• Research confirms the EU Nature Directives help the UK meet its international nature conservation commitments

    Earlier this year I pointed out to the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee that comprehensive international agreements for nature conservation and the environment, together with a robust and enforceable governance framework, are essential.

    As the spring migration season demonstrates – nature does not respect borders. In fact, as you read this, I shall be up in the Cairngorms with the family hopefully…

    • 31 May 2016
  • In celebration of the award-winning RSPB Dove Stone reserve

    One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role as Conservation Director of the RSPB is that I get the chance to share in some of the most inspiring and life-affirming conservation projects. Regularly I have to highlight the damage and threats that nature faces but today I want to celebrate a project that is living our dream of restoring our countryside and making it, once again, rich in nature. 

    In the heart of the Peak…

    • 27 May 2016
  • Choices for nature: the RSPB’s vision for energy

    Tonight, I am helping to launch The RSPB’s 2050 Energy Vision - a new report showing how the UK could transform its energy system and meet its 2050 climate targets in harmony with nature whilst remaining affordable and secure. 

    I’m excited by this research as it helps us work out if we can have our cake and eat it ie a low carbon future that avoids harming the natural environment. 

    We were motivated to do…

    • 24 May 2016
  • Thinking big, thinking about Dartmoor

    When I think of the uplands of England, my mind usually heads north.  So I enjoyed a couple of days a fortnight ago experiencing the southern uplands on Dartmoor.  The visit was a chance to catch up with research our team is doing with others (Exeter University, Dartmoor National Park Authority, Natural England and Devon Birds) to diagnose the reasons for the major declines in summer migrants including cuckoo, whinchat,…

    • 22 May 2016
  • 'Digging' for nature: a lesson from Northern Ireland

    On Friday night, the RSPB’s Chairman, Professor Steve Ormerod, gave a short talk to colleagues and partners who had gathered in County Antrim for the annual Council weekend timed to coincide with RSPB’s 50th anniversary of our work in Northern Ireland. 

    We had just spent a memorable afternoon in the sunshine at Lough Beg in Seamus Heaney country (see below) walking through wet grassland to Church Island where…

    • 16 May 2016
  • More European shenanigans

    While the debate about the UK’s membership of the European Union continues, it appears that another European debate has yet to be settled. 

    Information obtained this week by BirdLife International’s German partner, NABU, suggests that some continue to fight hard to weaken the EU Birds and Habitats and Species Directives – legislation that is currently subject to a ‘Fitness Check’ by the European Commission.…

    • 10 May 2016
  • The RSPB and grouse shooting

    Over the past week I have been contacted by many people through a variety of media about the RSPB’s position on grouse shooting.

    It’s fair to say that I have had a mixed response – some offering full support (which is much appreciated), while others wishing we would back the call for a ban (these are also appreciated, especially the polite ones). A flavour of the critique is captured in the comments on Friday's…

    • 3 May 2016