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Flying start for RSPB Eastern 400 tour

Updated: Jul 24

Enthusiastic volunteers and visitors greeted the Emily Williamson statue maquette at the RSPB The Lodge today.


RSPB volunteer Emma with her family and the Emily Williamson statue maquette


RSPB volunteer Emma was the perfect welcoming host for the visit.


Left to right: Sheila, Marjorie and Sylvia with the maquette


Marjorie Miles had travelled to The Lodge especially to see the maquette. She'd been tipped off by her Manchester friend Paul that Emily was on the way. With her pals Sheila Waggott and Sylvia Lawrence they gave their verdict:


Sylvia: "absolutely gorgeous"

Sheila: "delicate and gentle"

Marjorie: "lovely"


Tomorrow (Monday 24th) the maquette heads into Hertfordshire and RSPB Rye Meads. She will be there from 11.00 a.m. to midday.


In sharp contrast to The Lodge visitors at Rye Meads will find reed beds, open water and wet meadows. Spot the blue flash of a kingfisher or get close to a stalking heron. Common tern and Cetti's warblers are summer visitors. So why not visit the reserve and say hello to Manchester Councillor Andrew Simcock and the Emily Williamson statue design?



At midday Andrew resumes his 400 mile cycle ride. Half the money he raises will go to towards vital conservation efforts at the eight RSPB reserves he is visiting on the ride. The other half will go towards funding a permanent statue to the female founder of the UK’s largest nature conservation charity.


To donate to the fundraising campaign visit:

www.justgiving.com/page/andrewsimcockrspbeastern400


Andrew then cycles the 40 miles to Basildon ahead of the visit to RSPB South Essex Wildlife Garden the following day. This is situated in the Wat Tyler Country Park.


Andrew on a training run in Bollington, Cheshire


The Emily Williamson statue will be placed in Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury, Manchester, where Emily lived when she founded the RSPB in 1889.


Cycling 400 miles and visiting eight RSPB nature reserves across six counties Andrew is aiming to raise £5,000.


Andrew’s RSPB Eastern 400 ride will take him to eight RSPB reserves in the six counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire, beginning 23 July and finishing Wednesday 2 August, He is aiming to raise £5,000 towards the fundraising goal of £100,000 and half of the funds raised with be shared among the RSPB reserves he is visiting.


Eve Shepherd with her winning design


In December 2020 a competition was launched by author and journalist Tessa Boase and Andrew, in partnership with the RSPB, to design a statue of Emily Williamson (1855-1936). The four shortlisted designs were unveiled on the centenary of The Plumage Act (1 July 2021), the RSPB’s first legislation triumph and the result of Emily’s long campaign.

Brighton based sculptor Eve Shepherd’s winning design was then made available as 20 limited edition 40 cm high bronze maquettes which are also for sale as part of the fundraising efforts for the life-sized sculpture of Emily.


To find out more please go to www.emilywilliamsonstatue.com

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