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The John Stott Birding Day

John Stott was at the forefront of bringing creation care to the attention of the global Church. He cared deeply for the plight of the planet because he was hardwired with a love of nature in general and of birds in particular. He was among the first and most faithful friends A Rocha has had and so last year, in celebration of the centenary of his birth, we launched the John Stott Memorial Birding Day. Participants in 21 countries took part in a bird race, seeing an amazing combined total of 1089 species in 24 hours!  

This year, we have an audacious goal. Will you help us reach John Stott’s life total of 2000 species? We are joining ebird’s Global Big Day, using their platform for record keeping. You can take part as an individual, but we recommend you form a team of three to five.  

Take part in the bird race on 14 or 15 May or go on a John Stott-inspired retreat using our resource. Visit for more information. 

Here are the winners from last year


Bringing back the Black-breasted Button-quail

2021-2030 is the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – a global call to heal our planet and A Rocha projects around the world are making a significant contribution.

In Australia, A Rocha is working with Friends of the Escarpment Parks (FEP) Toowoomba at Redwood Park – a 243-hectare property on the eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range – to tackle invasive weeds that threaten to destroy endangered ecosystems like the semi-evergreen vine thicket by climbing and smothering the trees. On the forest floor, it can become difficult for ground-foraging animals and birds to feed, like the nationally vulnerable Black-breasted Button-quail Turnix melanogaster. This button-quail has a characteristic feeding habit: it turns on alternate legs as it scratches in the leaf litter to make a circular feeding scrape. Fresh scrapes are a good indicator that button-quail are present in the area.

In late 2020, a small team of A Rocha Australia volunteers started working alongside FEP to control major weeds at Redwood Park. Every month, they have been working at the site to weed out the invasives in the vine-thicket. The benefits for button-quail have sometimes been immediate, with fresh feeding scrapes being seen throughout the weeded areas the following day. Remote cameras have also confirmed that the button-quail are breeding in the park!

The challenge now is to complete weeding in a sizeable section of the scrub and establish a longer-term plan to maintain the habitat for button-quail and other animals.

Photo: Black-breasted Button-quail (Aviceda, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Have an A Rocha adventure!

If you have a hole in your schedule over the next few months and were looking for something worthwhile, fun and potentially life-changing to plug it, we can help! Here are two A Rocha opportunities to explore:

Volunteer week with A Rocha Czech Republic 13-21 August

Spend three days working in the living garden at the educational centre, a haven for flora and fauna with seven ponds, two bird hides and a whole lot of insect houses. You will also have a day in the Josefov Meadows Ornithological Reserve and a day in the Orlické Záhoří (Eagle Mountains).

Each day will start with a short Bible reflection in Czech and English, and in the afternoons there will be activities including catching and ringing birds, walks and shorter trips in the surrounding countryside, Czech traditional mushrooming (plus a simple mycological course), and monitoring nesting Kingfishers or Dippers.

The cost is only 10 Euros per night for simple accommodation, food and local travel. There are 30 places available. Please email [email protected] to book.

Volunteer for A Rocha Canada at the Brooksdale Environmental Centre

Whether you’re eager to get your hands dirty in the garden, help remove invasive species with the conservation team, or offer skills in your area of expertise, they would love to hear from you! If you’d like to come for two weeks or more, you’ll be staying in the Brooksdale Guest House an hour south of Vancouver BC. The rate is $40 per day which includes accommodation and breakfast. Lunches and dinners are $6 per meal. You will join along as a volunteer to help as needed in various program areas for about 20 hours a week. Find out more here.

You can find out about other opportunities to volunteer, intern or join as a staff member here.

Photo: Wildlife pond at the Kruparna centre in the Czech Republic (Filip Lastovic)