Help to support us
The Rye Meads Ringing Group operates as an amateur study group, and is therefore self funding. Whilst we are indebted to Thames Water for sponsorship for some activities, we are nevertheless always in need of funds.
We ring up to 5,000 birds a year; each ring costs from 22p for a Wren to £3.13 for a Mute Swan.
We have more than 30 nets in regular use, they typically last 2-3 years, and cost over £100.
As well as nets and rings, we need to fund the cost of other equipment such as duck traps, biometrics equipment, the ringing laboratory, site management, and so on.
We rely heavily on the financial support of our Friends and Members to keep going.
Why not become a Friend of Rye Meads?
A Friend of Rye Meads receives our bi-monthly Bulletin, which contains details of observations, ringing totals, recoveries and controls and all the latest news from the Group. Friends also receive the triennial Report, which contains a full systematic list of observations, details of ringing and all our recoveries and controls showing where our birds are moving to, breeding survey reports, analysis of nest records, Constant Effort Site reports, as well as the scientific papers published by members of the Group.
Although access to the Rye Meads site itself is by permit only, a Friend can visit by prior arrangement and see the Group at work.
Joining the Group as a Ringer
Already a ringer?
We need more ringers who are already experienced to join as members of the group. If you are already a ringer and would like to explore the possibility of joining us, please click here to contact us.
Interested in training to ring and over the age of 18?
If you are over 18, a keen birdwatcher and would like to become a trainee ringer then please bear in mind that it will require a considerable investment in time and effort, so is not something to be entered into lightly!
If you want to consider this, please contact the BTO in the first instance, which you can do by clicking here. They will help you to register for the appropriate BTO surveys, and will also ask some basic questions, and gather some information which they will then pass to us through their "find a trainer" section.
We will then advise you what is required to train to ring at Rye Meads, and whether we have the capacity to train you.
Interested in training to ring but under the age of 18?
Please note that as group we don’t currently take on official trainees below the age of 18. You may be able to attend as a helper though, but we would need to insist that a parent/guardian attends on every single visit.
If this is of interest, please contact the BTO in the first instance, which you can do by clicking here They will ask some basic questions and determine the best way forward (there may be a trainer who is able to take you on as an official trainee straight away). If the BTO does pass your answers to us (initially without your name and contact details), we can then arrange a taster session. Again, we would need to insist that a parent/guardian attends this too.
We only have capacity for a limited number of Trainees at any one time, but do regularly have vacancies, and may be able to accept you as a helper rather than a Trainee. If the BTO passes your details to us, then we will then advise you what is required to train to ring at Rye Meads, and if we have the capacity for another Trainee, and you are ready for this commitment and have a minimum standard of general birding skills, and are at least 16 years old, then we may offer to enroll you as a Trainee.
Our Ringing and Trainee members pay a yearly subscription of £60 (with reduced rates for students).
Already a Member of the Group?
Then you can pay your subscription here.