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RSPB Eastern 400 tour begins tomorrow

The RSPB Eastern 400 tour begins tomorrow (Sunday 23rd) at 11.00 a.m.

The Emily Williamson Statue maquette will be on display at The Lodge at RSPB Headquarters just outside Sandy, Bedfordshire, 11am-12pm.

Visitors can explore trails leading through heathland and woodland. The RSPB Headquarters' wonderful gardens are also open to visitors. Expect to see woodpeckers and other woodland birds, with buzzards and ravens flying overhead. So why not visit the reserve and say hello to Manchester Councillor Andrew Simcock and the Emily Williamson statue design?

At midday Andrew then begins 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:

Andrew then cycles the 40 miles to Ware ahead of the visit to RSPB Rye Meads the following day.

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

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