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Great welcome at RSPB Rye Meads




Andrea, 7 and Victoria, 10 pick out details in the maquette

Despite the dreary weather a steady flow of visitors passed through RSPB Rye Meads this morning. Seven year old Andrea and sister Victoria, 10, picked out details in the statue maquette. It takes excellent eyesight to spot the 1921 date on the Plumage Act and Andrea has it!


RSPB Rye Meads staff and volunteers. Back row, L to R: Andrew, Ruth, Julie, Matt and Stan. Front row: Ann and Stuart

Rye Meads is fortunate to have the extremely active South Hertfordshire RSPB Group based there. They organise regular trips to other reserves. In a sneak preview of what Andrew and Emily can expect later in the tour Stuart Fox shared this spectacular photograph of a black-winged stilt, currently part of two pairs at Frampton Marsh which is the final destination for the tour on Wednesday, 2nd August.


Black-winged stilt at Frampton Marsh. Picture credit: Stuart Fox

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 25th) the maquette heads to South Essex Wildlife Garden, part of the Wat Tyler Country Park She will be there from 11.00 a.m. to midday. 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 please visit Andrew's fundraising page.


Andrew then heads for RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk arriving on Friday morning.


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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