• How to mind the “environmental governance gap” created by Brexit

    Laws are only as effective as their enforcement.

    So what happens when enforcement powers are lost? It surely follows that the effectiveness of the law diminishes?

    This is our fear when the UK leaves the European Union.   

    As a new report published today by IEEP and Client Earth highlights, EU institutions including the European Commission and the European Court of Justice provide us with a range of monitoring, compliance…

    • 30 Oct 2017
  • Friday thoughts on farming's future

    I try to end the week with a bit of good news for a Friday, and as we come to the end of a short series of blogs about Brexit and farming (where admittedly the news has been pretty mixed), I wanted to conclude by saying why I think we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to get things right and set out a future that is good for farming, good for nature, and good for people.

    On Wednesday, Janet gave us some insights…

    • 27 Oct 2017
  • How can hill farmers survive Brexit?

    Today, I’m delighted to host the second of this week’s guest blogs reflecting on what Brexit might mean for hill farmers, following the publication of an RSPB commissioned report to understand the potential impacts. Chris Clark is a hill farmer and business consultant from the Yorkshire Dales.

    Alongside his wife Fiona, Chris runs a 170 hectare beef and sheep farm in Langstrothdale in the Yorkshire Dales National…

    • 26 Oct 2017
  • What does Brexit mean for nature-friendly farming in the uplands?

    Yesterday, I blogged about a new report on the potential impacts of Brexit for UK farm incomes and what this might mean for wildlife and the environment. As promised, today I’m hosting a blog from Janet Fairclough, RSPB Conservation Advisor in the North Pennines - the first of two guests giving a first-hand perspective on the challenges and opportunities that Brexit could present.

    What does Brexit mean for nature…

    • 25 Oct 2017
  • What does Brexit mean for farmers and for the environment?

    Over the last fortnight, the media have focused on the state of the Brexit negotiations and preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario. Against this background of continued noise and uncertainty, this week I am going to focus on what Brexit might mean for agriculture – a sector expected to be more profoundly impacted than most, and a land use that covers over 70% of the land area of the UK and the biggest driver of change…

    • 24 Oct 2017
  • The new Clean Growth Strategy: for nature and for the climate?

    I've been out and about a bit over the past week or so and have only now had the chance to reflect on the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which emerged last week. While it doesn’t deliver everything we want, I am feeling cautiously optimistic about the potential for this Strategy to deliver some wins for the climate and for nature. The big question, of course, is whether the UK Government can turn the…

    • 20 Oct 2017
  • Why we are asking you to say YES to the RSPB

    On Saturday 360 people gave up their day to attend the RSPB’s AGM in central London.  All were RSPB members and most were active volunteers.

    From our President to our Chair, Treasurer and our other trustees, to those that run our local groups across the UK or take part in our Phoenix Forum for teenagers, all give up their time and help us grow support to allow the RSPB to have the impact it does.

    In total, our…

    • 9 Oct 2017
  • Good news for a Friday: top ten highlights from RSPB’s nature reserves in 2017

    It’s the RSPB’s AGM tomorrow: the moment to celebrate what our charity has achieved over the past year, reflect on the challenges we face and also for members to ask us anything they like.

    In the days running up to the AGM, I try to think of the possible questions that might come my way from cats to plastics, from fracking to windfarms.  Most years, someone manages to spring a surprise and ask something that…

    • 6 Oct 2017