‘Eyes in the Field’ Wildlife Crime Conference

Buxton, Derbyshire Saturday 21st March 2015

Doors open 08:00, conference begins 09:00 – ALL TICKETS HAVE NOW BEEN SOLD




UPDATE: March 5th

The following update was emailed to all delegates tonight.
Dear Delegates

In just a few weeks we’ll be meeting up in Buxton, and on behalf of Birders Against Wildlife Crime may I thank you again for your interest and support. Tickets sold out within a few weeks of going on sale and we are still being asked for ‘spares’ now – next time we will book a larger venue!

Our plans have all gone very well and everything is now in place for what we are sure will be a fascinating and inspiring day.


Changes to the day:

We have made a few minor changes since some of you have bought tickets, so please note that firstly we will be starting at 09:00 not 09:30 as first announced. Doors will be open from 08:00, and BAWC will be on site from about 07:00 if you are setting up stands or just want to have a look around.

The second change is that the buffet lunch will be entirely vegetarian and/or vegan. We appreciate that this may not suit everybody, but over 75% of delegates who expressed a preference asked for veg food: rather than risk running out of veg food and being left with non-veg food that many delegates won’ t eat, we decided that as meat-eaters can survive on vegetables and fruit for one day it would make more sense to just have veg food on site.


All tickets have been sent out to delegates (most of them before Christmas) – if you have paid for a ticket but NOT received one please let me know immediately. Only ticket-holders named on our delegate list will be able to get into the conference: this is important to note, so if you have given a ticket to someone else we need to know now so that we can update the list and put the correct name on the name badge we’ll issue to you when you ‘check-in’.

As indicated when you bought your ticket, there will be no access to the talks or the buffet without a name badge. This simply ensures that we comply with fire regulations (the room we’re using is not huge!), and that all paying delegates can get a seat at all the talks and in the dining-room if they want to.


Delegate bags

As well as name badges (attached to a rather striking BAWC lanyard), we will be giving each delegate a jute bag. While we can’t unfortunately run to free watches or free spa treatments (we’re not the Oscars), we have collected up a lot of information on wildlife crime and flyers from our sponsors that we are sure delegates will find interesting!



I have attached a pdf detailing the speaker running order and the times we will be aiming to have them speak (this may of course change due to unforeseen circumstances).

You will notice that we have not left time for questions at the end of each speaker’s talk. This is deliberate as we anticipate that many potential questions will be answered by other speakers during the conference, and it will stop single-issue ‘side debates’ impacting on the next speaker’s available time. We have instead arranged an Q&A to finish the conference off. We ask that if you have a question for that Q&A to submit it beforehand using the space at the bottom of the ticket – this way we can (again) avoid the whole hour being taken over by a single questioner or by off-topic issues. We hope delegates will understand why we took this decision.



A colleague and good friend, Tom McKinney, will be recording ‘vox-pops’ at the conference. Tom is a well-known Derbyshire birder, a classical guitarist, and very friendly (if you’re a Radio 3 fan you may recognise his name as he sometimes hosts morning shows at the weekends). BAWC will be using the recordings to get ‘off the cuff’ feedback for the next event we organise, and put together a podcast for people who couldn’t attend. Tom will be wearing a name badge which identifies him clearly. There is no compulsion whatsoever to talk to him of course!


Hen Harrier Day photo-call

BAWC has bought a rather nice Hen Harrier Day banner (we think it’s rather nice anyway), and we’re hoping that we can persuade as many delegate and speakers as possible to stand under it (at the same time!) for a group photograph. As with the vox-pops, there is no compulsion of course, but hopefully many of you already support the Hen Harrier Day campaign (which Mark Avery will be kicking off in the afternoon during his talk) and will want to take part.



In effect every delegate is a sponsor of this conference and we thank you for your support!

We have also gratefully received support from a number of ‘corporate’ sponsors. We would particularly like to thank the League Against Cruel Sports (who have funded us to produce post-conference material), the RSPB (who covered us to drop ticket prices for all delegates), Steve Mills and Hilary Koll of Birdwing (who not only made a private donation but then agreed to join the BAWC admin team), Rare Bird Alert (who like Birdwing are sponsoring an extra tea and coffee round for all delegates), and Cafeology, who are providing organic, fairtrade, shade-grown coffee for all delegates first thing in the morning (when we most need it!).

Several other sponsors have requested to remain anonymous, but they know who they are and they know that we are very grateful to them.



Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) has organised a one-day wildlife crime conference called ‘Eyes in the Field’, based on BAWC’s ‘Recognise, Record, Report‘ initiative. Designed to help all of us tackle wildlife crime, we’re holding the conference in Buxton, Derbyshire and we have some great speakers coming to share their expert knowledge and inspire all of us (see below).

We’re thrilled – and a little relieved – to say that tickets are now SOLD OUT! We’ll book a larger venue next time, but in the meantime we do have a list in case of cancellations: please email if you’d like to go on it.

We’d like to acknowledge the support of our two ‘headline’ sponsors: the RSPB, the country’s largest nature conservation charity, whose sponsorship enabled us to drop the ticket prices for this keenly anticipated event, and the League Against Cruel Sports who are sponsoring this event as part of their ongoing campaigns to recognise the prevalence of wildlife crime, and whose sponsorship will enable us to produce and distribute post-conference material.

Special thanks, too, to an anonymous supporter who funded the donation of FREE TICKETS to FOUR young conservationists/wildlife activists.


redmorearrowFor more on all our excellent sponsors please scroll down to the bottom of the page!

