About The Group
The T.A.B.C.G. was founded in 1988 to try and preserve habitat in the area of the Theale Gravel Pits and is involved with habitat management from creation to maintenance. The group offers a friendly atmosphere and one which welcomes new members, the group has official ties with the major local and national conservation organisations to carry out management work on a variety of local sites. In 1997 Hosehill Lake was given a nature reserve status by Newbury District council and the TABCG assist West Berkshire Council with the management of this reserve.
The group has a varied programme of events, indoor meetings are held monthly, when anyone present can have their say on the issues being discussed, visiting speakers are also arranged as well as quiz and slide nights. The group also organises monthly bird walks and bird surveys. As well as birds, various members have a special interest in other species such as Butterflies, Moths and Dragonflies. Events are also organised to cater for these interests.
The group hold regular Sunday walks round the local gravel pits and walks are open to non-members. Walks start at 09:00 and finish at 12:00, they are suitable for ages 8 upwards and a responsible adult must accompany children under 14(1 Adult per 2 Children). Stout waterproof footwear and appropriate clothing should be worn. For walk dates and meeting points please view the forthcoming events page.
A number of field trips are organised including a Nightjar walk and a day trip to Wales. The Wales field trip is always highly recommended with the chance to see Dipper, Tree Pipit, Pied Flycatcher, Wood & Garden Warbler, Peregrine, Raven amongst many others. Visits to Gwent levels, the River Usk and the Elan valley make a fantastic days birdwatching. For trip dates please view the forthcoming events page.
Work parties are regularly organised and volunteers are always very welcome, this enables improvements to be made to the bio-diversity of local sites and in turn aids wildlife. The tasks vary but there is something for every skill level and age group to do, meadow raking, cleaning bird boxes, clearing scrub, cutting reeds and planting trees all for the benefit of wildlife. In 2006 the TABCG completed 1238 man-hours of conservation work around the Theale complexes. Details of work parties can be found on the forthcoming events page.
In 2000 the TABCG re-started the yearly event of bird racing, it involves teams of 3 seeing or hearing as many species of bird in Berkshire during a 24 hour period. The current record stands at an amazing 121 set in 1990 by Andy Swash, Steve Abbott, Neil Bucknell and Ian Collins and equalled by Fraser Cottington, Adam Bassett and Andy Johnson on May 13th 2006. In the past 3 years it has been a valuable fund raiser aiding the RSPB's "No Airport at Cliffe" campaign and local groups such as "The Friends of Lavell's".
As of June 4th 2007 the TABCG is now a registered charity, Number 1119466.
You can find the TABCG on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/ThealeAreaBirdConservationGroup