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.
This is my new bike!
Now, for those of you who know me well, this is not the kind of bike i usually ride! My current bike is carbon, has blue tyres and cost the same amount as a small car! But this is my new favourite. Yes it has rust, yes it’s heavier than a bus, and yes, it needs a lot of TLC, but it is truly beautiful! For Bike To Work Week this week, our office has been remarkable in it’s efforts to change our commuting habits. It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have or how fast you can ride it, what matters is that you get your bum on that saddle and enjoy the feeling of freedom that only a bike can give you. Riding my bike makes me truly happy and if i haven’t been out for a few days then i start to get itchy feet – i can’t describe it, it’s like the minute you get out and feel that breeze on your cheeks, something feels right.
Let’s start the cycling revolution and join the peddle power. So, whatever you do this weekend, come rain or sunshine, see if you can spend half an hour out on your bike and let us know about it!
Blogger: Jane Warren, Green Team Representative
I have a lot of affection for my first bike. It was red, my brother’s was identical, but blue. We spent long summer days cycling round the Norfolk countryside, or so I remember. Come adolescence, the bike got parked in the shed. It wasn’t till I was at uni a few years later that I rediscovered the joys of cycling. A touring bike with drop handlebars that one summer took me from San Sebastián to Bordeaux. Part and parcel of that rediscovery was a reconnection to that child peddling furiously along narrow country lanes. The freedom. The speed. And the delight of staying upright on two wheels.
Since then, there has always been a bike in my life. The current model is a dependable hybrid - blue this time. Yesterday morning, it helped me transport bagsful of croissants and rolls for the office Bikers’ Breakfast.
The breakfast is part of our National Bike Week celebrations, free to all staff who dumped the car and cycled, walked or took public transport to work. Around 20 of us gathered at the Thorpe Road office in Norwich and managed to get through a fair few croissants and pains au chocolat. Amazingly, the weather held, and we breakfasted outside in glorious sunshine.
Bike Week, the UK's largest mass participation cycling event, provides an annual opportunity to promote cycling for fitness and fun – and reduce our carbon footprint. It’s all about encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Not to mention that cycling to work in the morning is the best way to really wake up!
The RSPB is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. We have set ourselves a target to reduce carbon emissions by 3% each year. Climate change is the biggest single threat to wildlife, and it is estimated that transport accounts for around a quarter of the UK's energy use and carbon emissions. Reducing fuel usage and greening transport to and from work is all part of our environmental message. Travelling to RSPB reserves in a green way, instead of by car, is also a great way to help the environment, and improve health.
Me and my bike. I like to think that we’re doing our bit to reduce carbon emissions too. What about you? If you don’t have a bike, and want to cycle to work, find out about the Cycle to Work Scheme here.
I've just been for a very wet walk. It didn't rain, although it certainly did this morning; the heart-shaped petals of the dog-rose that dot the hedgerows have been battered by the heavy raindrops and are now stuck to the roads and tracks like thin scraps of crepe paper. No, it wasn't the rain that soaked me but the huge swathes of grass; the deep purple seeds of yorkshire fog and the furry meadow foxtail that has grown tall and thick along the footpaths. I managed to get so far along the track by rolling up my trouser legs and edging sideways along it but soon realised, as the grass grew thicker and impassable, that I'd have to do better than that. Unfortunately by then I was at the point of no return. Either i got wet going one way or possibly wetter going the other. I ended up walking home with my jean legs like great wet flaps of cloth stuck to my legs.
One thing however made this journey entirely worth while. On the track towards home there is an oak tree. About halfway up its trunk is a swollen, uneven oval scar where a great branch has cracked off and the tree has healed the wound. In the middle of the scar is a hollow pocket and in this pocket sat three steel grey kestrel chicks, each one peering out at me from above. I had noticed them because of the racket they were making. I could hear them chirruping from the end of the drive.
You'd think it couldn't get much better than that, but today it could. As I stood staring up at the chicks their uncannily brave mother or father flew in from apparently no where carrying a baby rat (it was mouse sized but had the unmistakeable thick tail of a rat). The three chicks stretched and wobbled upwards, straining for the first 'go' at lunch. Within the blink of an eye the kestrel had gone, no doubt to catch more food, leaving the chicks squabbling noisily in their oak tree bedroom.
Nature is entirely and awe-inspiringly amazing. Help the RSPB keep it that way.