• Counting birds by boat – a different type of ‘Birdwatch’ in Fermanagh

    Guest blog by Amy Burns, RSPB NI Estate Manager, Lower Lough Erne

    I work on the RSPB’s most westerly reserve - Lower Lough Erne Islands in Fermanagh - comprising 46 islands dotted across the second largest freshwater lake in the UK. We manage the site for the benefit of a wide range of species, including curlews, Sandwich terns and red squirrels.
    I love taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch at home every January…

    • 5 Jan 2021
  • Looking back at 2020: celebrating our campaigning success stories during a year that changed everything

    Set against the backdrop of a devastating global pandemic, 2020 has brought more unprecedented challenges than any other. It has changed the way we live and work, how we connect with friends and family, and forced us to re-evaluate our relationship with nature.

    Roseate tern by Tim Melling (rspb-images.com)

    Roseate tern by Tim Melling (rspb-images.com)

    This year has taken an incredible toll on everyone's lives and we understand it might seem hard to look back…

    • 15 Dec 2020
  • Green Glossary: learn more about the nature and climate crises

    Guest blog by Rosie Murdock, RSPB NI Communications Officer Curious or confused about green terminology? Unpick the climate and nature crises with our handy Green Glossary. We will help you know your COP26 from your carbon sink and your net zero fro...
    • 14 Dec 2020
  • A Christmas feast for our garden birds

    Christmas may look quite different for many of us this year, but your garden birds will be just as hungry as ever! In the winter there are less natural food sources available in the countryside, so any food you put out in your garden or balcony will be very gratefully received.

    Phil Carson, RSPB NI Policy Officer, gives a flavour of how you can keep the birds well fed in winter. 

    “The weather is getting a lot colder and…

    • 11 Dec 2020
  • Mapping a better future: new tool reveals the power of peat in delivering a green recovery

    The UK’s peatlands are in such poor condition that they are releasing more carbon than the annual emissions of all HGVs on UK roads! But a new mapping tool is proving that if these crucial habitats are restored and well-managed, they will be key to helping Northern Ireland deliver a green recovery.

    Dungonnell Peat Dams by Henry McLaughlin Northern Ireland Water

    Dungonnell Peat Dams by Henry McLaughlin Northern Ireland Water

    The Garron Plateau peatland in County Antrim is…
    • 10 Dec 2020
  • Five things we learned from the experts at our ‘Towards a Green Recovery’ webinar

    We have a huge opportunity to change the future of Northern Ireland for the better. We can have a thriving countryside full of wildlife; a scheme that enables people to transition into green jobs; sustainable energy and transport; energy-efficient insulation in our homes; and more access to nature-rich green spaces to improve our health and wellbeing. A Green Recovery, if we get it right, will benefit us all.

    Towards a Green Recovery webinar panel
    • 4 Dec 2020
  • Giving back to nature: Goldsmith and the goldfinches!

    Guest blog by Terry Goldsmith, RSPB NI Senior Fundraising Officer

    I joined RSPB NI in July 2014 having had a 34-year career in banking. It may have seemed like quite a leap from there to the fundraising team based at Belvoir Park Forest in Belfast, but it was, in fact, a much more gradual, and perhaps even a pre-determined process.
    I spent the first 10 years of my life growing up in an area of terraced housing with no green…

    • 2 Dec 2020
  • The need for reform: how farming can restore nature in Northern Ireland

    A guest blog by Phil Carson, RSPB NI Policy Officer (Sustainable Farming).

    On Wednesday, the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs announced plans for a future agricultural policy framework for Northern Ireland which aims to be environmentally sustainable, productive and resilient. This represents the biggest shake-up of farming and land use in 40 years.
    These high-level ambitions are welcome, but there…
    • 18 Nov 2020
  • Going green: how Northern Ireland can build a more prosperous, resilient and nature-rich future

    The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Northern Ireland Executive to make tough decisions and take decisive actions for the health and wellbeing of our society. But it is also presenting the Executive with an unmissable opportunity to rebuild our economy and to secure a healthier, more sustainable and greener future for us all. This is what economic experts are calling a Green Recovery.

    Scrub clearance and pond clearance at Harbour Meadows, Belfast. Photo credit: Chris Thompson
    Scrub clearance and pond clearance…
    • 17 Nov 2020
  • Uplands report: Things are looking up on the Garron Plateau

    By Gareth Bareham, RSPB NI CABB Project Manager (Garron Plateau)

    In spite of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 this year, we have been actively continuing our partnership work on Northern Ireland’s largest expanse of blanket bog, up on the wild and spectacular Garron Plateau in County Antrim.

    This area hosts some of our rarest plants – including the beautiful and rare marsh saxifrage (below) – and a well-managed…

    • 28 Oct 2020
  • Eerie autumn activities to entertain your little monsters

    If you are looking for some spooky activities to keep your little monsters occupied over this extra-long Halloween half-term – then look no further, as we have five eerie autumn activities to help keep the whole family entertained...
    • 23 Oct 2020
  • Brexit countdown – time is ticking to secure the vital laws to protect nature in Northern Ireland after the transition period

    January 1 2021 will mark the first time in 48 years that the UK is no longer bound by European Union laws, the single market and the customs union*. With the countdown clock ticking until the end of the Brexit transition period; what is happening to the vital laws that are needed to protect nature?

