• The Big Debate: how to make UK farming good for people and good for nature

    The RSPB has a clear mission: to inspire a world richer in nature.  Core to this is the need for more, bigger, better and connected protected areas and for an improvement in the wildlife value of land outside of these protected areas. 

    Given that 70% of the UK is farmed and agriculture has been cited as the biggest driver of decline in species populations, we have to find ways for wildlife to coexist alongside farming…

    • 26 May 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: a spotlight on Cyprus

    I have just spent 42 hours in Cyprus at the invitation of our BirdLife partner on the island.  Given the spike in profile and public reaction to the recent report on the number of birds being illegally killed on the island (c.2.3 million in 2016), it was an opportunity to get a better understanding of the challenges and to meet some of the key people working together to deal with the problem.

    However, my visit also coincided…

    • 19 May 2017
  • The Cairngorms: a step into the future

    There is something deeply liberating about setting a 200 year vision.  It allows you to paint a picture of the future you want and then make sure you take the right next steps along that path.  While this may not be plausible for some (including politicians who rarely, if ever, look beyond the five year term of a parliament), it is essential if you want to restore a habitat like Caledonian pinewood. 

    This weekend, the RSPB…

    • 15 May 2017
  • This general election, remember to ask the nature question

    Four years ago, following the publication of the first State of Nature report, I was keen to stimulate a debate about what we needed to do to live in harmony with nature.  So I asked a range of people to propose One Big Thing for Nature.  The one that has always stuck in my mind was the simple challenge laid by our Vice-President, Chris Packham.  He rightly argued that conservation organisations had learnt how to improve…

    • 11 May 2017
  • The General Election: what nature needs

    Parliament has now 'prorogued', officially bringing an end to this Parliamentary session. As Peers doffed or tipped their hats to mark the remaining Bills becoming Acts this week, whether you like it or not, all eyes now focus on the official start of the General Election period – including the party manifestos being launched.

    As charity, the RSPB is strictly non-party political and we don’t have a view…

    • 4 May 2017
  • The case for active optimism

    At the end of the wonderful #EarthOptimism event in Cambridge ten days ago, psychologist Professor Steven Pinker gave a deeply thought-provoking talk.  He had previously presented data to argue that as a species we are less violent today than we have been throughout our history and he has now turned his attention to our impact on the environment.  His central argument, which will be laid out in a book to be published next…

    • 3 May 2017