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Thursday, July 8, 1999 Published at 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK


Bird site pecks top award

The winning site launches into birdsong

Matthew Sydney reports from the 1999 Yell UK Internet Awards
A Website dedicated to bird watching picked up the top award at the 1999 Yell UK Internet Awards.

Phil Barratt received the Site Of The Year award for his Birds In A Cheshire Garden pages, which he produces from home. This is a remarkable achievement given that the competition for the prize included some of the biggest commercial operators on the Net.

[ image: Phil Barratt: Wants to be a Web professional]
Phil Barratt: Wants to be a Web professional
"I am absolutely amazed - this is a huge shock," said Phil. "My Website has only been going for a year and a half, so to win this award is a great thrill."

The bird site has become a big hit with surfers, and even Rolling Stone Mick Jagger - a twitcher himself - has been known to visit the URL at

Due to serious illness Mr Barratt has been confined to a wheelchair since childhood. He said he saw the Internet as a way of furthering his hobby. He would now like to become a Web professional. He has already started another project, working with 30 charity organisations to sell Christmas cards online.

New publishing

Mr Barratt's site beat companies such as Cellnet, with its Genie Website, and Jamba which is run by broadcast company Carlton.

[ image: Jonathan Ross: The awards raise awareness]
Jonathan Ross: The awards raise awareness
The host at this year's Yell ceremony, Jonathan Ross, said: "Awards like this are great because a lot of people will not have seen some of these sites and it is a good way for them to gain exposure."

Past Yell awards - the event has been running for four years - have tended to focus on commercial Websites and those funded by large corporations.

New media services director of Yell, the online version of the Yellow Pages, Dr Eddie Cheng said: "Phil Barratt's site was filled with such heart and soul for the subject matter and shows that if you have a love for something you do not need to go down the usual publishing routes any more.

"We did not know that Mr Barratt was disabled when we saw the nominations, or even by looking at the Website. It shows what can be achieved on the Internet."

Birds In A Cheshire Garden also won Best Personal Web Site.

The other 1999 Yell UK Internet Awards:

  • Most innovative use of the web - Genie

  • Best entertainment site - Jamba

  • Best commercial website (consumer) -

  • Best commercial website (Business to business) - DigitalVision

  • Best website from a charity or non-profit making organisation - Walking Britain

  • Best consumer e-commerce Website - FilmWorld

  • Best youth Website - Cartoon Network

  • Best community Website - Maidenbower Village

  • Best content provider - SimplyFood

  • Internet Magazine readers' choice award - At Home with Your PC

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1999 Yell UK Internet Awards

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