    Grey heron, black-headed gulls and black tailed godwits. Photo credit: Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)
    Grey heron, black-headed gulls and black tailed godwits. Photo credit: Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

    With Northern…
    • 19 Oct 2020
  • The Prime Minister's 30/30 pledge - why promises to save nature in Northern Ireland must be backed up action

    A guest blog by Joanne Sherwood, Director RSPB NI.

    The Prime Minister’s ambitious announcement to protect 30% of UK land by 2030 will require a significant shift in approach by the NI Executive if we want to restore the abundance and diversity of our local wildlife.

    Lapwing. Photo credit Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)
    Lapwing. Photo credit Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com) 

    The Prime Minister promised to work with the devolved countries of the UK to meet this…
    • 12 Oct 2020
  • Belfast WOW reopening - everything you need to know before you visit

    **UPDATE** The visitor centre at Belfast's Window on Wildlife will be closed from 24 December for the Christmas holidays and will remain closed from 26 December in line with the latest Covid-19 restrictions announced by the NI Executive. Hide 1 wi...
    • 7 Oct 2020
  • Three easy ways to help garden birds this autumn

    Nature in Northern Ireland is in trouble and many once common garden visitors such as house sparrows and starlings are now in decline. The good news there are some simple steps you can take at home to help encourage birds into your garden and give them a helping hand through the colder months
    • 23 Sep 2020
  • Will you help us revive nature in Northern Ireland?

    Today, we’re at a crossroads. Northern Ireland has lost more wildlife than anywhere else in the UK and despite commitments set in 2015, last week a RSPB NI review revealed that the Northern Ireland Executive is failing on over 80% of targets to reverse nature’s decline. 

    But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    We have the power to hold our Government to account and to demand…
    • 21 Sep 2020
  • Why nature means business: How food and farming can deliver a green recovery in Northern Ireland

    How we farm is vital to nature’s recovery, and our own. Recently, RSPB NI hosted a series of webinars in partnership with the Nature Friendly Farming Network to demonstrate how a reformed food and farming system can benefit both people and the planet. For anyone who missed the events, here's what you need to know.
    Guest blog by Phi Carson, RSPB NI Policy Officer (Sustainable Farming).

    1. Sustainable land…
    • 20 Aug 2020
  • A season of success for roseate terns on Blue Circle Island

    Guest blog by RSPB NI Tern Conservation Officer Monika Wojcieszek

    Following my last blog in May, the birds’ breeding season is over at Blue Circle Island on the RSPB Larne Lough Islands reserve in Co Antrim. Fortunately, we were able to make several visits to follow up on the progress of this important seabird colony, which hosts Sandwich terns, common terns, a selection of gulls, oystercatchers, black guillemots and …

    • 19 Aug 2020
  • The Chronicles of Erne - Top 5 moments from the series

    The Chronicles of Erne, starring RSPB Northern Ireland's Lower Lough Erne team and their work to save curlews
    • 13 Aug 2020
  • Why we should all love wasps

    A guest blog by Aimee Coates, Volunteer Media Officer for RSPB Local Groups. 

    We all love bees! From bee-friendly seed packets and jewellery, to cushion covers and crockery, we just can’t get enough of them, but what about their dreaded cousin, the wasp?

    Wasps are often seen as ‘the villains’ of the insect world as they descend on our lovely picnics with a sting in their tail. But our ecosystem relies on wasps and…
    • 27 Jul 2020
  • Why the Northern Ireland Executive must introduce a Climate Change Act without further delay

    Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Assembly discussed a critical motion on a Climate Change Act for Northern Ireland. Even though the Assembly declared a climate emergency in January 2020, Northern Ireland still remains the only region in the UK and Ireland without any specific legislation to tackle the global crisis.

    Clare Baliley, MLA
    Clare Bailey, MLA commenting at the Climate Change Act motion

    RSPB NI welcomed the news that a majority…
    • 22 Jul 2020
  • More than just 'seagulls'

    A guide to the seven species of gull that nest in Northern Ireland. You'll never use the term 'seagull' again after reading this blog.
    • 20 Jul 2020
  • There’s still time to ask your local MP to support a green recovery

    We’re still buzzing from the incredible #TheTimeIsNow lobby, are you?

    On 30 June 2020, over 200 digital meetings were held with MPs across the UK, including eight right here in Northern Ireland! Plus, Chris Packham joined Lucy Siegle for an empowering discussion on why a #GreenRecovery is so important; Radio 1’s Cel Spellman chatted with youth campaigners (including James Miller Naturalist…
    • 14 Jul 2020
  • What is an LCM and why does this matter to nature in Northern Ireland?

    Last week, the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) Minister, Edwin Poots, asked members of the Assembly to endorse the provisions of the Westminster Environment Bill that apply to Northern Ireland. This proposed motion of endorsement is called a Legislative Consent Motion.

    Stormont. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
    Stormont. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    But what does this actually mean and why does it matter?

    While the last few months might have…
    • 7 Jul 2020
  • How restoring Northern Ireland's nature-rich habitats will help offset UK carbon emissions.

    RSPB NI Policy Officer Phil Carson looks at the value and power of nature in tackling Northern Ireland's climate and biodiversity crisis ...

    Dungonnell peat dams. Photo credit: Henry McLaughlin, Northern Ireland Water

    Not long ago our news feeds were filled with stories of devastating floods in England, extensive fires in the Amazon rainforest, deep peat fires in Siberia and unprecedented fires engulfing large swathes…

    • 15 Jun 2020