Collectors go wild for RSPB pin badge

Collector Wendy Knipe is pictured with the limited edition puffin badge.
Collector Wendy Knipe is pictured with the limited edition puffin badge.

A pin badge created to mark the 50th anniversary of RSPB Bempton Cliffs has got avid collectors going wild.

The special badge, featuring a puffin, has been in demand since its launch at the beginning of the month, with collectors across the country inundating the RSPB team with requests for it.

One of the first to add the badge to her collection was Wendy Knipe, from Filey.

Wendy has been a collector since around 2006 when she bought her first RSPB badge – a blackbird – from the Bempton Cliffs reserve. She now has around 1,300 RSPB badges featuring all kinds of wildlife.

Wendy was delighted to get hold of a badge early on and keep her collection complete.

Scott Davison-Smith, visitor operations manager, said: “We knew the new badge would be popular but we’ve been surprised at the level of interest.

“In the short term we’ve had to limit purchases to one per person so as not to disappoint visitors who’ll be making a trip here later in the year.

“These badges may only be small but they play a big part in our fundraising efforts.

“In 2016-17, sales of them brought in more than £500,000 and 70p from every £1 raised goes towards our conservation work.

“They really do help save nature and those that buy them can wear them with pride.”

RSPB pin badges came into being in 1997 when the charity neared a milestone in its membership numbers.

Four birds featured in the ‘Million Members Stick Pin’ series – a bittern, a bullfinch, a puffin and a red kite.

Since then there have been 250 standard designs released and the latest puffin badge seems set to cause even more of a stir than the first one.

The limited edition 50th anniversary puffin badge is still available from the Seabird Centre for £2.

There are always plenty of events taking place at RSPB Bempton.

The next one will take place next Tuesday (12 February) when the centre hosts its Chatty Hour at 2pm. People will get the chance to enjoy a chat with a cuppa and a cake.

More Chatty Hours will be held on 14, 19, 21, 26 and 28 February at 2pm.

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February, the centre hosts National Nest Box Week from 10am. The event is free but donations are most welcome.