Interviews – Wild Inspiration

Thanks to Education Officer Pete Murray for the following blog and videos from the Osprey Stand at Birdfair! Many thanks to Mike Dilger, Tim Mackrill and everyone else for joining Sam at the Osprey Tent, and to Sam for being such a star! 

Interviews- Wild Inspiration 2018

The Bird Fair Interviews

This year the Rutland Osprey stand hosted a series of short interviews which we captured on video for your interest and entertainment.

Sam Newcombe is 12 years old and a very enthusiastic school Osprey Ambassador at Bourne Grammar School. He arranged interviews with TV personality Mike Dilger and other members of the Rutland Water team at Bird Fair.

In the first interview see how Mike gets Sam to do a “duet” impersonation of a pair of his favourite South American birds doing their display dance.

Mike Dilger interview

Sam was invited to Rutland Radio by presenter Rob Persani. Rob always visits Bird Fair. Here are two short interviews with both Rob and Sam getting a chance to ask the questions!

Rob Persani and Sam interviews

Sam also talked to people who have and continue to make essential contributions to conservation work at Rutland water, the Lyndon Reserve and to the Rutland Osprey Project.

Sam’s BirdFair Blog


Early Friday morning I was woken up by a THUD, as my brother slammed the wardrobe shut. I was about to shout at him for waking me up early, but then I realised that it was The BirdFair!

I quickly got dressed into my Rutland Osprey top and rushed downstairs to help my Mum pack the car with our picnic & waterproofs (just in case!).
We drove past the VTC, down the bumpy track that seemed to be never-ending and finally got directed into Red carpark. When we arrived, we met up with Jackie & Pete (Rutland Osprey Education Officers) and helped them carry all the equipment over to our stand. When we reached the entrance gate my brother and I received really cool multi-coloured bracelets whereas the adults got sad pink ones. Once at our stand, I helped Pete set up all of the electronic equipment that we needed for the weekend such as the TV & the laptop.

By this time more of the Rutland Osprey Team had arrived to help run the stand. My brother Alex was in charge of the merchandise stand with the help of Lyn (another volunteer) and my Mum. The pin badges were extremely popular and we had to get additional supplies in!

Then I interviewed Ken Davies (author of the ‘Ozzie’ books) who was quite surprised because I hadn’t warned him that I was going to interview him! It went quite well and I managed to find out that there could be another Ozzie book in store for us!
Another person I managed to interview was Holly Hucknall (Education & Community Engagement Officer at L&RWT) who told me about how she discovered her love of wildlife.

Then there was time to have a walk around. I went straight to the RSPB stand and got another pin badge to add to my collection (a fox). After that my mum wanted to talk to our friend Duncan who does some amazing sculptures out of glass. Then I went dashing over to the really popular BTO bird ringing stand and watched them ring a couple of birds.

About half an hour after we got back to the stand it was time for one of Jackie’s pop up talks on Osprey’s. Quite a few people turned up and listened and they were very interested.

Before we knew it, it was 2pm in the afternoon. The sales were going increasingly well and all the team were happy about the amount we had raised so far. Whilst my mum and my brother went off to look in the Art Marquee I helped out on the stand by answering people’s questions on the Rutland Osprey project.

My mum and my brother came back after about an hour and then we went to get ice-cream!! By the time we had eaten our ice-cream it was nearly time to go but we managed to make a few more sales before BirdFair closed.

I woke up early and raced downstairs. Mum was waiting for me because she had already made lunch and packed it, So I quickly grabbed a Frosties bar and legged it to the car. My brother wasn’t going that day because he was quite tired after Friday.
When we reached the BirdFair we were lucky again and got directed to red carpark. When we reached the gate all we had to do was show the security people our bracelets and they let us through.

When we reached the Rutland Osprey stand we found that Paul Stammers was already there and had been there since 7:30am!!! About 20 mins later Anya Wicikowski arrived to help set up the stand again but disappeared soon after. I had volunteered to help on the stand for about 5 hours while mum could either help or wander around and see the parts of BirdFair she didn’t get to see on Friday.

I managed to catch up with Lloyd, Rutland Water Reserve Officer and convince him to be another of my victims/interviewees. During that interview I learnt a lot from Lloyd about all the bird ringing he’s done since being a teenager.

At 9 o’clock Birdfair officially opened for the second day. It was very quiet at the stand for the first couple of hours and soon enough, Jackie gave another pop-up talk. That was even more popular than the one on Friday and she got a big round of applause. After her speech the merchandise was very popular and we sold quite a lot. Finally, it was our lunch break and me and mum popped off to try and find a bench to eat our lunch.

When we returned it was about 1:30pm and I went to find Mike Dilger so I could interview him. I found him but he asked me to fetch him in 15 mins so he could have his coffee and lunch. When I finally went to get him, I was really happy – until the last question of the interview but you’ll have to watch the interview on the website to find out why!!!!

Time soon flew and before we knew it was 4:30 and just as Pete was packing up the camera gear Anya turned up so I could finally interview her before BirdFair closed.

I woke up feeling very tired because of the two very busy days so far but I was sad as well because I knew it was the last day of the BirdFair. So, I trudged downstairs to get ready for the final day.

When we got down the stoney track we got directed into the green car park for a change. As we did the day before, we showed security our bracelets and we were in. We headed straight to the Rutland Osprey stand and found Paul Stammers and our friend Becky already there.

Paul was sweeping the grass off the floor of the stand and gave the broom to me so I could do it. But I passed the broom straight to my mum so she could sweep instead! We weren’t on the stand that day so we could walk around wherever we liked, which was lucky because mum wanted to get more ornaments for our shelves. But I stayed on the stand because my interview with Tim Mackrill was at 10:30am. The interview was great because I found out all about the translation project going on in Poole Harbour. It was fascinating and great to talk to someone who has loved ospreys from an early age like me!

That morning we made a few more sales and a couple of kind people offered donations. I also helped out by talking to lots of different people about the Ospreys and I surprised myself with the amount I knew.

Before we knew it was 12:15pm and my brother, my mum and I all went to watch Birdless Point Brain to support our friend Abigail (a trainee reserve officer) who had been volunteered to take part in it. Sadly, she was knocked out in the second round but she got a massive round of applause for a really good answer.
After that we went back to the stand for a bit and chatted to a few more visitors. Then it was time for the BirdFair pantomime, The Wind in the Willows. It was incredibly funny because none of the performers (including Jess French, Mike Dilger, Nick Baker – to name a few) knew what the script was until about 5 mins before they performed. They all mucked up their lines and where they were meant to stand!

After the pantomime we went straight to Tim Mackrill’s talk on the Osprey’s of Poole Harbour. It was amazing and there were so many people there that some of them had to stand during it.

After the talk we went back to the osprey stand and helped start to pack up. It was the end of BirdFair 2018. On our way out we caught up with Lee on the BTO Bird ringing stand and checked what they had ringed over the weekend. I’d missed a grasshopper warbler being ringed which I was a bit gutted about – never mind, they’ll be other years.

As our final memory of the BirdFair, my mum, my brother and I had a (very bad) selfie by the BirdFair sign.

Can’t wait for BirdFair 2019!!

By Samuel Newcombe
(Rutland Osprey Ambassador)