Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Emily Williamson, Co-founder of the RSPB, Statue Campaign

Emily Williamson, Co-founder of the RSPB, Statue Campaign

Many of our members may remember the talk given to us by Tessa Boase in November 2019, when we were introduced to the founders of the RSPB - Emily Williamson and Etta Lemon.

Tessa outlined the struggle these two ladies and their supporters faced over a period of more than 30 years to bring into force the Plumage Act of 1921. This Act of Parliament banned the import of exotic feathers so helping to safeguard birds such as the snowy egret and great-crested grebe.

Emily's organisation The Society for the Protection of Birds and Etta's Fur, Fin and Feather Folk eventually joined forces to become and develop into the RSPB we know today.

Emily Williamson lived not too far away from us at The Croft, Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury and at the end of her talk Tessa Boase told us of a recently installed plaque on the site in commemoration of Emily as a founder of the RSPB together with the growing idea to also erect a statue of Emily.

Please use the link below to take you to the Emily Williamson statue campaign site.

The site explains how to vote for your four favourite statue designs from the twelve designs listed. Here too you are able to take a virtual tour of Fletcher Moss Park followed by a Survey Monkey survey to vote for the area within the Park where you would like the statue to be sited. Crowdfunding donations to the campaign are also welcome.

A short list of the four sculptors and their designs will be announced on March 1st with four bronze maquettes unveiled in July 2021, to mark the centenary of the Plumage Act.

The maquettes will then tour RSPB visitor centres throughout Britain, allowing the public to vote for their favourite. The winning sculpture will be announced in November 2021 followed by the unveiling of the finished sculpture on Emily's 168th birthday in April 2023.

Fletcher Moss Park is one of the North West of England's most valued open spaces; a nature-lovers' haven rich in birdlife and flora where you can find rare wildflowers, exotic trees and rare Alpine species together with treecreeper, bullfinch, siskin, nuthatch, song and mistle thrushes to name a few.

(The Emily Williamson portrait is copyright of the artist Clare Abbatt)