• Good news for a Friday: plan to save species threatened with extinction awarded £4.6m from the National Lottery

    As I reflected upon in yesterday’s blog, this week the UK Government has formally started a process that will redefine our place in the world.

    Irrespective of our future relationship with the Europe Union, the UK has and will continue to have obligations to protect our most threatened species from extinction (such as Aichi target 12 under the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity). For us, the status of threatened…

    • 31 Mar 2017
  • Brexit and beyond – getting a good deal for nature

    It’s official - Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been triggered, the EU has been formally notified of the UK’s intention to withdraw and the Brexit negotiations can begin.  

    Parliament Green in London was packed yesterday with reporters and camera crews seeking reaction and comment from politicians from all sides.  My guess is that few, if any, discussed the jeopardy and opportunity that Brexit brings for…

    • 30 Mar 2017
  • Invasive Non-Native Species: why we are concerned, what we are doing and how you can help

    The annual Invasive Species Week is launched today.  

    Why we are concerned

    Invasive non-native species are known as one of the four horsemen of the ecological apocalypse (alongside habitat destruction, overexploitation and pollution - the worst example being greenhouse gases resulting in climate change) which are responsible for the major drivers of biodiversity loss across the world  This week the RSPB is joining organisations…

    • 27 Mar 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: Argentina approves measures to save seabirds

    This has not been a good week.  I was shocked and angered by events in Westminster and our thoughts are with all those affected by the act of terror.  The attack took place on the day that we were due to celebrate the work of 43 MPs - our species champions - who have been prepared to use their political voices for threatened species.  

    We need democratically elected politicians to speak out and we are always happy to work…

    • 24 Mar 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: Birdfair 2016 raises £350,000 for conservation

    This morning at Rutland Water, Tim Appleton (one of the co-founders of Birdfair) revealed that £350,000 had been raised from last year's event.  This will support the BirdLife International partnership work for Important Bird Areas in Africa including Tsitongambarika Forest in Madagascar - home to the scaly ground roller which featured in last year's art work.

    This means that since 1989, Birdfair (whi…

    • 17 Mar 2017
  • Illegal bird killing on Cyprus: statistics that still have the power to shock

    It was a gorgeous early spring day at the Lodge yesterday - birds in full song and butterflies finding their way in the sunshine.  It was a good time to host a director from one of BirdLife's partners in the Mediterranean.  Martin Hellicar, from BirdLife Cyprus, was over to help promote our joint report on the scale of illegal bird killing in Cyprus.

    We have estimated that over 800,000 birds were killed on a British…

    • 16 Mar 2017
  • Brexit: how the voluntary sector is responding

    Since last June’s referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, it has felt a bit like watching and trying to influence a 3-dimensional game of chess with the rules being made up as we go along.  Tonight, as the Brexit Bill passes its final parliamentary stages, it seems that the final hurdle before triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been overcome.  All this on the same day that the starting…

    • 14 Mar 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: Sherwood given a boost

    In the week of the Budget, we received some very good news.

    Our Sherwood project (jointly run by the RSPB with Sherwood Forest Trust, Continuum Attractions and Thoresby Estate) has secured £500,000 from the Growth Fund of the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Andrew Percy MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government)  was…

    • 10 Mar 2017
  • Jam tomorrow? Thoughts on the Budget and what, if anything, it means for the environment

    In a budget statement where the Chancellor refrained from using the words 'Brexit' or 'Referendum' even once, it is less surprising that the environment failed to get a mention. Our economists sat through the Chancellor's speech and thought they would get to go home early given the lack of environmental news until they found a few breadcrumbs in the Budget document. Here is what they found...

    • 9 Mar 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: the recovery of the stone-curlew and other animals...

    I have been wearing a stone-curlew pin badge on my lapel this week to mark the recovery of this fabulous species.

    Stone-curlews were once widespread in England and numbered two thousand pairs in the 1930s.  However, numbers declined dramatically over the next 50 years when changes in land use resulted in catastrophic habitat loss.  By 1991, only 168 pairs remained. 

    Image courtesy of Andy Hay RSPB Images

    Yet, this is…

    • 3 Mar 2017
  • Why the RSPB is contesting government plans to curb environmental legal challenges

    Judge Sturgess once famously said that justice is open to anyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel –anyone can walk in but only the rich can afford to order. Current moves by the Ministry of Justice to further restrict the process of Judicial Review (JR) will once again make this quote very apt for environmental claimants unless legal action lodged last week by the RSPB, Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth can prevent…

    • 1 Mar 2017