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.
  • Childhood Heroes and Holiday Ideas

    Blogger: Erica Howe, Communications Manager

    As an adult it's hard to believe that you can still be star struck! I remember when I was a youngster and I'd go to see Norwich City play, the players always seemed so ... famous! I suppose I thought that as an adult you'd grow out of that excitement. But I was wrong! Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Packham. Yes THE Chris Packham, star of Springwatch and The Really Wild Show (back in the days when that was the most popular show on TV!). Chris is a fantastic naturalist and succeeded in making nature cool to my generation of youngsters. Who else could get so excited about the way a dragonfly emerges from water, delicate and inquisitive? And who else could get so engrossed in a family of barn owls, struggling to raise its young only to grow into graceful, perceptive birds of prey? Chris has a way of making all this come to life.  He recognises how important it is to show kids and families what is going on out there, everything that might wriggle, crawl and creep about in your garden and beyond. 

    The world outside is a fascinating, inspirational place, but sadly, children today are experiencing it less and less. There seems to be little enthusiasm for kids to get their hands grubby in the garden or to go searching under logs for woodlice, but more encouragement to sit indoors and play on computer games. Is this really the way it should be?

    Feeding the birds in your garden is a great way to get your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, brother or sisters excited about the natural world. It might ignite a spark of interest and who knows, they could grow up to become the next Chris Packham or Michaela Strachan.

    Whether you have small children who will be captivated by the friendly robin visiting daily for his fix of fast food, or you like to linger by the patio door on a quiet morning with a cup of tea waiting for a rare glimpse of that goldfinch, feeding the birds is hassle free and pretty cheap to do. Next weekend is Feed the Birds Day and what better way to kick start the Autumn days than to offer a garden sanctuary to birds such as blackbirds, greenfinches, blue tits, song thrushes and goldfinches. It won't take long for you to work out which birds like what food and soon you'll be attracting all sorts. Chris Packham will be green with envy!

    There are some GREAT DEALS on bird food across RSPB shops at the moment so it needn't be a burden on your purse; perhaps something for the kids to spend their pocket money on!

     Article in Eastern Daily Press on Saturday 22 October (you can find us in the Farm & Country section)

    Photo by Kaleel Zibe (rspb-images.com)

  • Getting cold - need some food?

    Blogger: Adam Murray, Communications Officer

    We all make excuses right? There is always a reason why or why not. That is why our To Do lists around the house never quite get done, like putting the safety catches on the doors or even doing that bit of craetive art work or reading that heavy but intellectual book.

    The same for feeding the birds in your garden I find. Do they need it all year [Yes], what food do they need [We can show you] ?? etc. etc. Well hopefully we can make it a bit easier for you. Below is our FREE sticker promo that might tempt you to two of our shops as well as our good value and high quality bird food. We even have good promo deals on some of this bird food. So no more excuses right? ;)

    Well done for scrolling down and reading all of this - if you want a FREE bird feeder (we have 10 to give away) then give me a ring on 01603 697 583 or tweet us on @RSPBintheeast or #feedthebirds.

    Happy feeding!


    Terms and Conditions Apply naturally.


  • Travelling tales

    Blogger: Sarah Green, Project Coordinator - Natura People Partnership Project

    One of the wonderful things about wildlife is that it doesn’t recognise geographical borders.  What do I mean by that?  Well, a badger, a butterfly, a hedgehog, a fox, an otter doesn’t care what county it’s in.  Birds will make long journeys across several different nations to reach their warm winter destination.  Because of this, if we want to save and protect the world’s wildlife we need different organisations in different areas and indeed, different countries, to work together.

    Enter Natura People...

    Natura People is an exciting new project build on the partnership between four European organisations and their nature reserves.  There is of course the RSPB, where the project deals with our historic Minsmere site (more on that in another post).  The other organisations are Provincie West-Vlaanderen, in Belgium, managing the Zwin Park; Provincie Zeeland, in The Netherlands, creating the new nature reserve Waterdunen; and Natuur en Recreatieschap de Grevelingen, managing the Grevelingen area, home to the largest saltwater lake in Western Europe.

    These sites share similar characteristics – all are on the North Sea coast, all have a certain, shall we say, flatness to them and all are proud recipients of the Natura 2000 designation.  Simply put, this means that they are particularly important for wildlife and plantlife and are protected under EU rules.

    So, what are the common species found across the sites?  Firstly, there’s some rather famous Ospreys. Born in Loch Garten, Tore did a zig-zag tour of Britain and is now in The Gambia, whereas Bynack is taking a more direct route, heading straight from Scotland to France, via Bruges and finishing on the Senegal/Mauritania border. These magnificent birds will spend the winter in Africa and return to our shores in Springtime next year.

    Another bird that winters in Africa is the Swift, often confused with the Swallow (see Adam's previous blog post), this bird sleeps on the wing.  Both species breed at each partner site.  Redwings and Fieldfares winter at all 4 sites and Bewick Swans pass over the continent on route to the UK.  Bearded Tits and Bitterns, whilst rare in the UK are common throughout Holland.

    The existence of these birds tell us there’s something special about our environment.  They remind us that although we may be separated by a channel of water Britain is not so different from mainland Europe.  Natura People is about bringing organisations together, finding common ground, sharing knowledge and raising awareness of the work we all do.

    We’ve got a duty to protect the environment but we want people to experience it too!  The Natura 2000 designation means the reserves get special protection and the Natura People project means we can actively work to improve the sites, for wildlife and visitors.

    I think you’ll agree that’s a great thing.

    Don’t forget that you can follow what’s happening at Minsmere by subscribing to the blog, here.

    Natura People is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG IV A 2 Mers Seas Zeeën Crossborder Programme 2007-2013.