• Climate change: mitigate, adapt or suffer - reaction to the latest report from the Climate Change Committee

    A fortnight ago I was one of 9,000 people at Westminster talking to my MP about climate change.  

    So today’s report from the Government’s Climate Change Committee is particularly timely. It reminds us quite how many of the things we love could be put at risk by climate change and outlines what action government needs to take.

    It's warning that storms and high seas will put 40,000 more homes at risk of flooding…

    • 30 Jun 2015
  • We will if you will... use data to drive conservation action

    Man ‘flu has slowed me down this week.  And I was sorry, today, to miss Environment Secretary Liz Truss’ first major speech (see below) since the election.

    It was a very different sort of speech with the emphasis on Defra's role in collecting and disseminating data.

     The RSPB is a fan of good data, in fact evidence underpins everything we do.  Our Centre for Conservation Science works with organisations…

    • 26 Jun 2015
  • The Papal Gauntlet

    A few years ago I used to end a talk on climate change with an photo-shopped image of the Pope standing on a glacier.  My point was simple - we needed leaders (of both faith and secular organisations) to give a clear message about the threat posed by climate change.  My hope was that people around the world would listen and provide political leaders space to take action.  

    This was why I was so pleased to read the Pope's…

    • 22 Jun 2015
  • We spoke up for the things we love and made our voices heard

    A day that starts with meeting RSPB supporters in the sunshine and ends listening to the brilliant Miranda Richardson read poetry* has to be a good day.

    The “Speak UP for the Love of” lobby of parliament was a success: more than 330 MPs were lobbied by c9,000 constituents and towards of the end of the day business leaders came together to urge the new Government to provide investor certainty for a low carbon future.…

    • 18 Jun 2015
  • For the love of nature, speak up and let's tackle climate change

    Today's the day to speak up for nature in the face of climate change.

    I am off to London for what promises to be the largest ever climate lobby of Westminster.  We're calling this event "Speak Up For The Love Of" .  The sun is shining and it’s looking like it’ll be a glorious day for people to line the streets around the Houses of Parliament and speak to their MPs about climate change.

    • 17 Jun 2015
  • Birds on the move

    Wednesday’s lobby of Parliament is an opportunity to ensure the new crop of MPs have climate change high on their list of priorities.  The Climate Coalition will be arguing for a fair and binding global climate deal in Paris at the end of the year while also seeking a comprehensive plan of action at home.

    The RSPB and our members will be there in force articulating our concern about the impact of climate change…

    • 15 Jun 2015
  • Greening the Energy Trilemma

    Following this week’s public inquiry in Scotland over the proposed Strathy South windfarm in the heart of the Flow Country Country, I’ve been reflecting on how there is still much work to do to make the so-called energy trilemma work for nature.

    So, what is this trilemma?

    There is growing acceptance that we need an energy system that delivers low bills for customers, provides a security of supply and meets…

    • 13 Jun 2015
  • More bad news from Bowland

    As you may have seen in the media coverage yesterday (see here and here), I’m saddened to have to report that a fourth hen harrier nest in Bowland (and the fifth in England*) this year has failed after the adult male disappeared in unexplained circumstances. This is a huge disappointment and heartbreaking for all the RSPB and United Utilities staff and volunteers who put so much into protecting these birds.

    I am…

    • 8 Jun 2015
  • Join me for the climate change event of the summer

    Over recent weeks it has been great to see over 40,000 of our supporters join our campaign to defend the EU Nature Directives - across Europe more than 200,000 have now submitted a response to the Commission's consultation - a record I am told! While defending the directives remains our campaigning priority, we continue to play an active part in the Climate Coalition - a group of over 100 civil society organisations…

    • 8 Jun 2015
  • The precious gift

    A couple of hours ago I posted a short statement in response to some media stories about an estate that was generously given to us I've asked Andre Farrar who has worked for the RSPB for over 30 years and for much of that time in the North West of England to reflect on the difficult and challenging decisions that any responsible charity has to take.

    Over my many years working for the RSPB some of my most moving and…

    • 6 Jun 2015
  • RSPB comment on media coverage regarding an estate gifted to the charity

    You may have seen some media stories today about an estate that was gifted to us in a will.

    We are enormously grateful to those people who are kind enough to leave money and other assets to us in their wills and we always do our best to be respectful of their wishes.  On the rare occasions when it is just not possible to comply with some or all of the wishes of the deceased, then we will work with their families and…

    • 6 Jun 2015
  • Reaction to the publication of the European Red List of Birds

    Around the time that I was watching avocet chicks at RSPB's fabulous Frampton Marsh today, a new landmark document was published: the European Red List of Birds*. It’s a landmark because it encourages us to think about conservation beyond national borders and at a continental scale.  I'd like to offer my congratulations to the scientists from across Europe that have compiled this incredibly important report.…

    • 4 Jun 2015
  • "The greatest place on Earth"

    My walk along Hadrian's Wall with my son and Godson last week was a fantastic way to clear my head and see some wildlife. The spin-off benefit was that I immersed myself in the life of Roman Britain so much so that I now feel that I am a scholar of Hadrian himself.

    We spent the weekend recovering at our hut on the Northumberland coast watching the gannets and terns crash into the sea with the resident barn owl hunting…

    • 2 Jun 2015