A novel and innovative concept for showcasing wildlife in Iberia has recently hit the ground running! Of course there are many festivals and fairs where we might wander along to and enjoy meeting-up with fellow nature enthusiasts, but we really like the idea and concept of the Iberia Bird Festival. It is a kind of travelling show, focusing on areas where birdlife is a rich and diverse resource, but has been largely missed on most birder’s radar. Almería is the region chosen for the very first festival of its kind and deserves its chance to promote itself to the nature loving public. It is a region that has suffered from a lack of any meaningful promotional investment by the powers that be for southern Spain, where both the focus and funding tends to concentrate on already known areas such as the Doñana (Seville) and Strait of Gibraltar.
Iberia Bird Festival sets out to be different. The festivals are non profit in so far as any surplus revenues are donated to a single nature project or charity each year. The organisers are passionate about our wildlife and want to be able to contribute to the preservation and conservation of birds in particular. IBF will hold the festival at a different location each year, not only to raise awareness of birds in various regions, but also to give visitors opportunities to see and learn about the great diversity of Iberia. The chosen project the festival will support for 2012 is the Osprey Migration Foundation¹.
Iberia is collectively a veritable mecca for those of us that love nature. There are so many areas within the peninsula that are absolute jewels for nature in general, but in particular for birds. From some of the highest mountain ranges in Europe, to wide and expansive wetlands, steppe country and at its southern most tip the famous Strait of Gibraltar, the western European highway for birds passing to and fro on migration between Europe and Africa. The Iberia Bird Festival is an annual event, visiting a new location each year, supporting worthwhile causes for nature involving educational and conservation projects. They very much hope to welcome you to a celebration of the birds in Iberia at one, if not all, of their festivals. Entrance to this year’s festival in Almería is FREE!
• All festivals include daily excursions to wild places.
• Internationally famed authorities on nature give lectures on their particular speciality.
• Exhibitors for nature goods, photography and travel will be showing their wares.
• Local guided tours available and the tour descriptions and costs will appear on the official website².
• Music and parties each evening for the duration of the festival, tickets available at the festival.
• All net profits from the festival will be donated to a single educational or conservation project¹.
The venue and home for the festival in 2012 is Rodalquilar, starting 7th to 9th September, in the heart of the Parque Natural Cabo de Gata, it is the largest terrestrial-maritime reserve in the European Western Mediterranean Sea, covering 460 km² including the town of Carboneras, the mountain range of Sierra de Cabo de Gata, and 120 km² of the sea as a part of a Marine reserve. Hosting the festival for 2012 is the splendid Hotel Naturaleza Rodalquilar³, close to the village of the same name and the head offices for the Parque Natural. The surrounding area is a protected nature reserve and has a plant list of over 1000 species as well as many much sought after birds such as Dupont's Lark and Trumpeter Finch. It promises to be a memorable year for the organisers and all who visit this year’s Iberia Bird Festival. The main partner with organising and promoting the festival this year is Hotel Rodalquilar³. As a local and well respected company, the organisers of IBF could not wish for better partners during this year's festival. Their philosophy is more than just a business; it is a passion, a dedication to the portraying of values and emotions by means of environmental education, heritage interpretation and nature tourism.
Note: The Hotel Rodalquilar has reserved all rooms for visitors and exhibitors at this year’s Iberia Bird Festival, those wishing to book rooms should contact the hotel directly (bookings.com and other agents will show the hotel as fully booked).
¹ . The Osprey Migration Foundation. To see more visit – http://www.ospreys.org.uk/
² . The Iberia Bird Festival official website: https://sites.google.com/site/iberiabirdfestival/home
³ . Hotel Naturaleza Rodalquilar website: http://www.hotelrodalquilar.com/