Help Save the Western Capercaillie

Nick Dixon came along to do a talk at the Ragged University event in Manchester, and since then I have been talking with him on ideas of just how we can make a difference for this endangered species – The Western Capercaillie.  Working with the ExtInked ambassadors has made me personally realise that unless we all individually ask what we can do to preserve the environment and species we have left, then it amounts to an irresponsible society.
So with this in mind Nick has been invited to champion this strange bird in the Ragged project.  I can tell how passionate he is about the subject and invite people to get involved in his work. I quite like the idea of creating art and essays about the Capercaillie and endangered species to line the fences which kill many of them each year.  This I will be putting to him as a potential project.

Western Capercaillie

Nick will be doing some blogging to tell people more and has sent this meantime…

I have set up a Manchester Branch of the Friends of the Capercaille, linked to the RSPB ‘Friends of the Capercaille’- in effect instead of me joining as an individual member, I join as the Manchester collective friends group. That way I can share information with many people and spread the word. The fundraising isnt the key bit but the RSPB appreciate what I collect- I simply ask for a minimum donation of £2 a year. For people I dont know or dont see I have set up a bank account. I have copied below the original email I sent out to all my friends in 2009 and attached a certificate, a newsletter and info on the Friends Group the RSPB run.

Dear Friend,

Some of you will be aware that I took on the lifelong challenge of being an ambassador for this wonderful bird last year and have been branded accordingly! See and to see the tattoo there is a photo on my Facebook page…

Here is a link to an information sheet on the capercaille for you to read and digest.

Well after much thought about how to fulfil this role, I have decided on a plan and need your help. The role of the ambassador is to raise awareness of the plight of the endangered species and perhaps to take direct action to help protect the species. I could try to organise a mass sit-in in the Scottish pine forests but I suspect that not many of you would be free to join me….so plan B.

Attached you will find a PDF informing you of an organisation affiliated to the RSPB, ‘The Friends of the Capercaille’. You may notice that the minimum donation they suggest is £250- I think its aimed at the corporate world of Scottish businesses and landowners rather than the well-meaning but generally too poor to afford £250 individuals of Manchester and nearby areas!

So plan B- it is my intention is to set up a group of 125 members (names for the group welcomed!) and have it join the Friends of the Capercaille.For a minimum donation of £2 per year you can be a member of this group -and therefore be a Friend of the Capercaille -and receive future newsletters whenever they are issued, so keeping alive in your minds the bird’s plight! All I need to do this is your £2 and your email address.

Finally here are details of a bank account I have set up. Sort Code 40-47-70, Account Number 31535471. Although this new account is in my name, it is purely for the use of collecting donations and ideally standing orders for the Friends of the Capercaille.

So please consider making a donation either directly to the account ( or just get the £2 – or more if you like-to me) and I will add you to the list of friends I am collating! Hope you like the idea and can now, this minute, set up the standing order! The latest newsletter of ‘The Friends of the Capercaille’ is also attached.

Very best wishes


For those who did not make the talks by Nick and Annie, you can listen to them below and see some photographs of the evening on the Flickr stream…