Val Bentley

Val Bentley

Val describes herself as the general dogsbody!

Sussex born and bred, Val spent a few years in the West Country before returning to the county in 1986, and settling in Henfield in 1992. Seriously birdwatching since the late 70s, and bird ringing since 1983, Val has been Secretary of the Sussex Ornithological Society 3 times and is still very involved with their activities. She looks after “Area 9”, the patch including Rye Farm, and the stretch of river from Stretham to New Inn Farm, which in 2014 produced a brilliant Grey Phalarope!

Paula Blake

Paula Blake

When I was eight years old, my family moved to a house on what was then the rural outskirts of Burgess Hill.  It was there in the large, wildlife friendly garden and the woodland beyond that I first developed a passion for birds and other wildlife.  Later we moved to Small Dole and I spent most of my free time in Tottington Woods and up at Woods Mill.  I joined Henfield Birdwatch in 2009 and have since become a keen amateur bird photographer.  In 2014, the Committee of HBW was brave enough to let me loose as one of its Area Surveyors and I very much enjoyed making monthly records of the birds in the area allotted to me.  At a later date, I was delighted that some of my photos were also chosen for the fourth Henfield Birdwatch book which you can find on sale in the village.  In addition to being a proud member of Henfield Birdwatch and The Sussex Wildlife Trust, I am also a member of the RSPB, the BTO, the Sussex Ornithological Society, the Shoreham & District Ornithological Society, The Barn Owl Trust, Friends of Warnham Nature Reserve and Butterfly Conservation.

Debbie Colgate

Debbie Colgate

I’ve been a member of Birdwatch since 2005. In 2007 I rang Mike and offered to help with any general admin and was asked to take over the Secretary vacancy and have filled that role since then.

I’m a member of BTO, SOS, RSPB and am shortly to become involved in the Breeding Birds Survey.

Nigel Colgate

Nigel Colgate

I have been involved with Henfield Birdwatch since 2005 and the committee since 2013 but have been birdwatching in Henfield over 50 years. My role is Treasurer.

I am also a member of RSPB, Sussex Ornithological Society (SOS), and have done surveys for British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Will Green

Will Green

I have been a committee member since the beginning. I also belong to RSPB, SOS and the BTO. I am a Wildlife artist and regularly contribute to the HBW newsletter.

Val and I have done the annual nightingale count since 1998, monitoring the numbers of these wonderful visitors . I also lead Bird walks for HBW 5 year survey as well as other walks for the group.

Brian Lang

Brian Lang

I have been loosely associated with Henfield Birdwatch since 2000 but much more actively since 2013.  I joined the committee in 2016.

I have been interested in birds for most of my life and have been a member of the RSPB for most of that time.  I am not particularly knowledgeable, however, and I joined Henfield Birdwatch as a way to learn more from the (very patient!) other members. By accompanying others on walks and days out, I am gradually broadening my ‘repertoire’.

Mike Russell

Mike Russell

There is a direct link between mumps, P G tips and my interest in birds. As a small boy I avidly collected the cards of British birds to be found in packets of tea, making my parents endless cups of tea and while lying in bed with mumps, my mum bought me ‘The Observer Book of Birds’ and there began a life-long passion for birds.  I have been fortunate that my working life has been involved with wildlife conservation and birds having worked for 4 years at Dinton Pastures Country Park near Wokingham and then arriving at the Sussex Wildlife Trust in 1985 and enjoying over 30 years of working for this wonderful organisation before retiring last year.

I now work freelance and spend much of my life showing people birds, which is a very nice way to spend your retirement! I still run courses and bird trips for the Trust as well as running my own day trips and longer weekends further afield in the UK. In addition I lead wildlife safaris at the Knepp Castle re-wilding project, a fascinating conservation project just a few miles from Henfield. I also lead wildlife holidays to many places across the globe for a company called Wildlife Travel who donate all their profits to wildlife conservation organisations.

I’m very proud to be involved in Henfield Birdwatch, it has evolved to be one of the most widely recognised local community wildlife projects in the UK, receiving the British Trust for Ornithology Marsh award in 2011 and £1,000.00 for our 2010 bird report.

Links

Wildlife Travel – Wild Flower Tours and Natural History Holidays

www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on

Russell’s Tours – mailto:mikerussell51@yahoo.co.uk

Libby Serpis

Libby Serpis

I have been on the committee since around 2009 (I think!) and I have been putting together the HBW Newsletters since 2010. These have changed quite abit over the years with the latest version being sent out via email to 95% of our members.

I enjoy watching wildlife and love being able to see so many wonderful birds on our doorstep. Unlike many of the Committee and members of HBW I am not a Bird expert, but have learnt alot from being involved in the group. I have learnt to identify a reasonable number of birds by their song, which is really great, especially when you can’t see them.