It is not always obvious where you can post things

I have a serious issue I want to raise with the community about the RSPB's relationship to its members and its direction of travel, corporately and PR-wise, if not (yet) on the ground.  Trying to find an appropriate part of the community where you can post such concerns is really difficult.  The obvious places would be "Community Home", "Get Involved" or "Our Work" but there is either no "New Post" button or, as on "Get Involved", it is only for posting photographs.

My isssue is one that I raised last year, and have just raised again with Membership Services: I joined the RSPB because of my over-riding interest in birds. I spend almost all of my spare time working for environmental and conservation causes (a lot of time, now that I am semi-retired) but I joined the RSPB back in 1979, upgrading to a fellowship in about 1985, because, first and foremost, I love birds and I want to support the great work the RSPB do in providing habitat for them and acting to try and deter crime committed against them.

For the second year running my membership card has turned up with an insect on it.  If I was interested in providing direct support for Bumble Bees, I would join Bugs Life, Peacock Butterflies, I would join Butterfly Conservation, Pine Martens, the Mammal Society.  They all need direct support - particularly with this government and its anti-science, pro-rhetoric stance.

It concerns me that, whilst the message "Give nature a home" is a good strong slogan I do not want to see the RSPB dilute its efforts towards bird conservation.  Nor do I want to see the RSPB competing with the other, incredibly valuable, scientific and specialised organisations for their hard-earned cash.  I have told Membership Services that they need to replace the card; a waste of money for them - but they need to get it through their heads that they should listen and take note of their members' concerns. I made it very clear last year that I was unhappy with this approach - they clearly took no notice.  This time I have told them that if it happens again I will cancel my membership. It might seem trivial but, if they are now so big that individual members don't count, I can buy a lot of rings for what I pay them and perhaps contribute a bit more to the science side of things.

Simon Tucker

  • I agree with your post, Simon. Will add more when I get time, but just a quick question. You said you upgraded your membership to fellowship. Doesn't that mean you've paid up so cancelling it won't mean any loss of money to RSPB? Quite the opposite?

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Fellowship - not Life Fellowship - so I pay through the nose every year rather than having made a single payment and sitting back feeling smug :-)

    Simon Tucker

  • In reply to Simon Tucker:

    I'm afraid i disagree with you both, as birdlife works in conjunction with other wildlife and I'm very pleased that the RSPB do that. I've been a member of the RSPB since approx 1973 just 21 years of age and I'll be 65 in May and just over 5 years ago i became a Life Fellow of the RSPB and I'm pleased i did and I'm also a member of my RSPB Group close to where i live. It doesn't bother me what's on the membership card, whether birds, butterfly's, mamals etc. As they are all of equal importance.

    Also i had been in touch about 2 years ago about the problems surrounding these forums with the CEO of the RSPB Mike Clark and he says as the RSPB on Facebook and Twitter are more popular for discussing birds and other wildlife than the RSPB Community Forums and with finance a big problem at that time, there probably couldn't say if changes within the RSPB Community Forums would happen and I can see his point.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to THOMO:

    I have had a long conversation with Membership Services this afternoon: I am not alone, far from it. Indeed, the reaction is such that they are looking at how they can change the system.

    Yes, Ian, they are all of equal importance: as the Mammal Society, Herpetological Society, Butterfly Conservation, Bug's Life and Woodland Trust appreciate and I am sure they are delighted that the largest UK conservation organisation is muscling in on their territory.

    Equally, I am sure that Ian Botham, You Forgot the Birds, the Countryside Alliance et al are delighted at the propaganda coup handed to them on a plate by this move.

    Simon Tucker

  • In reply to Simon Tucker:

    Any organisation whether it be the woodland trust or the RSPB has to manage there reserves for all wildlife.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to THOMO:

    Yes they do because nothing exists in isolation but this is the Royal Society for the Protection of BIRDS - why do you find that so difficult to understand? I belong to the conservation organisations whose aims and aspirations I agree with.

    Simon Tucker

  • In reply to Simon Tucker:

    I agree with that, but they have to protect other animals, insects etc as well and I think the majority on these forums do as well. Whether they are the RSPB or not, I don't care what's on there membership card and the RSPB's royal charter has been changed to cope with protecting all wildlife.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to THOMO:

    THOMO said:

    the RSPB's royal charter has been changed to cope with protecting all wildlife.

    I know you like to make reference to the Royal Charter, Thomo, and I've disagreed with your interpretations each time previously.

    Where has this information come from?

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Just read it and see.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to Robbo:

    I tend to agree with RSPB about not spending too many resources on this forum, not least because it lost its way during the infamous 'upgrade' of about 6ish years ago. Finding an obvious place to post anything can be a challenge, especially for new posters, which this site was meant to have been trying to encourage.

    I too agreed with Simon last year when the same membership card issue/concern was raised. I hope it gets seriously considered this time. I am also concerned about staff Final Salary pension scheme still being open to existing staff. I would always say, 'good luck to them' in corporate organisations willing to fund those schemes, but am not impressed with a charity funding something that the vast majority of those contributing to it are not blessed with and haven't been for many years.

    I've never heard of 'Annual' Fellowship. I'll have to read up on it.