BOURC membership changes (July 2021)

28 July 2021

Mark Golley joins BOURC
The BOU is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Golley to its Records Committee (BOURC). Mark is an active birder and naturalist with a deep-rooted interest in rare birds, their identification and occurrence, and is no stranger to finding national rarities himself being based on the north Norfolk coast.

Read Mark’s profile on the Committee members’ page.

Diversity within the BOU
Mark replaces Dawn Balmer who retires from the Committee this summer. Dawn has been a diligent and valued member during her time with us and became the first female member of BOURC.

For the last decade, the BOU has worked hard to improve diversity across all our activities. Central to this is the makeup of our Council and committees, where we have set the target of achieving a 50:50 male:female gender balance across these groups by 2022. For some individual groups, e.g. Council itself, we have attained this, and across all other groups, away from BOURC, the balance is 50:50. With BOURC included, it is skewed to 55% male across all our groups.

We always knew that BOURC was the outlier within our activities, with its membership being drawn from the birding community rather than the professional, and largely academic, ornithological community, as is the case for our Council and other committees and groups. Birding is a heavily male-dominated pastime and the interest in rare birds even more so. There are few female county bird recorders. The British Birds Rarities Committee has not yet appointed a woman to its ranks. And in recent rounds of recruitment for BOURC, although we have had women nominated for membership and have prioritised their selection, the invitations to join the Committee have been declined. However challenging, we remain committed to increasing the number of women appointed to BOURC in coming years, and are still actively striving to achieve this.