In between blogging and moderating forums i'm in the thick of answering all of the emails, calls and letters that come to the RSPB. We're a small team here in wildlife enquiries and we are generally busy all year round. However we have peak busy times and quiet spells just like any other job and we usually look forward to a chance to take stock, catch up and prepare for the next big effort as summer turns to autumn, I don't think we are going to get a chance this year! Why not I hear you say, well because there are loads of big issues going on such as these 3 below for a start!

  1. Giving Nature a Home - Hopefully all of you will know of our campaign, we're fielding loads of enquiries from keen nature enthusiasts looking for ways to help improve their gardens for wildlife which is fantastic and we hope this continues! It is one of the best parts of our job to be able to speak with and help fellow nature enthusiasts deliver positive steps for nature. When we hear back from people we have helped and they have had success, it's the best reward we can have! Interested in finding out more check out our advice pages here.
  2. Fracking - To be precise, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. We have publicly raised concerns about this relatively new form of fossil fuel exploitation given the potential impacts on sensitive sites for wildlife, the efforts to combat climate change and the suitability of our planning structure to assess such developments. We think this precautionary approach is vital to ensure that these issues are given the correct attention. More information can be found on our website here.
  3. Badger cull - Despite overwhelming public opinion against the cull and major doubts over the scientific validity of it, the governments trial badger cull is now underway. We maintain our position of not allowing culling on our land and continue to vaccinate badgers at our site near to the cull zone. To find more about the RSPB's stance on this please read here.


We're also preparing ourselves for the onslaught of queries that occur every autumn which are pretty varied. From the lack of birds, which I covered in the last blog, to where to watch rutting deer, what migrants are doing, what can we do to help bring our birds back, to my favourite queries at this time of year, which shrubs to plant as autumn to winter is the best time to get out there and plant some bare rooted plants that will give nature a home for years to come!

What are your plans to help wildlife this autumn?

  • I have a tree stump and a thick log piece for the wood chewers. I have let whatever caterpillars denude my rose leaves and Berberis (pretty sure they are not sawfly but not 100% )-they look just a little like small tortoiseshell caterpillars but I've only seen one all year   :(

    I shall leave my dead Buddleia tree flowers for seed in the winter. Oh, and harvest some apples which I shall strew on my lawn for the Fieldfares and other thrushes much later.

    Hopefully, that' s something. And I always put my chicken carcass out after I have jointed it, for the local foxy (I don't make soup or stock anymore)

    Garden not suitable for nest boxes (sadly)

    Very interesting Blog, thank you Ian.