Wader Quest’s aims

To raise awareness about the challenges waders face in the modern world.

To raise funds to support wader conservation worldwide, especially those involving locally led community projects.

Wader Quest is registered charity No. 1193674 (England and Wales)

What Are Waders?

‘It is to me the most striking instance of what bird-protection can and should, be, not a matter of Acts of Parliament and schedules hung on police station walls, but a combined effort of people living in their own countryside to save, it may be for one year only or it may be for posterity, some portion of the beauty of our marshlands which our forefathers too often allowed to perish.’

Lt.-Col. J. K. Stanford, O.B.E., M.C. August 30th 1950.


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These words are as true today as they were when they were written nearly 70 years ago and they sum up rather well how we think the future of wader conservation should go. that aims to get more people directly involved in wader conservation via Community Wader Conservation projects, or indirectly as a Friend or Sponsor of Wader Quest, raising funds for, and awareness about, wader conservation.

Waders are under more global pressure today than at any time in the past, particularly long-distance migrants that depend upon the intertidal zone for refuelling and resting. Nearly half (48%) of wader species, where a population trend is known, are in decline. That is why Rick and Elis Simpson set up Wader Quest in 2012.

We support Community Wader Conservation where local groups and communities, mostly volunteers, work to protect their local wader populations whether they are breeding, passage or non-breeding populations. We think of this as the conservation arm of ‘citizen science’ and believe it to be equally, if not more, important. We also believe that the cumulative effect of these small conservation projects is significant and it gives concerned people a real sense that they are able to become involved and that they are making a tangible difference in their own back yard to tackle an acute global ecological crisis.

We also assist with small research projects that struggle to find other funding by purchase of equipment and tools, particularly if they can show some sort of community involvement.

The Trustees adopted a Constitution in March 2014 that set out Wader Quest’s aims and objectives to operate within the structure of being a charity. In the meantime, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recognised Wader Quest as a charity for tax purposes. This was good news as we can take advantage of Gift Aid from donations made by British taxpayers. In June 2019, with a revised constitution, we successfully completed the registration of Wader Quest with the charities commission, enhancing our standing and improving our prospects of growing to become a real force for wader conservation.

If you are concerned about the declining fortunes of our waders, and wish to help, then it is possible for everyone to ‘do our bit’. We don’t expect everyone to be able to protect beaches and nests, nor liaise with farmers over when, and how, to cut their fields, not everyone is in a position to roll their sleeves up and get physically involved in this way. But, if you feel saddened by what is happening to our waders, and wish to be a part of saving them for future generations to enjoy and marvel at, then you can help by becoming a Friend of Wader Quest or a Wader Quest Sponsor. By doing so, you will be helping us to support those who are in a position to directly help and protect our waders, and the environments in which they live.

We do not take a wage and 100% of all donations and subscriptions, and 50% of all sales are guaranteed to go to conservation projects.

We have the great pleasure of working with many like-minded people and very much appreciate their feedback about the work we are doing.

It should go without saying, that we are very appreciative of the work of Wader Quest and impressed by your own very evident knowledge and dedication to shorebird conservation. Thank goodness there are folk such as yourselves. It’s just the source of encouragement and motivation, from which less experienced birders such as ourselves, benefit greatly

Mike and Rose Clear: NSW Australia.

People have many different highlights from the British Bird Fair but one of mine is undoubtedly having had the privilege to talk to some of the world’s leaders in avian conservation. One such man goes by the name of Rick Simpson from the world renown organization called “Wader Quest” which strives to raise funds for and awareness surrounding the plight of the world’s wader populations which are declining at a rapid rate with an estimated 48% of wader populations in decline.  Rick, you and the folks from Wader Quest are true custodians of our worlds waders and it’s because of organizations such as yourself that we are able to enjoy our waders on a daily basis. Thank you.

John Kinghorn: South Africa.



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With thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters