Alex Chapman wins Cameron Bespolka scholarship


Alex Chapman will be attending Cornell's Bird Event in July after being awarded this year's Cameron Bespolka Trust scholarship, the trust has announced.

Judges Corinne Cruickshank and Keith Betton commented: "We were so impressed by Alex's passion to continue to learn and to discover which area of the natural world he would like to specialise in, and we hope that Cornell will be hugely helpful for him."

The Bird Event is an annual weekend that aims to bring together teenagers who have a passion for birds and who are interested in pursuing a career in this field. The participants will meet people who have successful careers that involve birds in a variety of ways. This programme is held at Cornell University in Ithaca, near New York.

The trip is fully sponsored by the Cameron Bespolka Trust and cover flights, transfers, the whole event which includes meals, accommodation, all transportation during the weekend.

Keith Betton, a Trustee of the Cameron Bespolka Trust, added: "For young people it is often one event or one experience that helps them to decide just how important a particular interest is to them in the long term. For me that event was being put in charge of a bird survey in my local park when I was a teenager. I realised that bird study was going to be my lifelong passion.

"By spending time at Cornell, I am sure these young people will gain a real understanding of whether they are primarily a birder, an ornithologist or a conservationist. It may be the moment they look back on in years to come and say 'that's the point at which I worked out exactly where I fit in to all of this'."