commercial know-how necessary to continue its growth, raise awareness of the brand and take a more strategic approach to raising funds and protecting waders on an international scale.
Oliver Simms - Trustee
Oliver is a recent Classics graduate from Durham University and now works for the National Audit Office. When not staring at spreadsheets, he likes to spend his time hill walking and birding. He particularly enjoys birding in the tropics and has been fortunate enough to visit South Africa, Costa Rica and Ecuador (the latter as a volunteer bird guide). A passionate conservationist, Oliver has volunteered for numerous projects including Birdlife Malta's Raptor Camp and in Ubatuba, Brazil with Rick and Elis. As a young birder, he is determined to see more young people take up birdwatching and helped set up the successful Next Generation Birders group for young people aged 13-25. He stood down from his role as Trip Officer on the committee in September but continues to be an active member, regularly writing for their blogs and frequently attending the meet ups, particularly at Spurn.
He aims, as a trustee, to focus on spreading the word about Wader Quest to young people and getting them involved.
Sue Healey - Trustee; and events co-ordinator
Sue spent her professional life in the legal and finance sectors. She grew up in rural Derbyshire and her parents were keen to ensure that a love of the outdoors and nature was bred from an early age.
Sue became interested in birdwatching at Minsmere, where she followed people into a 'shed' behind the beach to see what they were doing. Captivated by the birds there - many of them waders - an obsession was born. Birds are Sue's prime interest, but she enjoys watching and photographing all aspects of the natural world.
With a love of travel Sue found herself in a reserve called REGUA in Brazil in 2006 and has been involved in the project ever since. She is also on the committee of her local RSPB group. Spare time is spent socialising with friends, relaxing at home and planning her next wildlife trip.
Non Trustee posts:
We also have non-affiliated volunteer supporters in South Africa and Brazil
Wader Quest South Africa - Peter and Jenny Sharland and Sue Oertli.
Wader Quest Brasil - Gislaine Disconzi and Suzi Paeva