• Making tough decisions

    We’ve had a challenge today about some of our practices. Some of the claims we don’t believe to be true.  This blog is our response and explains our approach where predator management is concerned.

    Making the decision to employ legal, lethal methods of predator control is never easy. In fact, it’s a practise we go to great lengths to avoid until we can see no other viable conservation alternatives and when…

    • 31 Jul 2018
  • Leadership for nature

    This summer, I have visited different parts of the organisation hearing about and seeing some of the great work that we are doing: from seabird protection through to moorland restoration.   And this week, I am with my colleagues in the South West of England who recently reported the fabulous news about how we have boosted the population of the little tern colony at Chesil Beach in Dorset in partnership with Chesil Bank…

    • 31 Jul 2018
  • Summer holiday homework: A surprise Environment Bill

    I am sorry to have been so quiet over the past week or so – the hot weather has slowed me down – which is why I am little late commenting on the fact that the Prime Minister has now promised an Environment Bill.

    This news arrived after some knife-edge Brexit votes and as Westminster was beginning to wind down business for the summer break. The Prime Minister was in front of the Liaison Committee (the committee…

    • 24 Jul 2018
  • Good news for a Friday: chocolate that works for people and wildlife

    If, for whatever reason, you are still in need of a dose optimism, here is an update by my colleague, Jake di Paolo (Project Research Officer, Gola Cocoa), on work we are doing in West Africa helping to develop livelihoods from cocoa production to support the protection of Liberia’s globally important forests.  


    As I sit in a conference room, at the Green Liberia…

    • 13 Jul 2018
  • More optimism please

    My evening of sadness watching England bow out of the World Cup last night was flanked by two very uplifting days.

    Today, colleagues from the Smithsonian Institute were in Cambridge to explore how best to build on the success of Earth Optimism in 2017. These events were underpinned by the belief that the conservation sector should spend more time talking about the work we have done improving the natural world not just…

    • 13 Jul 2018
  • The not so long road to 2020

    Last month, I offered a view about the future direction of nature conservation.  I argued that the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity targets provide the best framework for  the tackling the loss of nature and ultimately helping it to recover. Given that existing biodiversity commitments expire in 2020, this week, my colleague Georgina Chandler, the RSPB's International Policy Officer…
    • 11 Jul 2018
  • The Saddleworth fire and the importance of restoring our peatland habitats in tackling climate change

    A lot can happen in a week so I thought it a good idea to get an update from RSPB Senior Land Use Policy Officer Dr Pat Thompson on the recent events at RSPB Dove Stone.


    The recent fire in the northwest Peak District that started on Stalybridge Estate has attracted significant media and public interest. The spectre of smoke-filled streets and people having to leave their homes…

    • 6 Jul 2018
  • Mixed news for a Friday: RSPB verdict on whether the fisheries white paper is green enough

    As the UK continues to negotiate its withdrawal from the European Union, it is putting in place building blocks to replace those measures that will lost. As I have discussed previously, this includes maintaining or bolstering existing environmental legal protection, enforcement mechanisms and funding, developing a new farming and land use policy to replace the Common Agriculture Policy, but also new arrangements for fisheries…

    • 6 Jul 2018
  • Severn tidal power – can we learn the lessons this time?

    There are some environmental debates which seem to be come and go with the same frequency as England taking part in penalty shoot-outs. Some, however, like last night’s drama in Russia, have happy endings or at least give us an opportunity to learn some lessons.

    The debate about how to harness the tidal power from the Severn Estuary has raged for decades, most recently after Rt Hon Charles Hendry was commissioned…

    • 4 Jul 2018