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Peter FirthPeter Firth carries out a bird count at the Meadows once a month, usually early in the morning when birds are most active. Since the end of 2011 he has listed nearly 50 different species, including that typical wetlands bird, the snipe.

He and his wife have lived in Ashtead for 40 years and for 20 of them he has compiled daily records of the birds seen on Ashtead Common. Interested in birds since schooldays, he was retained by the RSPB as publicity adviser during the 1970s in which time membership grew from 50,000 to nearly 500,000.

Later, with his wife, he established a PR consultancy in Fleet Street, their clients including Esso, the Port of London Authority and the National No Smoking Day campaign, which they initiated. In 1995 he began writing company histories (the first was for Bentalls) of which he has written nine. He also publishes a monthly diary about the birds of Ashtead Common.