Bumper breeding season for rare waders

It was uplifting to learn that Black-tailed Godwits, the elegant wading birds at the heart of the outstanding Project Godwit initiative, have enjoyed a bumper breeding season in Southern England. Below you will find a news release from the organisations involved in the PG scheme for you to peruse at your leisure – surely we…

RSPB criticised for protecting birds… fancy that?

This week, the depths of social media have been filled with grumblings of discontent aimed at the RSPB for their use of lethal control as a conservation tool on their land: to protect threatened curlew (and other ground-nesting birds), to restore woodland and to protect a suite of native fauna from damaging invasive species. To…

Rare reptiles given a second chance at RSPB reserve

One of the UK’s  most threatened reptiles has been given a boost with the introduction of 21 young sand lizards to the RSPB’s Farnham Heath reserve. With summer just around the corner, sand lizards are looking forward to a brighter future after a project between the RSPB and ARC saw 21 sand lizards given new homes at…

Report reveals the impact of climate change on UK birds

The distribution, numbers and behaviour of birds in the UK are changing because of a changing climate according to a new report. Many rare breeding birds are at a high risk of extinction in the UK, based on projections of how climate will become less suitable for these species in the future; while warming temperatures have provided…

Sherwood Forest partnership lays down roots

The Woodland Trust is joining the RSPB and a number of other local partners to help shape the future of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. Last week saw the partners mark the beginning of a new chapter for the forest with the foundation-laying for a new state of the art visitor centre. It is part of…

The country hawk and the city hawk

In a groundbreaking study on sparrowhawks, scientists have found that city birds in Scotland are more successful than their country cousins. In this study, researchers from RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Raptor Study Group examined differences between populations of the birds in Edinburgh and in the Ayrshire countryside over four years from 2009 to 2012. They…

Putting nature back into the Peak District

Wading birds gathered in record numbers at Dove Stone in the Peak District this breeding season, all thanks to an ambitious ongoing bog restoration programme implemented by United Utilities and the RSPB. Over the summer, RSPB staff and volunteer surveyors recorded 49 pairs of dunlins at the Saddleworth site, up a quarter from the 39…

Young Naturalists on Unpaid Conservation Internships

My views on unpaid, long-term conservation internships undulate substantially. On one hand, and from firsthand experience, I know the benefits such placements bring; in terms of the acquisition of skills, networking opportunities, personal development and, of course, contribution to the great work of our NGOs. I also, however, and again from my own experience, see…

Catgate: Some Personal Reflections

Cats have featured heavily in the media this week, though not for the usual reasons. Indeed, following the publication of Cat Wars, a new book by American author Peter P. Marra, our feline friends have found themselves at the epicentre of a heated debate regarding their supposed ecological impact. With British conservationists downplaying the authors comments that…

Agricultural Policy To Blame For The Sorry State Of Nature

The latest State of Nature report was released this week to widespread debate on social media, and widespread coverage in national media. Though not all chose to dignify it, with the BBC in particular, and rather shamefully may I add, deeming the topic unworthy of a spot on the prime-time news. Combining the expertise and hard…

Eagles Owls, Native or Not?

Recently the Eagle Owl was cast into the spotlight once again, notable sportsman Sir Ian Botham using the species as the basis for a scathing attack on the RSPB. In his article, published in the Daily Mail and found here, Botham accuses the RSPB of wanting to “nip the ongoing colonisation of Eagle Owls in…