Above: Pride of place: the information boards at the society’s impressive stand at the Royal Bath & West Show in June. Species displayed by members on the day included song thrushes, bullfinch mules, Gouldian finches, splendid parakeets and emerald doves


INNOVATIVE HAND-MADE DISPLAY boards drew in large crowds to Severn Counties F&BBS’s stand at a Somerset agricultural show last month.

Breeding officer Mark Hemmings surprised club members with his effort to increase public awareness of birdkeeping at the Royal Bath & West Show, held on June 1-2.

The species’ information boards, which were constructed in the month before the show, were produced using funds raised through membership and the club’s efforts at the annual Winterbourne Down Carnival.

Mr Hemmings explained: “Initially, I was concerned that we might have a shortage of birds to display at the Royal Bath & West Show and thought a few information boards could enhance our display visually to give the public something to look at.

“But I also saw it as an opportunity to promote the society and inform the public of our efforts to breed birds and the success we have. Not everyone will ask a question, but by providing written information we may be able to inform and encourage others to take up the hobby.”

The display boards were made from conti-board to produce two measuring 90cm in length, two at 120cm and one at 70cm. Mr Hemmings cut these to size, chamfered the corners and covered the cut edges with edging tape.

The legs were then cut at an angle from HBL board, hinged and locked in place to enable easy storage and transportation. The five boards were spray painted in the club’s colours and left to dry, then self-adhesive information sheets were stuck in place.

Mr Hemmings added: “These sheets incorporate photos and information from various PowerPoint breeding presentations I had available from previous presentations given to club members.”

Severn Counties F&BBS president Roger Tippett commented that the display board will be a useful tool to promote the club. He said: “The boards will be used at other displays we put on at shows this year, including the Frenchay Flower Show [July 14], Portishead Flower Show [July 28] and the Hawkesbury Horticultural Show [August 25].”

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