Being given the opportunity of serving as Devon County Recorder has always been a real privilege for me. We live in a county containing some top top birders, so to have been nominated and welcomed to this role at the age of 24 was a real honour, and will always remain a life highlight.
Since I started this ‘job’ in Sept 2010 - taking over from Mike Langman (I had big boots to fill!) - I have seen an incredible amount of change within Devon Birds. Being at the heart of it I have seen first hand the hard work put in by volunteers on a daily basis for this change to happen, and it is quite simply astonishing. The whole society is run by countless unpaid hours of work and these people deserve so much praise, more so because they never ask for any rewards or even look for credit. Although I served under three Chairmen, most of my time at Devon Birds was with George Harris at the top. He did a fantastic job steering the society to where it is today, and the mind boggles at how many hours he had to put in for this to happen as successfully as it did.
Although I coped well with the workload for most of my time, towards the end of my term as County Recorder my work life, and just life, has put too much pressure on me to carry out this voluntary role to its full potential. This is why I have decided to leave having served my five year term. To whoever is lucky enough to take on the County Recorder baton, I will be on hand if any advice is needed, and will work hard to ensure the hand over is a smooth one.
And lastly, just a few thank yous. Obviously Julia Harris gets the biggest one from me. If every County Recorder had a Julia then all county bird societies would have a much easier job compiling their county bird databases – words can’t really convey what I owe her. Also I would like to thank all the individuals I have worked alongside within the Devon Records Committee. Although sometimes they do have tough decisions to make, they are always made fairly and only after a lot of careful thought and discussion. The meetings I will miss a lot, but I'm please to say I have made some great friends through them.
Thank you everyone, see you around birding and don’t forget get your records and descriptions in as soon as!
So it's now time for the next chapter in my life, and boy it's an exciting one! Watch this space...