October, 2011

Our work

Our work
You might be surprised to read that our work is far broader than nature reserves and Big Garden Birdwatch. Read more about what else we do.

Bugs, Birds and Beasts in the East

All of our up to date fun and frolics in the East from office antics to great conservation stories and those magical connections with nature.
  • Love is in the air

    Blogger: Erica Howe, Communications Manager

    It always starts with a look doesn’t it? The first time your eyes meet, that twinkle, the smile that you don’t want to give away. Of course I’m talking about love! One of the most written about subjects in the whole world. Many things can get lost in translation, misinterpreted across seas, but not love. And the funny thing about love is how it can take you by surprise. I met my other half whilst out on a bike ride; I never thought I’d fall in love whilst peddling through the Norfolk countryside wearing lycra! One of my colleagues met his wife on a dating website and they instantly hit it off. Neither of these were typically a ‘red roses and candle light’ kind of situation, but that’s what makes them so sentimental.

    And of course, what is a more romantic setting than a reedbed? Really? Well, personally I’m not too sure, but there must be some air of romance nestled away within the misty wetland that brings people together. With bitterns booming, kingfishers darting past and the crisp air falling over the marshes, you can’t help but feel a few goose bumps on the back of your neck. Over the years, the RSPB has seen many of its volunteers fall in love whilst giving the gift of time to conservation. Having a common goal to help our environment and to do something a little bit different, is a uniting force. 

    Whether you choose to help out on a reserve, serve cakes at Minsmere, take up a residential volunteer placement, put on a sponsored event or try your hand at face painting, volunteering for the RSPB is as varied as it gets. And not everyone at the RSPB has a beard, nor do you have to own a pair of binoculars! Young or old, there are things that you can do to get involved with the RSPB that will have you meeting a new person round every corner – and probably some cool wildlife too.

    Helping species to survive, flora and fauna to flourish and inspiring people to get connected to the outdoors does sound quite romantic, you have to admit? But these aren’t the only rewards to volunteering. Volunteering might not be the most obvious place to meet your soul mate, your best friend or perhaps just someone to have a good old chat to, but trust me; it brings people together from all walks of life. And it certainly puts a twinkle in your eye!

    For more information about volunteering for the RSPB in the East, call Annie Sadler on 01603 660066

    Getting romantic in the reedbeds

    Photo credit: Andy Hay (rspb images)

  • Feed the Students Day (we need your cakes)

    Blogger: Gena Correale-Wardle, Community Fundraising Officer

    Cookies, cakes, scones, biscuits, muffins, brownies, flapjacks, fridge cake, cheese straws, chocolate crispy cakes,  malf loaf, cupcakes, iced buns and more.

    That’s right, we need all of the above at our Regional office in Norwich by 9am next Tuesday, 11 October!

    Matt “Captain Pin Badge” Howard and I are going to the UEA next Tuesday to share these sweet treats in return for donations and marine pledges. So that is why we need your cakes. Last year we made over £120 in one day from hungry students and we want to do ever better this year!

    If you fancy making some tasty treats, or know anyone who does, please let me or Matt know – ingredient costs can be reimbursed, so how about trying out that recipe you’ve been meaning to do for ages? Any leftover cakes will be brought back to our office to feed the ravenous RSPB staff and volunteers (in return for a donation of course!).

    Let’s dust those aprons down and get the oven gloves on!



    gena.correale-wardle@rspb.org.uk or give us a bell on 01603 697515

    Photo credit: inspired by http://afternoontease.co.uk/


  • What a load of rubbish

    Blogger: Jenny Julian, Regional Development Officer

    Did you know that homes in Norfolk throw away enough waste every year to cover the Carrow Road football pitch to a depth of 25m? Equivalent in height to two and a half double decker buses! Did you know that the UK buries more than 18 tonnes of household waste each year; that’s two million tonnes more than any other EU country?  And did you know that in less than 8 years time there will be no room left for landfill waste in the UK?

    Sounds pretty, well rubbish! But it’s not all doom and gloom. For every tonne of waste that a landfill operator buries a tax is paid and by 2014 this will be at least £80 per tonne. The aim of taxing landfill operators is to reduce the amount of rubbish that heads to landfill sites, encouraging more recycling and composting. So what’s this got to do with the RSPB? Well, the landfill operators can choose to pay a percentage of this tax to environmental bodies, such as WREN, the SITA Trust and Biffaward, who then distribute the money to worthy environmental causes that are affected by landfill sites.

    This is where the RSPB comes in. Back in January 2011 the fundraisers in the east of England office were working hard on applications to the WREN Biodiversity Action Fund. The fund provides between £75,000 and £250,000 to projects that benefit biodiversity. Seven months later we found out that our two applications to the fund had been successful. Between them, our reserves at Freiston Shore, Frampton Marsh, Ouse Fen, Ouse Washes and Sutton Fen, have received £377,664 from the fund.

    The work at Sutton Fen, in the Broads, is centred on the nationally rare habitat, lowland fen. The WREN money will pay for the reserves’ next five years worth of work on the habitat. Sutton Broad also holds the largest remaining UK population of fen orchid – a critically endangered species, found on only four fen sites in the UK! The WREN money will be paying for vital research into this orchid. Without this research the fen orchid could become extinct in the UK.

    The four other reserves can be found in the Cambridgeshire Fens and the Wash. The focus habitat for this project is coastal and floodplain grazing marsh, another nationally rare habitat - important for species like lapwing and black-tailed godwit. The funding will support our work on this habitat for the next four years and work has already begun at Ouse Fen, where ex-arable land is being converted back to floodplain grazing marsh.

    Every year a huge chunk of our funding comes from the Landfill Communities Fund, so it really isn’t that rubbish after all!

    Photo credit: Andy Hay (rspb images)