• Tax: a neglected tool in the nature emergency?

    A potentially powerful and influential tool in a government toolbox for tackling the nature and climate emergencies is taxation. Yet there is very little discussion of how we can use this tool better. The Dasgupta Review pointed out, globally we spend up to a whopping $46 trillion per year on subsidies that damage nature but there needs to be much more consideration of how the tax system is impacting on our natural environment…
    • 5 Jul 2023
  • Government targets environmental cases and (spoiler alert) their numbers fall

    A new report from the RSPB, the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) and Friends of the Earth: A Pillar of Justice II, reveals that the number of environmental Judicial Reviews (JR) brought to the High Court has been declining for the last decade, falling from 180 cases a year at its peak to around 84 cases a year in 2022.
    • 28 Jun 2023
  • UN summer climate talks: what progress for nature and the climate?

    When the world’s climate negotiators reconvened in Bonn, Germany, for the first time since COP27 in Egypt, they had their work cut out for them. While the Sharm el Sheikh Implementation Plan agreed at COP27 included a ground-breaking deal on finance for countries on the front line of climate impacts, it made little progress on the urgent need to tackle the causes of climate change. As such, we can expect this to be a…
    • 27 Jun 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: Working together for wildlife at Wormwood Scrubs

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, where we’ve been working partnership with idverde to bring nature into the heart of this unlikely landscape. As great as is this project is, clearly, we need to work at ever greater scale, way beyond a single park, if we’re to turn around fortunes of nature. Working with businesses and local communities is a vital part of that. Translating…
    • 20 Jun 2023
  • Licensing driven grouse shooting: the case for change

    All it not well in the UK’s uplands, its mountains, moors, hills, and valleys, are under threat. These amazing landscapes, shaped by time and the communities which call them home, are truly unique places. And whether it’s our National Parks, AONBs or wider countryside, people want to see wildlife thrive and the environment be in a better state for future generations. However, years of intensive management, especially…
    • 15 Jun 2023
  • Driven Grouse Shooting – what's the cost?

    The RSPB have long called for driven grouse shooting and associated management practices to be properly regulated, largely because some driven grouse shooting estates have a long history of killing birds of prey and managing land too intensively. The need to tackle the dual climate and nature emergencies have made the need for reform ever more urgent. Whilst the number of grouse moors may have declined since the early…
    • 15 Jun 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: Love Your Nature

    June is Pride month, an opportunity to celebrate the amazing contributions of members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Here at the RSPB, the mission of our RSPB Starlings network is to foster a positive, safe and understanding working and volunteering environment for LGBTQIA+ colleagues. We're working to build and enhance the RSPB's external reputation as an advocate for equality and diversity.
    • 9 Jun 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: Working across borders

    It’s a great truism that nature knows no borders. The artificial lines we humans draw on a map and often attach so much meaning to are utterly irrelevant to the wildlife which moves freely backwards and forwards across these imaginary divides. And yet, borders do matter to wildlife, as almost all of the laws which impact their habitats and their protections, for good or ill, are created by the nations those borders define…
    • 5 Jun 2023
  • A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for nature restoration across Europe

    Nature restoration is one of the biggest opportunities – and responsibilities – of our time. On our part of the planet, we’ve spent far too long taking nature for granted, leaving much of Europe’s nature in a sorry state. Yet we’re in a pivotal moment – with a potentially game-changing law passing through the European Parliament – to shift our approach to one of restoration and recovery!
    • 31 May 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: There’s something very special about the uplands

    At their best, uplands can be one of the finest examples of multi-benefit landscapes – delivering habitat for threatened nature, locking up carbon in the fight against climate change and benefiting people by improving water quality, reducing downstream flooding and of course being wild places to enjoy, whether in person or in our minds.
    • 26 May 2023
  • Responding to the People’s Plan for Nature – why RSPB have done it, and why you should too!

