On the 27th of November 2022 we held our virtual AGM via Microsoft Teams and it all went according to plan, largely due to the effort, ideas and planning carried out by Elizabeth Anderson, who hosted the event, and Secretary Phil Hadley, plus Elis Simpson on the day for keeping Rick away from the technology.
The meeting commenced with a quick summary of the last 10 years of supporting shorebird conservation by Wader Quest by Rick Simpson, from the beginnings as a fundraiser for Spoon-billed Sandpipers through becoming a charity registered by the Charity Commission and then conversion last year to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, our current format, also registered by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
After that we had a video from our Patrons Tim Appleton and Penny Robinson of Global Birding and then from people representing projects we supported in the 2021-22 financial year; Hari Basnet, studying the enigmatic and little known Wood Snipe in the Himalayas, Virginia Sanz D’Angelo who runs a study and community project on Marguerita Island in Venezuela looking at Wilson’s Plovers, Philipp Maleko who, with his team, is studying the breeding biology of Nordmann’s Greenshanks in Russia and Bruno Lima, who, with Karina Ávila represents Wader Quest in Brazil as Wader Quest Brasil and also Projeto Aves Limícolas an NGO protecting waders and beaches along the Brazilain South-east coast.
These were followed by the AGM itself, for which a quorum was achieved, and included a video report from our Treasurer Louise Hathaway, who joined us from her car on a beach in Scotland (the video was to ensure her contribution due to the precarious nature of her connection). The Treasurer’s report was approved by those present. We also welcomed, via a vote of ratification, new Trustee John Beaumont and also re-elected both Rick and Elis Simpson as Trustee’s (Rick as Chair) in the annual, rotational, stepping down and reelection process of Trustees that the constitution requires.
This was followed by a very informative talk from Nigel Clark giving us an update about the situation globally for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. It was at the same time fascinating, disheartening and yet positive with regard to the work being carried out and the setbacks that have been faced due to COVID and the war in Ukraine with its inevitable repercussions and restrictions on movement of people and finances. Despite everything, the take-away message from Nigel was that things are bad, but they are not as bad as they were in the past. After all, if nothing had been done at all, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper would almost certainly now be extinct. He was very positive in his belief that this situation can be turned around and we all sincerely hope this is the case. We watch and wait with interest to see how the fate of this bird is managed in future.
The talk ended with some interesting questions for Nigel regarding the chances of success and then Rick Simpson closed the meeting thanking Nigel and all of those who have worked so hard to save the species on behalf of Wader Quest and indeed the world for their amazing achievements to date.
The meeting was then closed with remarks from Rick Simpson and in particular thanking the Trustees, Executive Committee members, Friends and Sponsors, both past and present, for their support, emphasising that whatever Wader Quest has achieved in the last 10 years, it could not have been done without all of these people.
The next AGM is scheduled for Sunday the 26th of November 2023.