• Response to Mail on Sunday piece by Sir Ian Botham

    You may have seen another piece about the RSPB in the Mail on Sunday from Sir Ian Botham and You Forgot the Birds.
    Our response was as follows:
    "We can confirm that we received a letter from lawyers acting on behalf of You Forgot the Birds. Our lawyers have responded and the matter is now in their hands. With that in mind, we do not wish to comment further at this stage".
    We will give further…
    • 24 May 2015
  • Economics and joy

    Happy International Biodiversity Day!

    Last night, I spoke at the launch of Professor Dieter Helm’s new book, Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet.  It came a day after the launch (which I sadly missed) of another excellent book by Michael McCarthy, The Moth Snowstorm.  One is about the economics of nature the other about the joy of nature.  It seems entirely apt that these two contrasting books were launched in the…

    • 22 May 2015
  • Supporting friends and partners in Nepal: guest blog by Conor Jameson

    Last week Nepal suffered a second earthquake in as many weeks. Here, I welcome back Conor Jameson to offer his personal reflections on the impact of this disaster and what we can do to help.

    Like everyone else I have watched with horror and dread as news and images from Nepal    have reached us in the last few weeks. First one, then a second, major earthquake have devastated the country, killing thousands and injuring many…

    • 20 May 2015
  • Beyond A Joke

    The news of three hen harriers vanishing in as many weeks has rightly received a lot of media interest and concern (for example see here and here). History* tells us that the most likely reason is illegal persecution but, unfortunately, not everyone seems as intent on helping us and the police find out what happened.

    Hay fever, summer colds, England’s search for an opening batsman to partner Alastair Cook. Some things…

    • 19 May 2015
  • On Power

    During the election campaign a friend of mine, who is a vicar, gave a sermon where he argued that voters should, amongst other things, look to those prepared to give up power. He said,

    Whenever any group tries to claim too much of it for themselves and allows themselves to think it belongs to them, trouble follows... We should therefore look for policies and parties that are ready to give away power rather than…

    • 18 May 2015
  • The case for Catfield (part 3 and conclusion?)

    Last Friday, about an hour after Mr Cameron had visited the Queen to ask her to form a new Government, the Environment Agency announced that it had refused two water abstraction licence renewal applications that were threatening rare wildlife found on Sutton and Catfield Fens.


    This was extremely good news and shows that the system to protect our finest wildlife sites is working!

    As I have written previously (see…

    • 15 May 2015
  • Defend the laws that defend our nature

    Please take ten minutes to read this blog, watch a film and, in a few clicks, take action for nature.

    Today, we launch our campaign to defend the EU Nature Directives.

    As I have written recently (see here and here), the Directives have, for over 30 years underpinned nature conservation in the UK and across Europe.  They've helped save sites, recovered species and allowed us find ways to develop sustainably by guiding…

    • 12 May 2015
  • The power of nature, the power of the EU Nature Directives

    On Saturday afternoon, I stood on a shingle beach with waves crashing against the shore. I always feel invigorated by the power of the sea and this was a great way to clear the head following the surprising election result 24 hours earlier.

    Behind me was c200 hecatares of new wetland habitats which now provide homes to birds such as little tern, grey plover, avocet and even a spoonbill. With colleagues from the RSPB…

    • 11 May 2015
  • Is it really true that the public has become less concerned about the environment?

    Guest blog by RSPB Chief Executive, Mike Clarke

    In an age of austerity, this is what we have been told by politicians, their pollsters and editors in the media. But I just don't buy it.

    Over the last few years, the RSPB has devoted a lot of time and effort to listening to people - people who quite clearly see nature as part of their lives.

    And, from their lifestyle choices, TV viewing and leisure activities, what…

    • 9 May 2015
  • Some reflections on the new Government's ambitions for nature.

    After last night's drama, the focus for the nature conservation community now turns to the detail of the Conservative Party manifesto.

    It's worth re-reading as it obviously now represents the agenda for the new Government.

    Perhaps the stand out commitment is the 25 year plan to recover nature for which the Natural Capital Committee will play a leading role.

    I presume that the first five years of activity will…

    • 8 May 2015
  • It's time to make up your mind and vote for...

    ...our National Bird because David Lindo's poll closes tonight.  If you are still unsure which species to vote for, please do read again the excellent posts from each of the species champions.  In particular, please do read Chris Packham's rationale for why the Hen Harrier deserves your vote (here) and then read my post from yesterday (here). 

    ...your favourite wildflower in Plantlife's poll.  I know, they are…

    • 7 May 2015
  • Bad news from Bowland

    I’m afraid to be the bearer of extremely bad news regarding one of our rarest birds of prey.  I’ve just received confirmation that three male hen harriers have disappeared from active nests in the Forest of Bowland.

    The disappearances have happened over the last three weeks. At one nest the male disappeared three weeks ago, with males at two other active nests not being seen since last Thursday.  Fortunately…

    • 6 May 2015
  • The Vote National Bird Campaign: Laura Ward urges you to vote for... Blue Tit

    With just a couple of days to go before the poll closes on David Lindo's Vote National Bird Campaign, here is the eighth nominee, here championed by my colleague Laura Ward.  If you would like to champion either of the final two candidates - mute swan and barn owl - let me know!

    Who needs a TV when you’ve got blue tits? 

    From hearing the tell tale “peep peep peep” from the nestbox that signals the arrival…

    • 6 May 2015
  • Understanding and managing the impact of predation on wild birds, some lessons from Essex

    I have just spent a delightful weekend with the family  exploring the Stour Estuary.   It reminded me just how great Essex is for wildlife.  

    And it's set to get even better.  

    Last autumn (see here), I visited our Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project. This is an enormous (6.7 km2) coastal wetland being created in Essex (south of the Stour) by the RSPB and its partners Crossrail, Defra and the Environment Agency. It’s…

    • 5 May 2015