Hi from a new member; various thoughts

Hello from Wrexham, NE Wales!

Just finished 5 delightful days of mentored bird watching around Minsmere, and other reserves nearby and along the way to/from our departure point in Cheshire. I was so impressed with the experience that I renewed my RSPB membership, after last being a member over 40 years ago!

I was driver and personal assistant to my partner's dad, and regularly glean much spotting and recognition experience from him. Due to his health and disabilities, he can't go on organised international birding holidays any more, so this was our creative response to the problem.

It strikes me that there must be plenty of people who would like to get out in nature, but are limited by their conditions. I've taken an interest in researching what already exists to enable people like Bob to extend their exploration range during an outing. I'm very keen to speak to others here about eg. transportable all-terrain scooters, volunteering to further improve accessibility, etc.

Also looking forward to making the most of my current binoculars and camera, and work towards coming home with decent enough shots to share and talk about.

Hope to make some new friends here. Keep well and happy!


  • Welcome to the crazy world of birdwatching Matt I started birding way back in the 1950's and I am still enjoying getting out there often doing surveys on our local moorland. You will find most birders very helpful and like nothing more than talking about birding and birding equipment. Over the years I have developed a few mobility problems but can manage a lot of stuff as long as I'm not too proud to use a stick. Having used this forum for years I'm sure you will get tons of advice.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • hi matt. I'm bill . pushing 80 this year . retired for ages but still vollrd for a few years.. always managed to get people away on trips by sharing cars and such. we must birdwatch to the bitter end. I worked for the RSPB at loch garten as Information warden in 1973 '74 and again in 77 and78..Birding is for life. kindest regards. Bill Forsyth
  • Loch Garten must have gone posh by your time Bill, I spent a couple of two week sessions in the 60's when vols kipped in tents exciting times though in an exciting area.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • I’ve also been birdwatching since the 1950’s like Pete and I’m now a member of my local RSPB Group as I don’t have my own transport. I also travel a lot by local transport outside of my local RSPB Group. I’ve just turned 70 last Friday started birdwatching in 1958 at the age of 5 years old and I will be visiting Minsmere for the first time in nearly 50 years in June of this year!



  • In reply to Seaman:

    hi seaman. not posh atall. i was the first paid info warden and had to live for 6 months in probably the same tent as you had. the following year was really posh as i must have done something right and was employed again the following year and reached the dizzy heights of a small and very old caravan. you shuuld see it now. WOW. but i would not change the early to mid 70s for anything. best part of my life.
  • In reply to bill f:

    Yes agree about the early 70's I was working up in Scotland some of the time snd worked some good leisure time around my work


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to THOMO:

    Yo Thomo-

    when are you going to Mins?


    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • Hello Matt and welcome to the forum from a currently damp and dismal West Midlands.

    I'm not familiar with Wrexham, but I am more familiar with N Wales, particularly west from and including Conwy. I too am disabled, though only in recent years after someone ran a red light taking me with them while I was legitimately on a pelican crossing, resulting in major lower leg reconstruction. Though I'm not wheelchair dependant, I do have walking issues as a result, and manage very well with all the reserves I've visited.

    Most RSPB reserves have good disabled access as in wheelchair friendly, though some will lack facilities like toilets, cafes and other niceties. However, a quick check on the appropriate webpage will help you plan.

    A couple of reserves close to you with full facilities are Burton Mere (NW Cheshire) and Conwy, literally half a mile off the A55 North Wales Trunk Road.

    I've recently been to Loch Garten (I returned home from an extended week in Scotland a couple of days back), and while wheelchair accessible, it is a bit more of a bumpy ride, but possible, and does have accessible toilets and the cafe is a coffee machine and sandwiches in the visitor centre. The toilets are basic in that they are designed to compose the waste naturally, but the accessible toilet is accessible, plenty wide enough for wheelchairs including powered ones, and of course, nice and clean.


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