23 January 2015

Biotope & RSPB touring UK

We are very happy to launch a new UK tour! Tormod from Biotope and Graham White from RSPB will be giving talks at Minsmere, Poole or Flamborough. We hope to see you in February!

The great guys at ´Birds of Poole Harbour´ made this introduction:

"The talk is titled ‘Viewing the Future’ and focuses on how interaction between people, wildlife and the natural world can be managed in such a way, creating a totally new experience for visitors to a nature reserve or to the public in an urban area. The presentation will be spit into two parts, the first being presented by the RSPBs senior wetland ecologist, Graham White who will talk about how to maximise nature reserve design for both people and wildlife. The second half will be hosted by Tormod Amundsen from Biotope, the worlds first (and only) Ornithological Architects. Biotope are a Norwegian based company that specialises in 'thinking outside the box' when it comes to interpreting the natural world. Biotopes concepts and bird hide ideas have become widely talked about across the country over the last few years, prompting Tormod to host his second tour here in the UK (last one was in 2013) and sharing some of their ideas and visions." 

Since we started the Biotope office in 2009 we have been fortunate to contribute to the birding world as birders and architects. We set out to become an office that would bring people and nature closer. Now we are a 3 man architectural practise fully dedicated to birding and pro nature projects! From our base in Varanger we have been exploring many new ideas. We aim to present our work as birder architects in Varanger and to look at new possibilities in UK. 

In addition to giving three public talks, we will do several RSPB reserve visits and meet RSPB staff for a couple of workshops. Graham White is RSPBs senior wetland ecologist. He was one of the keynote speakers at Varanger bird festival Gullfest in 2014, where he inspired us all with sharing the work of RSPB and the amazing efforts of designing and building new nature reserves. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is through its making of wetland reserves giving nature a home in the very widest sense! 

I am very much looking forward to coming over to the UK again to meet old friends and to make new ones. My first visit as a birder in UK was the Scilly Isles in October 2007, a place I had dreamt of visiting ever since reading Ian Lewingtons ´Rare birds´ book from 1991. Since then I have visited UK quite a few times. The Rutland Birdfair, the worlds greatest gathering of birders, is of course a huge highlight every year. Visiting the RSPB Minsmere reserve was an eyeopener: This really is intelligent design!

In 2013 I did the ´Pushing the Bundaries Tour´ with Martin Garner of Birding Frontiers. A marathon of bird club visits, meeting inspiring people and doing some great birding too. We are very happy to say Martin Will join us at the Flamborough talk, to present give a new talk about "Arctic Birding in Yorkshire". Pioneering as always, I am sure!

Now we set out on a new UK adventure: I hope to meet you at some of the venues, or perhaps we will meet somewhere in an RSPB reserve. Updates and news will follow on twitter @BiotopeOffice

To be continued...

Tormod Amundsen - architect & birder