    The RSPB co-commissioned the participatory process that led to the People’s Plan, but we are also actors with power in the system – what will we do differently, what do we think of the Plan and what do we call on others to do?
    • 22 May 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: Wildlife Wins at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

    Urban nature is so important. Its easy to think the wildest bits of our wild isles are all “out there” on remote islands and far-flung spots. Since the Olympics, the park has become a major site for the local community and its visitors and includes some lovely greenspaces – critical for nature and human wellbeing.
    • 18 May 2023
  • RSPB calls for moratorium on gamebird releases as Avian Influenza outbreak continues

    To help limit the catastrophic spread of Avian Influenza, the RSPB is calling for an immediate moratorium on the release of captive bred gamebirds and Mallards for shooting in the UK this year. The call is for the UK and devolved governments and the shooting industry to take a precautionary approach to limit the spread of avian influenza in wild birds and reduce the risk of viral re-assortment leading to new strains of…
    • 15 May 2023
  • A make-or-break moment for adaptation: Open letter to Minister Trudy Harrison

    Environmental NGOs, including the RSPB, have sent an open letter to the Government emphasising that we are ‘strikingly unprepared’ for the effects of climate change and calling on the Government to make the most of the upcoming third National Adaptation Programme.
    • 12 May 2023
  • Going Global: is nature (actually) at the heart of the UK's international plans?

    Our planet and the life on it is precious, yet we are deep in a climate and nature crisis. Four months on from a pivotal global agreement at CBD COP15 to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030, is the Government delivering on the promises it made on the international stage to address this crisis?
    • 10 May 2023
  • Puffins and other, better seabirds

    There really is nothing quite like a seabird city. These breeding colonies where thousands of birds cram onto tiny ledges are a spectacle in every sense of the word. The sites, sounds and smells will never leave you.
    • 9 May 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: Leading the way?

    Change is hard, we all get that. But in a nature and climate emergency, we don’t have the luxury of time. Shooting organisations have been pushing a voluntary switch to alternative types of ammunition and while recent signs show some limited, but welcome progress, there is still a long way to go and only a full legal ban will deliver the scale and pace of change we need.
    • 27 Apr 2023
  • Why Policy Matters: Food for thought

    Our natural environment, global wildlife and climate are all intrinsically linked to the ways we produce, trade, eat, and enjoy food. Agriculture - covering roughly 70% of the UKs land area - is clearly a vital part of this system and its impact on the environment, both positive and negative, can be huge. But farming is also crucial to putting food on our tables. Sometimes it is suggested that this need to secure healthy…
    • 21 Apr 2023
  • Jeff Knott: Why policy matters

    As the RSPB’s Director of Policy & Advocacy, it is my immense pleasure to lead amazing teams of people fighting for nature across the four countries of the UK and beyond. But what does that mean? Who am I? And what is policy and advocacy anyway?
    • 13 Apr 2023
  • Green Day reflections: did the UK Government’s climate and energy package deliver?

    Is the UK Government on track to deliver on its climate change commitments? Do we have a plan to reach net zero emissions and power our country in a cleaner greener way? Last week’s package saw some steps forward, some repackaging of existing commitments and still some significant gaps in the plan.
    • 11 Apr 2023
  • Putting people where they belong: at the heart of looking after nature

    What happens when three of the UK’s nature conservation NGO behemoths ask the public what we need to do to protect and restore nature?
    • 31 Mar 2023
  • No time to pause in the quest for a nature positive farming system

    Effectively implemented Environmental Land Management schemes (ELM) will be a win-win for farming, nature and climate. Applying the brakes on the phase out of direct payments would not facilitate a just transition, but instead leave farmers and nature in limbo, all the while taking the UK off course for meeting its domestic and international environmental commitments. Government should continue to roll out the ELM schemes…
    • 28 Mar 2023
  • Reforms to the National Planning Policy Framework: missed opportunities to drive nature’s recovery

    The planning system is one of the most important tools for driving nature’s recovery while also meeting development needs. However, continual changes to the planning system have left it poorly equipped to fulfil this vital purpose.
    • 22 Mar 2023
  • The final IPCC report sets off alarm bells – the window to act is now

    Wildfires are raging, sea levels are rising, whole communities and ecosystems are in peril. The recent cycle of climate science reports from the IPCC have made it crystal clear: climate change is real, and the window to act is closing. The time for change is now.
    • 20 Mar 2023
  • Bird flu: We need UK governments to do more to help wild birds

    Avian Influenza is devastating UK wild bird populations, exacerbating ongoing nature declines across the country. Responses by UK governments are insufficient to protect, restore, and build resilience in our precious wildlife. We call on them to act now.
    • 16 Mar 2023