• The Shining River

    The RSPB's Lee Schofield describes the RSPB's restoration of the Swindale Beck in Cumbria ... 

    The rivers of the UK have been very badly treated
    Whether it be dredging, straightening, embanking, over-abstraction, or pollution, and there are precious few that exist in an unmolested state. Tristan Gooley, explorer and author of How to Read Water, has a useful rule of thumb. He says that if you see a river that runs straight…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • The beetle and the bee

    As well as letting you know about the work we do, our blog at RSPB England brings you some of the most weird and wonderful wildlife found in British Nature.  
     
    This week, our guest blogger Indy Kiemel Greene is writing for us. Indy is a 14 year old RSPB volunteer who, as well as leading guided walks and surveying birds, is just delving into wildlife writing. In this blog Indy introduces us to the life story of a fascinating insect;…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • Swift, swallow, or house martin? Which is it?

    The RSPB's Rupert Masefield describes how you tell apart swifts, housemartins and swallows ... 

    I love seeing these amazing fliers hunting their insect food in the air above houses, meadows and lakes, but for an amateur like me it’s not always easy to tell at a glance which one it is you’re looking at – especially on a sunny day when all you can make out is a blurry silhouette. I hope this blog post will help people…

    • 26 Mar 2020
  • Something to look forward to: the first swallow of spring

    The RSPB's Rupert Masefield looks forward to the first swallows of springtime ....

    Right now, we could all do with something to look forward to. It hasn’t been an easy few weeks, and as we all adjust to the new reality of coronavirus, self-isolation and social distancing, taking solace in nature seems all the more important.

     Something I have been looking forward to for a long time now – all winter in fact –…

    • 26 Mar 2020
  • Important coronavirus update from RSPB England

    Following the latest government advice we have made the difficult decision to close all our visitor centres, cafes and shops to visitors by the end of the day on Friday (20 March 2020). This is to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers, supporters and members of the public.

    These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us but we hope that nature can provide a welcome respite in whichever form…

    • 18 Mar 2020
  • Wild England: What to see and where to see it in March!

    Boxing hares, basking adders and bird song exploding – March is the month spring really takes hold as RSPB England's, Lucy Hodson, explains...

    This will be the first of our monthly blogs exploring seasonal wildlife highlights, and celebrating the brilliant places giving it a home in England. Each month, we’ll bring you a spectacle not-to-be-missed, as well as exploring a weird and wonderful sighting that may…

    • 11 Mar 2020
  • Conversations with: women in conservation

    With International Women’s Day and British Science Week around the corner, and in the midst of Mya-Rose Craig, a keen ornithologist, becoming Britain’s youngest receiver of the Doctorate of Science at just 17 years old, what better time to celebrate the women making a difference in the world of conservation science?

    As the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, we’re taking a look at what life is like as…

    • 8 Mar 2020
  • What HS2 must do - our letter to the Department for Transport

    The RSPB believes that essential major infrastructure can be developed in harmony with nature - that’s why we work hard with government, local authorities and developers to make sure new schemes avoid damaging our most important wildlife wherever possible, mitigate as much as possible and compensate, if doable, for any unavoidable damage. In the climate and ecological emergency we really need all developers to step…

    • 5 Mar 2020
  • Contempt for Nature

    Channel 4 News today ran a story about HS2Ltd contractors flying a falconer’s bird in a woodland in Warwickshire. The RSPB’s Tony Whitehead looks at the issues around this ... 

    “We are facing a nature emergency and should be working to help nature, not chasing protected birds out of potential nesting habitat to make way for this development.” 
    - Jeff Knott, RSPB Operations Director, Central and Eastern…

    • 3 Mar 2020
  • Nesting birds and the law

    With nesting season upon us, RSPB England's Beth Markey explains how to navigate this challenging time of year.

    Lighter evenings and twittering alarm clocks signal the start of nesting season, when wild birds – and some smaller mammals and reptiles – partner up and build homes to raise their young.

    Running between February and August (with a start date that creeps forward as the climate warms), nesting…

    • 28 Feb 2020
  • Is that black bird white? Spotting the difference between albino birds and leucism

    RSPB England’s Oriole Wagstaff looks at the difference between albino birds and leucism, and why blue feathers aren’t always what they seem. 

    Ever spotted a curious white feathered bird? Maybe it looked familiar but didn’t quite match the colour or markings you’re used to seeing. Watch the birds in your garden, or local green space long enough, and you’ll soon see some with unusually coloured feathers. The…

    • 21 Feb 2020
  • Time to show some love, HS2!

    With work underway on HS2, RSPB's Colin Wilkinson describes the law around development and nesting birds and what to keep an eye out for...

     Roses and chocolates in the shop windows can mean just one thing - it’s Valentine’s Day, in folklore the day that birds begin to nest. But with the green light given to HS2 just days ago, no doubt HS2’s contractors are also sharpening their chainsaws ready to begin…

    • 13 Feb 2020
  • HS2: The wrong decision

    So, after years of waiting, the Prime Minister is expected today to give the green light to HS2. 

    Without a fundamental rethink, this is the wrong decision.

