This blog is a celebration of the nature in the South East and highlights ways you can get involved and explore nature in the region. If you've got news of the South East’s nature that you'd like to share, please contact the RSPB South East office on 01273 775333 or email SERComms@rspb.org.uk
It’s January and for many of us our jeans are still feeling a little too snug after Christmas, and winter hibernation is becoming a bore.
We have exactly the antidote to these seasonal blues ... sign yourself up to join the thousands of people fundraising at RSPB challenge events across the country.
Exercise is good for us; it strengthens muscles, burns fat, keeps your heart healthy and is great for mental health. If the health benefits aren’t enough, the money you raise will help us save threatened species like nightingales, water voles and lapwings.
This year we have places in a raft of exciting events starting with the Southampton half marathon on 23 April ; the event starts in the heart of Southampton with 10,000 of you heading for the finishing line. The highlight will be the ascent and more popularly the descent over the Itchen bridge, which will be closed exclusively for this unique event. You will have a whole mile of RSPB supporters to cheer you through. There will be 10 in the RSPB team; the registration fee (including your own RSPB running vest as pictured) is £25 and the fundraising target is £200.
Want a little more time to train? We also have places in the Vitality 10,000 in London on 29 May, Ride London100 on 30 July and The Great North Run on 10 September.
If that's not enough to convince you, maybe some of our previous fundraisers can!
"I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience which was aided enormously by delightful RSPB staff who were unfailingly helpful and supportive at every turn of events" RideLondon-Surrey 100 rider
"The atmosphere was incredible, with 58,000 other runners representing charities from all over the UK, plus the encouragement from the crowds really kept me going. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to set a new challenge for themselves and help fundraise for the RSPB." Great North Run entrant
To register your interest in any of the events above please email email@example.com and we will talk you through everything you need to know to get signed up and get going!
Illegal persecution of birds of prey is still happening all too regularly in the UK countryside according to our Birdcrime 2015 report, published today in a new online interactive format.
The study found 196 reports of shooting and destruction of birds of prey and 50 reports of wildlife poisoning and pesticide related offences across the UK in 2015.
Just under 7% of the crimes reported occurred in the South East, and confirmed incidents involved the illegal killing of five buzzards, a barn owl and a peregrine falcon.
Despite raptor persecution being identified as one of the UK government’s top wildlife crime priorities in 2009, the persecution of birds of prey still remains an issue of serious concern with around 590 birds of prey having been confirmed poisoned, shot, trapped or destroyed in the last 6 years.
These figures may just be the top of the iceberg though, as incidents often go unreported.
We believe tougher legislation and enforcement is essential if birds of prey are to thrive in their natural environment again.
It is not only conservation organisations fighting for the protection of our wildlife. Public anger is growing stronger and more voices are beginning to call for change. Over 500 people attended our Hen Harrier Day at RSPB Rainham Marshes this summer, to call for more to be done to protect our most persecuted bird of prey.
Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation, said: “Our birds of prey are magnificent creatures and the sight of a hen harrier’s dramatic skydancing display flight is simply breathtaking. Everyone should be able to witness this but sadly millions of people are denied this opportunity. Our uplands are deprived of some amazing wildlife because of ongoing illegal persecution and it has to stop.”
It is not only conservation organisations fighting for the protection of our wildlife. Public anger is growing stronger over the ongoing persecution of our birds of prey and the state of our uplands, and more voices are beginning to call for change.”