Flock to vote for puffin as it bids to be national bird


Organisers of Amble Puffin Festival are encouraging residents to vote for the iconic species to help it become Britain’s first national bird.

It comes after campaigner and ornithologist David Lindo launched a poll to find which feathered friend best epitomises Britain.

A shortlist of 10 has been chosen by online voters on Mr Lindo’s campaign website from a list of 60.

The puffin, with its multi-coloured beak, has made it onto the shortlist and is joined by the mute swan, red kite, hen harrier, barn owl, kingfisher, wren, robin, blackbird and blue tit.

Puffins make an annual pilgrimage to Coquet Island and the Farnes to breed, before heading off to sea for the winter.

And Craig Weir, who is chairman of Amble Puffin Festival’s organising committee, is calling on people to root for the cute creatures.

He said: “I would certainly endorse any push to make the puffin Britain’s national bird, It is the most ideal bird to represent Britain because of its humour; whenever you see a puffin, you smile.”

The festival, which celebrates all things puffin, is gearing up for its third year and will take place in and around Amble from Monday, May 25, to Sunday, May 31.

Mr Weir believes the area would receive a massive boost if the puffin swoops to take top spot.

He told the Gazette: “It would put the town on the map and produce an enormous amount of publicity. It would bring in more visitors and it would be a win-win situation.”

The vote will close on May 7 – the day of the general election – and Mr Lindo will ask the new Government to officially appoint the winner as national bird.

To cast your vote, visit www.votenationalbird.com/#vote