• Asian hornet alert and a call for help

    In response to the news of the arrival of the Asian Hornet, my colleague Paul Walton, who leads our work on invasive non-native species, offers this reaction.

    Surely the social insects – bees, ants, wasps and termites – are among the most astounding of all species. In these animals we have socially cooperative rearing of young, the ordered division of labour within a colony, and reproduction restricted to a small number…

    • 29 Sep 2016
  • On the road for this year's party conference season: second stop Liverpool with the Labour Party

    Since hearing the EU referendum result in the early hours of 24 June, I have felt that we need to be at our best to ensure Brexit works for nature and for people.

    And, when I say ‘we’, I mean the RSPB, other NGOs and, of course, politicians from all parties.

    The headlines in the State of Nature report launched with Sir David Attenborough ten days ago provided a stark reminder of the scale of the challenge…

    • 26 Sep 2016
  • More good news for a Friday: big announcement about West Africa’s rainforest and its residents

    The good news keeps on coming.  The latest comes from West Africa showing that dreams can come true...

    In 2009, the presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia met together to announce the dream of a huge trans-boundary park to protect the precious Gola rainforest which straddles their two countries.  Yesterday, our BirdLife partner in Liberia, the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) was delighted to inform…

    • 24 Sep 2016
  • Good news for a Friday: congratulations to Catfield coalition

    Earlier this week at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, Baroness Kate Parminter spoke about how much she liked coalitions.  Clearly, as the party’s environment lead she was proud about what the party had achieved in government but she was also talking about the impact that coalitions can have when people or organisations come together with an agreed purpose.  Together they can be mighty.

    I agree and have spent much…

    • 23 Sep 2016
  • On the road for this year's party conference season: first stop Brighton with the Liberal Democrats

    Party conference season is in full swing and over the next three weeks, the RSPB’s Westminster parliamentary team will be on the road heading for Brighton, Liverpool and Birmingham. 

    The conference season has its own rhythm, marking the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.  Despite having been going for twenty years, I still enjoy the opportunity to encourage competition between the parties for the best environmental…

    • 19 Sep 2016
  • Good news for a Friday: new protection for the marine environment

    Hot on the heels of Wednesday's successful and hugely enjoyable launch of State of Nature 2016, the UK Government gave us a reason to be cheerful.  Here, Jonathan Hall, the RSPB's Head of Overseas Territories, explains...


    Yesterday was an absolutely massive day for the UK's marine environment. The UK Government and four UK Overseas Territory governments…

    • 16 Sep 2016
  • What do the high brown fritillary, bog hoverfly and corn buttercup have in common?

    Today, our diverse, eclectic and brilliant sector comes together to report on the state of our nature.

    Following on from the inaugural State of Nature report in 2013, 51 organisations have worked together to compile information about what is happening to wildlife populations on land and at sea across the UK, on our Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

    We shall launch the State of Nature 2016 reports and showcase…

    • 14 Sep 2016
  • Looking back at the weekend, looking forward to the week ahead

    It was a weekend of near misses. 

    I helped my 81 year old Dad fulfil a promise made many decades ago by climbing Green Gable but only ‘on to’ Great Gable in the Lakes.  And then I completed the Great North Run one minute fifty seconds slower than my target time of one hour forty five minutes. 

    The pleasures of the walk came for free, but the run means that I am a bit poorer as I had promised to double the…

    • 12 Sep 2016
  • RSPB reaction to news about more license applications to control buzzards

    It’s only just over a month since I wrote about the news that Natural England had issued a licence permitting the control of up to 10 buzzards to “prevent serious damage to young pheasants”.

    At the time I said that “the decision sets a worrying precedent. What will be next?” Well now we have an indication of what the future might look like – the prospect of more legalised killing of buzzards.…

    • 8 Sep 2016
  • Running for the law

    The summer holidays are officially over as the kids go back to the school on the same day that MPs return to the House of Commons.  

    The dominant political debate this term will, of course, be the negotiation over Brexit.  Despite the first big Cabinet discussion last week and the words from Prime Minister May this weekend calling for a 'unique' deal, we we still really do not know what sort of Brexit arrangements Prime…

    • 5 Sep 2016
  • Good news for a Friday: river restoration at RSPB Haweswater promises benefits for wildlife and people

    This week, I returned to RSPB Haweswater in the Lake District to see the final stages of the river restoration in Swindale Beck – a tributary of the River Eden.  It was a real pleasure to be able to stand alongside our partners in United Utilities and the Environment Agency as water was diverted into a new channel which had been specially designed to restore conditions of a naturally meandering river.

    The project…

    • 2 Sep 2016