• Wondrous Wildflowers

    by Guest blogger Rose Hancock Pook.

    From kingcup to foxglove, goat’s beard to scarlet pimpernel, each spring and summer wildflowers and the meadows, woodlands and hedgerows they thrive in awaken in an incredible display of life and colour

    Why are wildflowers so important?

    Few habitats in Britain can match the diversity of life found in wildflower meadows. Formed by hundreds of years of traditional farming methods…

    • 28 Jun 2018
  • We know you've been waiting...Big Wild Sleepout is back!

    The RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout returns for a sixth sensational year, and over the summer months, thousands of children and their families will be pitching tents at RSPB reserves across the UK, hoping to discover the night time creatures are living on their doorstep.

     

    And our RSPB South East reserves offer truly unique environments so campers can get even closer to nature, but be warned, places sell out fast!

     

    • 22 Jun 2018
  • Don't ponder. Support struggling wildlife by building a garden pond.

    After much consideration and analysis of your sightings of wildlife visiting your homes, we have come up with a single action we can all undertake that will have the biggest impact for biodiversity.

    Before I reveal that, let’s take time out to celebrate the fact that more than 54,000 people took part in the survey across the south east. A huge thank you because there’s no way we could ever gather this quantity and…

    • 21 Jun 2018
  • South Coast RSPB reserve attracts American Royal

     A rare American Royal tern has appeared at RSPB Pagham Harbour this week, which is believed to be a first for UK mainland.

     

    RSPB Pagham Harbour, West Sussex, has gained a reputation for being one of the best locations to spot rare tern species, with threatened roseate and black terns briefly visiting last year. Thousands of visitors flocked to the site last June, when a rare elegant tern arrived with a breeding colony…

    • 20 Jun 2018
  • The tiny creature making big news at RSPB Broadwater Warren

    Ten years ago the RSPB took on Broadwater Warren near Tunbridge Wells and started a restoration programme of what had become a conifer plantation back in to native woods and heathland. It is a slow transformation but there are indications of success, including the gentle spread of dormice throughout the woods.

    These nocturnal creatures hibernate over winter and spend most of the summer in tree branches. They strip bark…

    • 20 Jun 2018
  • Volunteers' Week: Could volunteering be the key to your career?

    Volunteering isn’t just about giving back, it’s becoming a more important tool for career progression than ever. You can learn brilliant new skills as well as become a familiar face within an organisation, which can even lead to exciting new employment opportunities!

     

    In fact, this blog has been written by one of our newest South East volunteers, Libby Morris! If you are interested in finding out more about…

    • 8 Jun 2018
  • Volunteers' Week: Taking it on as a team effort

    Anybody can play a valuable part in nature conservation - you don’t have to be a bird expert to help us to protect our native wildlife. It takes all sorts to make any organisation flourish – some people can name any bird just by hearing it sing - others prefer run marathons or get their hands dirty!

     

    In fact, this blog has been written by one of our newest South East volunteers, Libby Morris! If you are…

    • 7 Jun 2018
  • Volunteers' Week: Anyone can be a volunteer, including you!

    Becoming an RSPB volunteer is a great experience – no matter what your background, where you’re from or how old you are. Everybody has their own skills to offer and the expression ‘many hands make light work’ really does apply!

     

    We’ve had hundreds of volunteers from almost every background imaginable, and each one has given – as well as learnt – so much. You never know who you might meet when…

    • 6 Jun 2018
  • Volunteers' Week: Even an hour can make an impact!

    People often think that you have to be located within the heart of nature to volunteer with us. Luckily this isn’t true – just because you don’t have rolling hills or forests on your doorstep doesn’t mean that you can’t do your bit to help protect nature. You don’t even have to have loads of time on your hands to make an impact –giving us as little as an hour a week or participating in one-off events can make a huge difference…

    • 5 Jun 2018
  • Volunteers' week: Individuals can make a huge difference!

    People often say they struggle to see how one individual can make a difference, but every single RSPB volunteer can make a huge difference for nature! We have over 12,000 RSPB volunteers, who all come from different walks of life and who all help us in their own ways, and together, we achieve much more for wildlife than we could alone!

     

    In fact, this blog has been written by one of our newest South East volunteers, Libby…

    • 4 Jun 2018
  • Dusk til Dawn with BBC's Springwatch

    On Wednesday 1st May, the BBC Springwatch crew arrived at RSPB Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex for an extra special visit.

     

    We were in search for nightingales; one of RSPB Pulborough Brooks most famous breeding species, which attracts thousands of people to the reserve during the National Nightingale Festival.

     

    As with any wildlife filming, it’s impossible to guarantee that you will find what you are looking for…

    • 1 Jun 2018
  • Why we love heaths and what we're doing to reverse their decline

    Centuries ago, visitors to our region’s heaths would have encountered open spaces brimming with life and human activity.

    Vast heathland habitat once sprawled across the south east. This common land was the heart of the peasant economy and was alive with people herding livestock, cutting gorse for bread ovens, collecting birch for tools and besom (twig brooms like those associated with witches), gathering bracken…

    • 29 May 2018
  • They're known as the Devil's darning needle, the Stinger or the Praying Murmur, but we're sticking with Dragonfly

    Colloquial names apart, the big question is.... Who designed the dragonfly?

    I ask you, what sort of mind could conceive of a cross on a stick that flies, then make the stick-body metallic or furry; colouring it bright red, electric-blue or brown and adding a couple of balls for eyes! It’s the stuff of sci-fi spaceships or flying robots.

