• Good news for a Friday: reasons to be optimistic

    If news of the general election is making you feel a bit like Brenda from Bristol, then there are two events this weekend that could bring cheer and perhaps even offer some clues for current or aspiring politicians about how they can effectively use their voices for nature.

    First up tomorrow is a chance to celebrate #EarthOptimism in Cambridge.  This is part of a series of events taking place on Earth Day, 22 April, uniting…

    • 21 Apr 2017
  • A letter to the Prime Minister

    Just in case you were busy looking at wildlife over the Easter weekend, here is the letter that was sent to the Prime Minister regarding the UK Government's environmental commitments.  It received media coverage herehere and here.  This was triggered by newspaper reports based on leaked documents that suggested that trade and growth would be prioritised at the expense of efforts to tackle global warming and the illegal…

    • 18 Apr 2017
  • Good news for a Thursday: the Yellow Sea secures World Heritage listing

    It's Good Friday tomorrow, so I have brought forward my weekly good news slot.  Here, my colleague Nicola Crockford, who recently celebrated 25 years working at the RSPB, tells the story of the recent inclusion of the Yellow Sea on the UNESCO tentative World Heritage List.

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    There are some sites that are important for migrating birds and then there are others that are so fundamentally…

    • 13 Apr 2017
  • The state of 'our' birds at home and further afield

    Today, State of UK Birds 2016 is published.  It's a fabulous publication collated by a partnership of government bodies and charities based on data collected by many thousands of volunteers who give their time for free.

    Through these assessments, we work out changes in bird populations to help us assess which species are most in need of conservation and whether existing programmes are working.

    As ever, there is good…

    • 11 Apr 2017
  • How to remain beautiful by nature?

    The strapline of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, one of UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, is “beautiful by nature” and it is easy to see why.

    With vast expanse of natural habitat remaining, it is one of the places where EO Wilson’s Half-Earth hypothesis could work – putting aside half of the land and sea for nature.  Theoretically, Turks & Caicos is already on its way to the Convention…

    • 10 Apr 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: revealing the wildlife wonders of Tristan da Cunha

    Today I’m delighted to report the good news of the successful completion of a joint marine discovery expedition to the UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, in partnership with National Geographic Pristine Seas and the Tristan da Cunha Government. Jonathan Hall, Head of our UK Overseas Territories team, tells the story below...

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    After a 3,000 mile round-trip in an ex-Japanese naval training vessel…

    • 7 Apr 2017
  • Illegal bird killing on Cyprus: an update and a call to action

    All week I have been focusing on how the RSPB is helping to save nature in UK's Overseas Territories including in the Caribbean which is where I am this week.  But, mentally I shall return to Europe today to provide an update on our work in Cyprus.

    Robin caught in a mist net (image credit: BirdLife Cyprus)

    Cyprus hosts some very particular UK Overseas Territories: the two so-called “Sovereign Base Areas” of Dhekelia…

    • 6 Apr 2017
  • A step change in saving nature in paradise?

    This week, I have been wrenched away from my normal context and been immersed in a completely different environment - the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. 

    My first stop has been to Cayman Islands – a cluster of three islands renowned for finance and tourism but also of huge nature conservation significance with large tracks of intact natural habitat (including mangroves, dry forest and coast) which provide homes…

    • 6 Apr 2017
  • Saving nature on the UK Overseas Territories

    This week, I am fortunate to be making my first visit to our Overseas Territories.  I shall be meeting partners on the Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean to discuss how we can support them to address the many conservation challenges they face.

    It seems timely to remember why we work in these places and, this week, through this blog, I shall give you an insight into the breadth of our work on the UKOTs…

    • 3 Apr 2017