Camp Avalon 2016 – Invitation to attend

Camp Avalon 2016 – Invitation to attend

Friday 15 July 2016 to Sunday 17 July 2016

Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

In June 2015, I organised Camp Avalon,  which attracted lots of young teenagers to the Somerset Levels, to spend the weekend birding and getting involved with nature.  It included keen birders and people who had never been to the countryside or camped.  Share the Camp Avalon Blog http://bit.ly/1Q7ktfV

These are the links to my blog posts about last year’s camp.

Camp Avalon – Friday Night
http://bit.ly/1PpG6tC

Camp Avalon Friday night
Camp Avalon Friday night
Camp Avalon Friday night

Camp Avalon – Saturday

http://bit.ly/21m0TVD

Camp Avalon Saturday
Camp Avalon Saturday

Camp Avalon – Sunday

http://bit.ly/1jueBlC

Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday
Camp Avalon Sunday

Friday 15 July 2016 to Sunday 17 July 2016

This is a camp for young birders and is also suitable for those who have no experience of nature at all.  We hope to have a number of teenagers coming from inner city Bristol who have no experience of birds and nature and have never camped.  We have plenty to help to ensure that both groups are catered for and that one can inspire the other.

Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

Come to a camping weekend on the Somerset Levels for young birders between the ages of 12 to 18 and at secondary school or 6th form.   Please contact us if you are a little bit younger and still wish to come.You may be accompanied by an adult if you wish but you do not need one with you,  CRB checked adults will be with the teenagers at all times.

Based on the ABA Camp Colorado and Camp Avocet in the USA (ABA Young Birder Camps), where 40 young birders each summer experience a week of new birds, people and learning.  The idea that those with experience share it with young birders.  The USA camp is relatively expensive and is for a week compared with what we are trying to do here at Camp Avalon.

Ham Wall RSPB Reserve, Somerset Levels, March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon – Programme

This is a sample programme based on the one for 2015 with improvements. The programme will be finalised after feedback from those attending.  At the moment, Mike Dilger from The One Show and Ben Hoare from BBC Wildlife Magazine are hoping to attend. So please get in touch with your ideas for the camp.
Friday 15th July 2016
All activities are dependent on weather
6.00 pm – 7.30 pm (CS)
Set up tents & time to socialize
7.30 pm – 8.30 pm (CS)
Dinner cooked on fires at the campsite
9.00 pm – 10.30 pm (MD)
Looking for Nightjar on the Mendips
Led by Chris Craig, Avon and Somerset, British and world birder

Saturday 16th July 2016

7.00 am – 7.30 am (CS) Breakfast at the campsite
8.00 am – 11.00 am (AMC)
Bird ringing demonstration at Avalon Marshes Centre
Mike Bailey Chair of Chew Valley Ringing Station and BTO ringing trainer (with Chris Craig assisting)

11.00 am – 11.30 am (AMC)
Refreshment break
Avalon Marshes Centre

11.30 am – 12.00 pm (AMC)
An introduction to Bird Ringing, how to get involved and how it benefits conservation< Mike Bailey Chair of Chew Valley Ringing Station and BTO ringing trainer 12.00 am - 12.30 pm (AMC or SHCP) How to keep and submit good records and understanding fieldcraft (for the keen young birder) Brian Gibbs, Somerset County Recorder or Bio Blitzing at Shapwick Heath (optional for beginners) Mike Urwin, RoAM12.30 pm – 1.30 pm (AMC) Lunch Avalon Marshes Centre 1.30 am – 3.30 pm (AMC) Bird Photography James Packer, Chris Griffin and Brian Gibbs, Somerset County Recorder and bird photographer and James Packer, who writes the blog The Somerset Birder and is a Somerset birder and bird photographer. 3.30 pm – 4.00 pm (AMC) Refreshment break Avalon Marshes Centre 4.00 pm – 4.30 pm (AMC) Born to Bird, a talk focusing on how those with ethnic minority heritage can connect with birds and animals from those places. Mya-Rose Craig (age 14) 5.00 pm – 7.30 pm (CS) Downtime and dinner cooked on fires at the campsite  8.00 pm – 9.30 pm (HW) Evening Bittern walks at Ham Wall.  Meet at SHCP. Led by Chris & Helena Craig

Sunday 17th July 2016

7.00 am – 7.30 am (CS) Breakfast at the campsite

8.00 am – 10.45 am (SH & HW)
Birding at Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall, searching for Great White Egret, Bittern and lots of other great birds.  Meet at SHCP.
Led by Julian Thomas, Somerset birder, British and day lister and world birder (with Chris Griffin assisting)

11.00 am – 11.30 am (AMC)
Refreshment break
Avalon Marshes Centre

11.30 am – 12.00 am (AMC)
An introduction to world birding and volunteering with conservation projects abroad
Andy Mears, World birder, Oriental Bird Club active Member and one of only a few birders to have accomplished the huge feat of seeing all the Pittas of the World
12.00 pm – 1.00 pm (AMC)

Lunch
Avalon Marshes Centre
1.00 pm – 3.00 pm (AMC)
Sketching for birders
John Gale, acclaimed bird illustrator for ID publications around the world as well as a bird artist
3.00 pm – 3.30 pm (AMC)
Refreshment break
Avalon Marshes Centre

3.30 pm – 4.00 pm (AMC)
Close and looking forward to Camp Avalon 2017 (30 June -2 July 2017)
Mya-Rose Craig, Young Birder

4.00 pm Finish

Key to locations

AMC – Avalon Marshes Centre, Shapwick Road, Westhay, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9TT, telephone 01458 860556
CS – The Isle of Avalon Touring Caravan Park, Godney Road, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9AF, telephone 01458 833618

HW – Ham Wall RSPB Reserve, park in the new Ham Wall Car Park if open or Shapwick Heath Car Park opposite, Ashcott Road, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9SX

MP – Stockhill Woods, Priddy, Mendips, Somerset BA5 3BE (drive through Wells and then follow A39 towards Bristol and Bath, turn left onto Priddy Road and at the crossroads (with the Hunters Rest on the corner) turn right, the woods are on your right and park in the pull-in before the car park).

SHCP – Shapwick Heath NNR English Nature Car Park, Ashcott Road, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9SX (bio blitzing on the Discovery Trail off the car park)

Bittern, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

Cost

£20.00 per person including carers, excluding camping costs (£16 per night for two people or much less in provided shared tents).

Grants

There will be a limited number of grants available to those young people (and a parent if they are under 16 years old) from an inner city area who have little or no experience of engaging with nature and whose families are receiving means tested benefits. Camp Avalon recognises that there are almost no young birders from black or ethnic minority backgrounds and so hope that these grants will encourage disadvantaged young people to be able to attend.  All equipment needed will also be loaned for the weekend.

Thank you to Opticron for the load of five pairs of compact binoculars to this project.

Transport

Free transport is available to and from Bristol train or coach station. The camp site is a 10 minute drive to Ashcott Corner car park.

Thank you to Avalon Marshes Centre for their support and to the birders who have offered their time in order to pass on their knowledge to young birders. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved by e-mailing campavalonuk@gmail.com.

Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

How to Book

E-mail campavalonuk@gmail.com with your name, age, if an adult would like to come with you and any dietary requirements or post a comment on the Camp Avalon blog.

Hudsonian Godwit, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, April 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Grass Snake, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, April 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

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