    Four spot chaser at Pulborough Brooks (c) Graham Osbourne

    Dragon and damsel flies are mesmerising in their fragile beauty. One of nature…

    • 17 May 2018
  • Booming bittern signals success for RSPB Brading Marshes

    Britain’s loudest bird, the bittern, has been heard booming across RSPB Brading Marshes for the first time this spring, and its call is believed to be the first ever record of booming bittern on the Isle of Wight.

     

    The UK bittern population had fallen to just 11 booming males in 1997, but thanks to conservation efforts the population is slowly recovering. Attracting breeding bitterns is widely considered…

    • 11 May 2018
  • The tree hiding in the woods

    One of the UK's foremost experts on trees has stumbled across what's believed to be the countries first naturalised Japanese cherry tree, Prunus 'Kanzan'.

    They normally grow from grafted stock, but this example appears to have grown from seed, probably dropped by a passing bird as it flew over RSPB Fore Wood near Battle in East Sussex. It's in bloom right now (April 2018) surrounded by bluebells in a…

    • 26 Apr 2018
  • Hear Lodge Hill's nightingales for yourself

    The nightingales are arriving back at Lodge Hill...

     

    ...and you have a chance to hear them in person on our free guided walk: next Tuesday 24 April, 7.30pm. It is by advance booking only due to limited places – please email katie.thatcher@rspb.org.uk, or ring 01634 222480 (weekdays only) to book your place.

     

    Adrian Thomas, our #SaveLodgeHill project manager, was at Lodge Hill yesterday filming with Channel 4…

    • 19 Apr 2018
  • Saving South East species: Migratory birds

    As spring arrives, we start to get tagged in more and more migratory bird sightings on Twitter and Facebook, with reports of swifts, swallows, nightingales and little terns rolling in fast.

    This year we’ve even had reports of unusual migrants, such as this striking bluethroat making a brief stop off at RSPB Dungeness, Kent.

    This annual influx of breeding birds is an exciting time; our reserves feel full of life…

    • 12 Apr 2018
  • Up with the sun this morning?

    You might have caught our RSPB Rainham Marshes site manager, Andrew Gouldstone, live on BBC Breakfast. BBC Weather presenter, Sarah Keith-Lucas popped down to the reserve, a short hop from London city centre, to discover the sights and sounds of the dawn chorus.

    Back in the newsroom, BBC presenter, Naga Munchetty said that RSPB Rainham Marshes at dawn 'looked even better than the Gold Coast'; high praise indeed!…

    • 6 Apr 2018
  • Discover a Date with Nature

    We have around 30 RSPB reserves in the South East, and we know many of you love to escape to the countryside with us to visit them, but have you ever taken a closer look at the wildlife on your own doorstep?

    Our Date with Nature events are aimed at helping people spot the wildlife around them; from peregrines perched on urban buildings, to goshawks nesting high in a forest canopy, or herons nesting in a busy city centre…

    • 4 Apr 2018
  • Long-tailed tits, goldfinches and house sparrows all Big Garden Birdwatch winners in the South East of England

    The long weekend of Saturday 27th to Monday 29th of January was cold, damp and rather grey, but it didn’t deter thousands from taking part in our annual Big Garden Birdwatch.

    It did, however, reduce bird activity, with many species opting to save energy by sheltering from the biting winds.In the south east, sightings of three of the five most commonly seen species were down compared with figures from 2017.

    • 29 Mar 2018
  • Families go free at RSPB Pulborough Brooks

     We are offering families free entry to our RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve, West Sussex, to celebrate the start of spring.

     

     The free family fun day will be held on Saturday 31st March. With a host of outdoor activities on offer, plus an all new adventure playground, there is certainly something to celebrate.

     

    Events will include pond-dipping, games and a springtime quiz to guide you around the miles…

    • 13 Mar 2018
  • Booming bittern breakfasts at RSPB Dungeness

    At RSPB Dungeness, one of the first signs of spring is a booming sound that carries far across the water.

     

    Alarming as it might sound, this strange call is great news for the RSPB. It means Britain’s loudest bird, the bittern, has returned to breed at the reserve. Appropriately, the first mating call of 2018 was recorded just after Valentine’s Day.

     

    Once extinct in the UK, bitterns have only been booming…

    • 9 Mar 2018
  • Found a baby bird and worried about it? We've all been there.

    Birds come in four stages. The adult. The egg. The pre-feathered ugly dinosaur in the nest, and the incredibly cute, fluffy baby bird stage; otherwise known as a chick.

    Like all kids, they have no fear of the big bad world and will often launch themselves from the nest before they’re quite ready. Anyone coming across one of these adventurous waifs, flopping around in a flightless and noisy way, will inevitably be concerned…

    • 8 Mar 2018
  • No taming the freezing beast from the east

    The Met Office say the jet stream has reversed direction by way of explaining the very cold spell currently seeping into the old bones of the UK's landscape.

    Gritting lorries have been out salting the roads and kind folk everywhere have been keeping bird tables, feeders and water baths topped-up for garden birds.

    A quick run down of our reserves found all bar Cliffe Pools in North Kent are open, but the public roads…

    • 27 Feb 2018
  • Bringing nature (and pin badges of course!) to the City

    One of the many ways the RSPB funds its work is through donations for pin badges of native birds, flowers and other wildlife. It's an important part of our fundraising mix and like many other RSPB activities, it works thanks to the wonderful volunteers who support us. East Londoner Tracy Jordan is one of the many who look after our pin badge boxes at supporting shops, cafes and other outlets, helping us to both give nature…

    • 20 Feb 2018