BAWC, October 2014: “One thing we don’t need to tell anyone is that wildlife crime is an abuse and a show of disrespect: disprespect to the legal system, disrespect to the animal involved, and disrespect to the vast majority of us who obey laws protecting our wildlife. There’s no need to say that wildlife criminals are arrogant bullies. It’s probably superfluous to add that anyone who poisons a bird of prey, digs up a badger sett, smashes a bed of pearl mussels, or sets a dog on a hare should be punished, and punished properly.

Probably unnecessary, yes, but sometimes it’s good to get these things off your chest. To say it out loud. With people who feel the same way you do. That’s what we’re aiming for with the ‘Eyes in the Field’ conference. Practical solutions, shared experience, amongst friends.”

redmorearrowAimed at ‘the public’ rather than at wildlife crime professionals, the idea behind the conference is to give us all the information we need to help tackle wildlife crime by providing a spread of information on: the impacts of wildlife crime; the work that charities/NGOs do to investigate wildlife crime; the training the police and investigation officers receive in tackling wildlife crime; how the police respond to reports of wildlife crime; and the processes that enable laws to be passed (or repealed) in Parliament.

In alphabetical order our line-up of confirmed speakers is as follows:

For more details and speaker biographies please go to Speakers ‘Eyes in the Field’ 2015
redmorearrowThis will be a very full and interesting day, and we are planning to end the conference with an open panel debate. Throughout the day we will be encouraging audience interaction wherever possible.

Tickets are £40.00 each.

Please note that we are NOW SOLD OUT. We’re sorry but there will be no tickets available on the day. While the venue is open to the public, there will be no access to the talks, displays, or buffet without a personalised ticket (which have been sent to all delegates via email).

We are keeping a list in case of cancellations/returns. If you’d like to go on that list (of course, we can’t promise that there will be any cancellations or returns) please email

redmorearrowPrice includes a seat at all the talks, a two-course buffet lunch, and tea and coffee throughout the day (non-dairy ‘milk’ will be provided).

Once payment has been accepted and cleared we will email a numbered A4-sized ‘ticket’ to you, which we ask you to print off and bring to the conference as tickets will be used to ‘check in’ each delegate (we’ll keep a copy in case you need another one!).

Tickets will be refundable up until Saturday 28th February 2015.

redmorearrowFYI each ticket will also have a blank area which can be used to write a question for our speakers to answer in a debate at the end of the conference.


We will be providing each delegate with a name badge on registration. These will be used to help identify delegates and check that only ticket-holders gain access to the talks, displays, and buffet.

redmorearrowPlease let us know by email how you would like to be named on the badge and the name of any organisation you represent if applicable (if buying tickets for other delegates please let us have their information also).
Supporting young conservationists/wildlife activists.

Thanks to generous support from a sponsor we are able to offer a package which includes free tickets to the conference to four young conservationists/wildlife activists and an adult!

Updated Dec 1: We have held an essay competition and have chosen worthy winners! We are delighted to have offered EIGHT free tickets to the following four activists and an accompanying adult:

  • Findlay Wilde, the remarkable 12 year-old who built ‘Harry the Hen Harrier’ and is undoubtedly a future conservation leader (perhaps we’ll be going to HIM for sponsorship in ten year’s time!). Findlay blogs at
  • Sophie Bagshaw, who describes herself as a birder, photographer, beachcomber, collector, climber, skier, and amateur metal detector! Sophie blogs at
  • Georgia Locock, a young wildlife enthusiast with a passion for photographing, filming, protecting, and writing about all things to do with wildlife and the outdoors. Georgia blogs at
  • Zach, our youngest winner (and youngest entrant), has a passion for wildlife and nature and said in his email to us that he wanted to come to the conference to learn more about wildlife crime and use the knowledge to convince more people at his school “to be more careful around the world with what we do”. Well said, Zach.

redmorearrowCongratulation to all four winners, who will be writing a blog post for us after the conference which will describe what they thought about the day and what they have learnt about helping tackle wildlife crime.

Thanks to a donation from the RSPB which was given to us specifically to lower delegate ticket prices, we have been able to fix prices at £40.00/ticket. We have also been given a donation from the League Against Cruel Sports specifically to produce and disseminate information from the conference ‘post event’. We’re also very grateful to both and Steve Mills and Hilary Koll of and the team at Rare Bird Alert for their support which has enabled us to provide additional refreshments to all delegates!

  • The League Against Cruel Sports is the only animal welfare organisation dedicated to exposing and ending cruelty to animals in the name of sport. Established in 1924, its campaigns cover hunting, shooting, snaring, dog fighting – and more. It is a registered charity and 100% reliant on the support of the public to campaign for real change for animals.
  • The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We also play a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
  • BirdWING (Birdwatching in Northern Greece) was set up by Steve Mills and Hilary Koll to raise awareness of birds in Greece and to raise money for the conservation and restoration of bird habitat in the region. Birdwing has supporters from all over the world.
  • Established in 1991 Rare Bird Alert is the longest running instant birdnews service in the UK. Our team of experienced and dedicated birders check and send reports as soon as they break, sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Cafeology is an exclusively ethical company specialising in the supply of the very finest ethical beverages. They will be providing their Bird Friendly Coffee direct from Guatemala at the conference.


Need more details about the conference (or Birders Against Wildlife Crime)?
redmorearrowPlease email


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