Above: Mid Essex BS’s junior member ‘Junior Ginge’ (Francesca Probert) displays the new bespoke Countrywide Seed vouchers designed exclusively for Mix Essex BS exhibitors


BREAKING WITH CLUB tradition, Mid Essex BS has scrapped show rosettes in favour of pre-paid seed vouchers.

The new concept is to reduce wastage and will be rolled out at the society’s gold championship open show on September 12 at Blackmore Village Hall, Ingatestone, Essex. All winners from first to fifth place in each section will be given a £2 voucher instead of a Mid Essex BS rosette.

“We are killing this planet and with climate change being a major concern widely threatening the future of mankind, we must all start acting more responsibly to find ways of reducing our impact, regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem,” Graham Paine, the club’s sponsorship secretary, told Cage & Aviary Birds.

The voucher idea had been in the pipeline for more than two years before it became a reality. The club’s committee also looked into the possibility of bio-degradable paper rosettes, but this option proved impossible to source.

Instead, the committee agreed on putting the cost of the rosettes into seed vouchers. Discussions were held with AE James Ltd (Countrywide Seed) to come up with a plan that would benefit the club, AE James and the exhibitor.

“Managing director Joe Mogg of AE James was really enthusiastic about this innovation and kindly produced all the bespoke vouchers as shown by our Junior Ginge [photo above],” said Mr Paine.

The vouchers can be traded in with any AE James stockist or representative after September 12.

Mr Paine added: “This is truly a concept that can be rolled out across all birdkeeping sections and hobbies, and offers the winners financial reward instead of a lofty hoard!”


An honest word from Graham

“PICKING up a rosette for second place and downwards is nice, but these days not so important as it might have been when we first start showing. What do you currently do with your rosettes? Some get displayed but most get thrown away into landfill or are stuck in bags in the loft, never to see the light of day again.

How many times have you looked at a winning bird’s show cage and found the rosettes totally obscuring your view? Yes, some clubs do successfully recycle some by encouraging exhibitors to hand them back before leaving the venue. The Mid Essex BS committee did discuss this but in reality, it was agreed that it’s now an outdated practice. So, for our club, it’s time for change.”

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