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RSPB appeal for help naming 100,000 knot on Norfolk nature reserve

Last modified: 27 July 2017

Knot roosting

Think you could pick your named knot out of a line-up?

Image: Steve Round

  • Over 100,000 anonymous knot at RSPB Snettisham need names
  • The RSPB is calling on the public to ‘Name a Knot’ to support their Snettisham Hide crowdfunding appeal

RSPB Snettisham nature reserve in Norfolk is home to over 100,000 knot – an incredible wading bird that can be seen flying in huge numbers over the reserve and mudflats of The Wash on the highest tides, performing spectacular displays for those who come to see them – but sadly, not a single knot has a name.

Now though, the RSPB hopes to change that by offering people the opportunity to ‘Name a Knot’ as part of its Snettisham Hide crowdfunding appeal.

On hearing about the initiative, one nameless knot tweeted: “For over 15 years I’ve been tumbling, wheeling and whirling between the mudflats and lagoons, blending in anonymously with the rest of the flock. I know I might be difficult to pick out in a crowd, but I’m my own knot. I want to be recognized as an individual. Now at last I might get a name of my own!”

The RSPB in Eastern England is crowdfunding to build a new hide at Snettisham to help people experience the knot displays and other wildlife spectacles of The Wash after two hides were lost to the sea in a storm surge in 2013.

Supporters can claim various rewards in return for donating to the appeal, which now includes a ‘Name a Knot’ reward available for a donation of £10. In return, ‘Name a Knot’ donors will receive a personalized name certificate for their knot.

A local birdwatcher who, unlike the Knot, wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve been watching these knot for years, marveling at the moving shapes their flocks form in the sky and taking their photographs, but now that you mention it, I don’t know any of them individually by name. I think I’ll call my knot ‘Slip’!” 

Spot your knot

Flocks of tens of thousands of knot and other wading birds put on mesmerizing flying displays at Snettisham when they are pushed off the mudflats of The Wash in their masses by the tide.

RSPB Snettisham Site Manager, Jim Scott said: “Thousands of people come to Snettisham every year specially to see the stunning displays of the knot. Once you have given a knot a name you will be able to come to Snettisham and find your knot in amongst the other birds.

“The new hide we hope to build with the help of people’s ‘Name a Knot’ donations should make it easier to get close up views of the birds without disturbing them. I have to admit though they do all look very similar!”

To name your knot, visit before the end of the appeal on 14 August.

With only 100,000 ‘Name a Knot’ rewards available, the RSPB is urging people to get their names in early to avoid disappointment!

For all the latest news on the Snettisham Hide crowdfunding appeal, follow #SnettsHide on social media.

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