The RSPB was founded as a campaigning organisation, by women seeking to ban the trade in wild bird plumages for hats that was driving species to extinction in the late 19th century. It took the Society’s early campaigners 32 years to secure that first major victory, the Importation of Plumage (Prohibition) Act, and we’re still in it for the long haul today.
Our campaigns team is made up of Steven Roddy, Steph Landymore and Kim Matthews – our job is to help you get involved in influencing the decisions that affect the wildlife you care about. You can find out about our campaigns here, and on the campaigning web pages: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/.
Want to hear all our latest campaigns news by email? Sign up to be an RSPB Campaign Champion: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/become-a-campaign-champion/, and download our Guide to Campaigning to help with your own campaigns too.
Why Nature’s Heroes? It takes a community of us doing something, however small, to save nature. Join the conversation and share your stories and campaigns in the forum.
Help us turn red hearts green around Valentine's Day — show the love for the things you care about that are at risk from climate change.
We know that climate change is one of the biggest threats our wildlife faces. But doom and gloom messages make it seem remote, a long way off and difficult to engage with. Show the Love week starts conversations about how climate change is already affecting what we love, and celebrates what people are already doing to tackle it, from their homes and communities to our nature reserves to governments. Only by working together can we protect the things we love.
Show the Love week runs from 6-14 February across the UK. Over 25 of our reserves are showing the love, from talking about sign of climate change on their reserve and giving out Show the Love stickers, to running reserve trails, crafted heart workshops and selling special #showthelove cakes and biscuits. Check out our website to see where activities are happening: www.rspb.org.uk/showthelove.
Thanks so very much to the incredible staff, volunteers and supporters who've made a staggering number of beautiful hearts - we had almost 400 this year! They'll be worn by celebrities and politicians, including Species Champions in England, Wales and Scotland and RSPB staff across the country.
Forest Green Rovers football club will also be dedicating their home match against Stevenage on 13 February to the RSPB, and our staff will be at the match giving out green heart 'show the love' stickers and helping families make pine cone bird feeders.
You can show your love by:
Show the Love is led by The Climate Coalition (TCC) which, together with its sister organisations Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and Stop Climate Chaos Cymru, is the UK's largest group of people dedicated to climate action. With over 130 organisations, including the RSPB (a founding member), National Trust, Women's Institute, Oxfam, UNICEF, WWF, Wildlife Trusts, Plantlife, Woodland Trust and many more, the Coalition has a combined supporter base of over 15 million. The Coalition reaches across the UK to show our love for the things we want to protect from climate change, and to ask politicians to put aside their differences and commit to doing whatever is necessary to protect them.
It feels to me like 2017’s been a year of both progress and uncertainty. There’s been lots of positive talk, but not yet much concrete direction, on what the future for our environment will look like outside the EU. But in the absence of clarity over our environmental future this year, plenty else has ticked steadily on. Here are just some of the positive outcomes from the areas we’ve campaigned on this year:
There’s been good news for some of our most important wildlife sites:
In July new UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove gave his first speech, laying out an ambitious direction for the future. He’s followed it with a slew of environmental announcements, not least the banning of neonicotinoid pesticides in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of the harm they cause. And there will be much more on farming and wildlife. Looking forward, the conversation around the future of our nature is only just starting.
Michael Gove has promised a consultation on an environmental watchdog in the new year, and a series of laws coming forward in 2018 could give our wildlife new support and protection if they move away from damaging farming and fishing policies that have driven wildlife declines. Last month you told us on Twitter what you think about the nature of farming, and back in January over 400 of you told the Welsh Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs (CCERA) Committee what you think the future of farming should look like. In the spring we hope the UK Government will be asking everyone for their views, and constructing new laws that support and reward farmers to restore nature, soil health and water and air quality in the way they grow our food.
We’re also looking forward to the UK Government’s long-waited 25-year Environment Plan for England, setting out how we’ll leave our natural environment to the next generation in a better state than we inherited it. Whatever’s in that plan, we need new nature laws across the UK to make such an ambition reality.
But, whilst we’re still in this year, I’ll be (finally!) catching up on Blue Planet II over Christmas. Many of the episodes featured wildlife found in UK waters, but perhaps not the ones you might expect…
The oceans around our Overseas Territories are home to the largest coral atoll on earth, globally significant populations of albatross, whales and turtles, and as many as a quarter of the penguins on the planet, so protecting these waters can make a big difference for a lot of wildlife. Which is why we’ve teamed up with five other organisations to call for a new, four million square kilometre marine sanctuary around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which would be twice the size of the UK and protect 10% of the world’s penguins. 216 MPs have already signed the pledge to #BacktheBlueBelt – will you call on yours to join them?
Head on over to Global Conservation Director Martin Harper’s blog to read about more conservation highlights this year.
Updated 15 January 2018 - We've now got crafters for every single species on our list - thank you so much to everyone bringing these species to hand-made life!
Back in October we invited you to help us Show the Love alongside millions of others by crafting green hearts for politicians, celebrities and RSPB staff to wear on Valentine’s Day. Wearing, and sharing, our green hearts acts a way to start conversations and spread the message far and wide that climate change is already affecting the things we love, but that we can do something about it, if enough of us show we care.
Over 48 of you got in touch asking for more info and your early submissions have been brightening our office days - we love them. The hearts that have arrived are beautiful, and we hope each of you crafters have kept one of your incredible creations for yourselves! RSPB's award-winning photographer, Ben Andrew, took a few of them out into this week's snow to get some great pictures - here are just a sample:
Hearts made by Linda Evans, Jane Comer, Elaine Jones and Jan Colley
We know many more of you have been busy making and are just waiting for postcards to pin them to so you can add a hand-written message to accompany each of your hearts. We are expecting a full delivery very soon, so should have them out to you in early January.
Last year for the first time we gave each of the ‘Species Champion’ MPs at Westminster a green heart to wear on Valentine’s Day, adorned with the species they champion in Parliament. Following this year’s election there are a small number of new champions at Westminster, and for the first time we’d also love to get Species Champions in the Welsh Assembly involved in the Show the Love campaign.
Do you have a flair for bringing nature to life in your crafting? If so we’d love to give one of your hearts to an MP or AM! These politicians are standing up for:
(these species all now have a crafter)
Although these species all now have a crafter making them, if you'd like to find out more about crafting green hearts for Show the Love week, send us an email at email@example.com.
Across the UK, our 2018 Show the Love activity in February will be focused on noticing change. The signs of climate change are all around us, and especially noticeable as the seasons change. So with that in mind, The Climate Coalition are kicking off the conversation a little earlier, with their alternative Christmas advert – do have a watch, and share it if you like it.