    We are in an ecological emergency. This is widely acknowledged, not least by parliament in its declaration last year. This means that everything we do must be looked at through this lens. We need to underline that the starting point for any development is “how will this…

    • 10 Feb 2020
  • Barn Owls, Nests and HS2

    The RSPB's Tony Whitehead responds to reports of barn owl nests being blocked along the proposed route of HS2 ...

    We have recently seen reports on social media about barn owl nests being blocked along the proposed route of HS2. If true, this is a concern for us.

    But although it seems a little premature to do this before the line is given the green light, the nest blocking is not actually the issue – it's legal outside…

    • 10 Feb 2020
  • From out of the red: amazing tales of recovering species

    This February, the RSPB is partnering with The Climate Coalition on the Show the Love campaign, where we will be joining millions of people all over the UK, pledging to fight climate change. Take a pledge today and add your voice to make a powerful difference to the climate crisis, and turn red hearts green this February.  

    In the theme of red to green, and a message of hope, RSPB England Communications Officer, Sydney Henderson…

    • 6 Feb 2020
  • Oxford-Cambridge rail scheme’s “net gain” commitment shows HS2 failing nature

    The following press release was issued by RSPB England today 

    Oxford-Cambridge rail scheme’s “net gain” commitment shows HS2 failing nature

    Transport Secretary’s announcement of preferred route for East West Rail timely reminder of HS2’s failure to protect environment

    Responding to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapp’s announcement on Friday of the preferred route for the proposed…

    • 3 Feb 2020
  • New report reveals hedgehogs, yellowhammers and dragonflies at risk post-EU Exit

    Tom Lancaster, RSPB Head of Land Use Policy Team, looks at the Agriculture Bill and a new report that highlights gaps in the basic protections for wildlife post-Brexit ... 

    Today is the first working day for the UK outside the European Union. 

    It is also the day that the recently tabled Agriculture Bill receives its ‘second reading’ in Parliament – the first opportunity for MPs to debate the bill in detail.…

    • 2 Feb 2020
  • Gulls, culls and new licensing

    Anyone who wants to cull herring and lesser black-backed gulls needs to rely on licences provided by Natural England. RSPB's Chris Calow reflects on new licencing arrangements for these familar birds ... 

    Natural England has today announced its new arrangements for the licencing of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls. You may remember that last year these two gull species were removed from general licences…

    • 30 Jan 2020
  • HS2 - A joint letter to The Times

    The following letter regarding HS2 was published in the Times today ... to support The Wildlife Trusts "Letter to the Prime Minister" go here.

    Dear Sir

    High Speed 2 (HS2) should not get a green light from the Prime Minister in its current form. The financial costs of the project are under intense scrutiny, but so should the huge impact on the natural environment. It will be far too damaging to hundreds of important…

    • 29 Jan 2020
  • Maintaining standards, a letter to the Prime Minister

    The following letter has been sent to the Prime Minister from a broad coalition of major farming, environment, animal welfare, and public health organizations. It calls for the maintenance of standards after we leave the EU. 

    Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP Prime Minister

    10 Downing Street London

    SW1A 2AA

    Friday 24th January 2020

    Dear Prime Minister

    We are writing to you as a broad coalition of major farming, environment, animal…

    • 27 Jan 2020
  • Nature as a solution

    Nature as a solution

    Melanie Coath, RSPB Senior Policy Officer, responds to the Committee for Climate Change report on land use published today, and its relevance to England …

    The Committee for Climate Change report on land use published today is a timely reminder of the crucial role our land has in meeting the challenges of the climate and ecological emergency.  If we are going to have any chance of achieving net…

    • 22 Jan 2020
  • Spot the Difference: Confusing Garden Birds

    RSPB England’s Becca Smith shares a few top tips for distinguishing some common garden birds, ahead of the Big Garden Birdwatch running from the 25th-27th January.

    With many a bird identification question coming to us here at the RSPB on a daily basis, our busiest time of year is unsurprisingly during the Big Garden Birdwatch; a weekend when half a million of the nation’s eyes are turned to their gardens and green…

    • 22 Jan 2020
  • Saving seabirds in a climate changed world

    The RSPB’s Tony Whitehead describes some recent news on seabird conservation in England …  

    The UK is a hugely important place for seabirds, as one might imagine given our wholly maritime position. Around our coasts nest a staggering eight million birds of a wonderful variety, from the ever-popular diminutive puffins to the world’s largest gull, the great black backed. Each has its niche, in an orderly arrangement…

    • 21 Jan 2020
  • Back from the Brink special: discover the willow tit, our most threatened resident bird

    Back from the Brink is a National Lottery funded project that aims to save 20 species from extinction and benefit over 200 more through 19 projects across England. Along with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts, the RSPB is working to safeguard the future of willow tits. 

    Willow tit Project Officer, Sophie Pinder, explains why the willow tit has become so threatened and how we’re working to restore habitat in the Dearne Valley…

    • 17 Jan 2020
  • The impact of HS2 on wildlife - a new report from The Wildlife Trusts

    The RSPB’s Tony Whitehead considers a new Wildlife Trusts Report published today that details the effects of HS2 on nature … 

    What’s the damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much' is a report published by the Wildlife Trusts today that leaves little doubt about the potential impact of HS2 on wildlife. It provides an excellent summary of evidence and supports the idea that this scheme needs a fundamental…

    • 14 Jan 2020