You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
Blogger: Charlotte Pledger, Youth, Education & Families Officer
Blogger - Erica Howe, Communications Manager
It’s been a shocking week to say the least! And it’s only Tuesday!
The RSPB announced today that the EU are planning to sever a rather important leg from our Common Agricultural Policy. That all sounds rather jargonny I know so i’ll try to make it as simple as possible. Our old friend Mark Avery couldn’t have put it better himself.
Farmland covers a whopping 75% of our region and is a vital part of the ecosystem for some our most loved (and threatened) wildlife. If President Barroso makes this decision, the money that goes directly into conservation and farming to ensure that our countryside stays fit for wildlife will vanish, along with our turtle doves, our skylarks and many more species along the way.
I for one, couldn’t think of a worse scenario to be in. It worries me greatly that our European leaders think that this is a GOOD idea! If our UK farmers were to lose this vital stream of income and organisations like the RSPB were to lose funding for major species and habitat recovery projects because of this short-sighted approach, then we can all kiss goodbye to a countryside full of birdsong for our grandchildren.
There is something we can do. By signing this e-action you will be pledging your support to the RSPB and perhaps we can get this decision reversed.
Blogger: Rachael Murray
Midsummer’s eve is upon us, and, thanks to a memorable childhood trip to see Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, my escapist sensibilities are kicking in and my thoughts are turning to magical woods, fairies and a delightful abundance of other-worldly flora and fauna found amongst enchanted undergrowth.
I still remember that night, snuggled in a sleeping bag on my portable camping chair in the moonlight grounds of Hever castle, a flask of steaming hot chocolate by my side. As the last of the sun drained from the sky, I watched as the magical tale began to unfold. Adorned in rich velvets and majestic jewels the committed actors made a bid to capture our full, rapt attention, as they told their tale of love, mischief and magic.
And they were marvellous at it too; I really did try to keep my attention focused on their efforts. But what those talented fellows didn’t realise was that they were competing with a myriad of glow worms, moths and other insects that had gathered around the stage lighting, which, to a child’s eyes, were just mesmerising.
Imagine, as my ears absorbed a story complete with fairy king and queen, my eyes were drawn to the tiny glowing, flickering entities dancing in the twilight. Could they be....? Was it possible.....?
Well, as an adult, I am now fairly convinced that what I saw was just normal, everyday nature at work. So, technically, not magic at all. But in my view, nature is, in itself, magical. Like the best fairy stories, our natural environment is choc full of tiny creatures with gossamer wings that flutter, glitter, shimmer and glow.
During the summer, a visit to an RSPB nature reserve is likely to reward you with a sight of brilliant metallic dragonflies, bold and colourful butterflies, velvety moths and perhaps even a glow worm or two if you are out late enough! And ok, so they are not fairies, but some of these little beasts are almost as rare. The British Swallowtail butterfly is now so scarce that it can now only be found in the fens and marshes of the Norfolk Broads. Also only found in the Broads is the rare Norfolk Hawker dragonfly, which enjoys its clean and unpolluted waters, and the rich covering of plants. We work hard on and around our reserves to ensure that we create a habitat that will secure the future of these rare species, and amongst a plethora of other beauties, these two species could be considered the jewels in our sparkling crown of insect-life.
Many of the RSPB reserves around the region are managed specifically to create the kinds of environment that our fairy-like friends enjoy. And with amazing natural experiences around every corner at RSPB reserves throughout the East throughout the summer, including evening Moth Walks at RSPB Minsmere, what better way to experience some of the magic for yourself?
Visit www.rspb.org.uk/reserves for more information.