Emma Marsh shares her thoughts on the first day in her new job as Director, RSPB England…
Over the past nine months we have been making changes at the RSPB to ensure we are in the best place to save nature. We are always looking at how we can do things better. The work we do, and the external context is constantly changing, and so are the skills and resources needed to respond.
One of the clear needs we identified was that saving nature in England needs strong advocates to champion causes unique to this place, alongside our friends speaking up for nature in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
From today, you will hear us talking much more about England-wide issues, and ways in which we can solve nature’s problems at a much larger scale, and with pace. Our job, in a nutshell, is to address with passion, clarity and pace the current ecological emergency here in England, at a time when it is needed more than ever.
We will be working hard to increase land that is functioning well for nature from its present 4% to 20% by 2025. We seek to make our seas healthy and sustainable. And we will do whatever we can as a charity to both mitigate the worst excesses of climate change and ensure that nature can adapt.
Many of you are already involved, and nature needs many more of us to be actively engaged. Eighty five percent of the UK’s population is in England. We have a proud history of innovation, and a wonderful and rich diversity to draw on in solving nature’s problems. And in many cases, we know what to do. Working with communities across England we have already successfully reversed the declines of a number of species, and we have been working with partners and landowners to transform landscapes at scale. We need to increase both the pace and scale of this transformation to meet nature’s needs.
We believe this is possible, but it requires a movement of communities, partners and like-minded individuals working together to achieve it. We are aware of the scale of the challenge. But we also know how many people, people like you, are passionate about birds and wildlife, and concerned about the future of the planet, and this is nature’s greatest asset.
Many of you are already engaged in the growing movement of people concerned about the future of nature and the planet in the face of the biodiversity and climate emergency we face. We’ll be keeping you regularly updated with news and how to get involved in our own work and this, our new blog page for England. We also have a new England-wide Twitter account @RSPBEngland where you can join in the conversation.
We look forward to working with you.
Good luck with your new post. England's wildlife is in a parlous state and needs strong voices to stand up for it. Despite vague assurances from the government we know that one of the motivations of those campaigning for Brexit was to get rid of what they see as Brussels-derived 'red-tape' and there will certainly be pressure post-Brexit to water down the protection that wildlife currently enjoys. We will need strong, well-informed voices to make the case for maintaining and even reinforcing the protection of wildlife. As Natural England has been progressively weakened by the government we will also need strong independent voices to ensure that the protections we already have are properly enforced.
Hi Pied Wagtail ... to be honest, while birds are always close to our heart, we have long been about all wildlife, because safeguarding birds necessarily involves us working with the whole ecosystems on which both birds and ourselves depend. On licenses ... there's a good post here from or conservation director Martin Harper community.rspb.org.uk/.../a-comment-on-the-fallout-from-natural-england-s-decision-to-change-wildlife-licensing-rules
Really disappointed that your statement does not mention BIRDS at all. When were the members consulted about changing a charity for the protection of birds to one for all wildlife? What is the RSPB's response to Natural England's granting of licences to cull birds?
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