Emily's history and living legacy are celebrated in two unique events at the city's iconic art gallery – followed by the announcement of a statue winner. Tickets still available!
The Emily Williamson Debate
Friday 12 Nov 6-8pm
For the first time in British history, women are the key players in a traditional male arena: our birding institutions. How has this change come about? Why now? And what difference is it making to our approach to conservation? Don't miss this one-off debate hosted by Megan McCubbin zoologist, naturalist, campaigner, broadcaster.
PANEL: Beccy Speight, RSPB CEO; Professor Juliet Vickery, British Trust for Ornithology CEO, British Ornithologists Union President; Patricia Zurita, Birdlife International CEO; Dr Amy-Jane Beer, biologist, nature writer and campaigner. Opening the Festival is Emily Williamson’s descendant, Professor Melissa Bateson, bird scientist & starling specialist. Socially spacious venue: The Atrium
Author Talk: The Women Who Saved the Birds
Saturday 13 November 2pm
When social historian Tessa Boase asked the RSPB about their Victorian founder, they pleaded a gaping hole in the archives. To a former investigative journalist, this was an irresistible challenge...
This is the thrilling, forgotten story of the brave eco feminists who called out the fashion for 'murderous millinery,' and fought back on behalf of the birds. Moving from a polite tea party in Didsbury to an egret hunt in a Florida swamp, from a metropolitan suffragette rally to a milliner’s dusty workshop, you’ll be taken back in time to a world where every woman, of every class, wore a hat.
'Totally gripping' (RSPB)... 'An exceptionally inspired, skilful and entertaining lecture' (Arts Society).
Announcement of winning sculpture
Saturday 13 November, 4pm: The Atrium
Discover who has won the competition to created a full-size statue of RSPB founder Emily Williamson, to stand in her former garden, Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury. Will it be Clare Abbatt, Billie Bond, Laury Dizengremel or Eve Shepherd? VOTING CLOSES Friday 12 Nov.
Their four maquettes, together with beautiful portraits of the women who built the RSPB by Clare Abbatt, are currently on display at Manchester Art Gallery. We hope you can visit.