December, 2012

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.

RSPB 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.
  • Blogs of 2012: does exactly what it says on the tin...

    It’s been a blogging good year and what better way to round it up than a look back at what had us talking in 2012.

    January – we defied the convention of New Year diets and made January all about food on our blog.
    We paired up with Dozen Bakery and Pulse Cafe Bar, both in Norwich and both kind enough to dominate a product or two to raise some money for the RSPB. 

    February – a beautiful, nostalgic blog by Gena reminds us that nature is something that everyone can appreciate, whether you live in central London or rural Norfolk. As the firsts signs of spring were appearing her blog recalls what we have to look forward to, and how lucky we are to have it. As she rightly says, ‘bees are something that unite us all’ :P

      Bumble bee by Chris Shields (

    March – was a mixed bag in which we saw blogs saying goodbye to winter through poetry, blogs welcoming the spring, National Climate Week, Earth Hour and a generally busyness as the clocks went forward.

    April – the end of the month saw the closing date for our Nature Poetry Competition in partnership with the Rialto, which saw over 3800 poems entered from 18 countries. Wow!

    May was a wet month but the rain didn’t stop us from having fun as we tried out the new Wild Zone for kids at RSPB Minsmere.
    However I think my favourite post from this soggy month came from Adam and his Eurovision song contest in the East. Check out the blog post to hear (literally) who got ‘douze pointe’ from Adam back in May (It wasn't Engelbert I'm afraid).

    June – I loved Kate’s blog about the balancing act of making her tiny garden a haven for wildlife and a great place for her family, and her resulting respect for the wildlife-friendly farmers who are helping our threatened wildlife. Something for us all to think about when buying our cabbages and beans.

    July – the highlight for July was Erica’s video blog about wombling through the Hintlesham Wood and an update on how the RSPB was campaigning to save this area of ancient woodland. We’re not all about bird watching you know.

    August  was, unsurprisingly, all about the summer holidays. We heard about the wonders of the natural world in North America, Costa Rica and Germany but also about the wonderful time you can enjoy outdoors right on your doorstep. Keep an eye out for similar suggestions on the blog this year.

    September is a great month for watching wildlife as thousands of birds make their way from their summer homes to their winter haunts. One of the best blogs from September is about the Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project in Essex. It’s an exciting habitat creation project (the largest of its kind in Europe!) that will benefit thousands of those migrating miracles I mentioned. The launch weekend was in September.

    October - Ash trees – the silent victim is a hard-hitting blog from Erica about the threat of ash dieback, the fungal disease that has been spreading across the country in the last few months.

    November - was a month for thinking about farming for wildlife and getting ourselves in gear. A blog from Simon Tonkin, RSPB Senior Farmland Conservation Officer, laid the importance of wildlife friendly farming on the line and we were galvanized to action.

    December I’m going to resist the urge to talk about Christmas and focus instead on something that’s even better; the RSPB’s conservation internships in Eastern England. Why are they so good? Well, because I started my career with the RSPB in one!

      Robin by Ray Kennedy (

    So there we are.

    A year of blogs in summary to keep you going during the Christmas holiday.
    We’d love to hear if you have a favourite blog post of the year, so please leave a comment below to let us know.

    We can’t blog about all the great things the RSPB does for nature, we’d never get any other work done, but thank you for supporting what we do.
    We couldn’t do it without you!

  • Two turtle doves need new names!

    On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … two turtle doves.

    26 December is, as the traditional Christmas song goes, the second day of Christmas and the Operation Turtle Dove partnership is launching an exciting competition today!

    Operation Turtle Dove is a new partnership triggered by the impending crisis facing turtle doves. However, the partnership logo of the special symbolic doves of love and fidelity are currently nameless.

    Operation Turtle Dove is asking people to take part in a competition to name the turtle doves on their logo  Even if you have not been blessed with their appearance in your garden over the year, you may have an affection for these iconic British summer birds, so get together with friends and family over the festive period and propose a pair of names for this special logo.

    Alison Gardner from Operation Turtle Dove said: “The turtle doves in our Operation Turtle Dove logo are very close to our hearts. They represent the determination of a united collaboration between four conservation organisations that are passionate about making a real difference to save this bird from UK extinction. We know how much affection the British public have towards this very special dove so we thought you could help give our loved up pair names.”

    Operation Turtle Dove is asking for one male name and one female suggestion for the pair of doves. The names for the male bird, on the left, and the female bird, on the right of the logo, will be entered into a competition. Five pairs of names will be chosen at the end of January 2013. The final names will then be decided by the general public who will vote for their favourite names online between 1-13 February.

    Prize will be a Valentines chocolate heart from our supporter Cally Higginbottom at Chocally


    How To Enter:

    Send your suggested pair of names, along with your name, address and contact details to or post to RSPB, Name the Logo Turtle Doves Competition, Stalham House, 65 Thorpe Road, Norwich, NR1 1UD. The competition launches on Wednesday 26th December and the closing date is 31st January 2013.


    Terms & Conditions

    1. Entries must be received by 31st January 2013 irrespective of the date of posting. Proof of posting will not be deemed to be proof of delivery.
    2. Any entry, which is incomplete, illegible or late, will be deemed invalid at the sole discretion of the project partners.
    3. This prize draw is open to UK residents only.
    4. There is no cash alternative to the competition prize.
    5. The winner will be notified on the 14th February 2013. 
    6. The prize will be delivered within 28 days of the closing date.
    7. The results, winner's name and county, will be published on the websites of the project partners and links to these sites will be published on Twitter. The editor’s decision on all matters affecting this draw is final and legally binding. No correspondence regarding the results of the draw will be entered into.
    8. Any employee of the RSPB, Conservation Grade, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust or Natural England, or their immediate family, will be ineligible to enter.
    9. Any winner who has not responded to notification within 21 days will forfeit their prize; a replacement winner will be selected from other entrants.
  • RSPB offers fantastic opportunity to kick start a career in conservation this Christmas - I did it, and so could you!

    Are you looking to develop a career in conservation, or maybe you're disillusioned with your job and want to make a difference in a new area or work?

    This is an opportunity that's close to my heart because I actually started out with the RSPB in this very internship!
    It's a great way in and I got the experience I needed to get into a career in conservation. 
    It's also really good fun and you get to meet and work with some lovely people in some lovely places.

    Conservation charity offers four voluntary residential internship opportunities across the East

    The RSPB in the East is looking for four people passionate about conservation and a career in the sector who can dedicate a year to volunteering on its Eastern England reserves.

    The internships begin in early March 2013 and will give volunteers the opportunity to spend two consecutive six month periods working at some of the RSPB’s best nature reserves in Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Essex

    The residential scheme will offer enthusiastic volunteers the chance to work against the stunning backdrop of some of the most nature rich areas in the East.  Interns will be provided with accommodation suitable for their placement in addition to training, mentoring, conservation work experience and networking opportunities.


    Paul Stagg, Conservation Intern, said: “This internship provides an excellent head start and gave me the opportunity to get involved with all aspects of reserve management – from survey work and land management to people engagement. Along the way I always had a supportive team around me, happy to share their knowledge and teach me what they knew.

    “There were countless opportunities to meet people already working in the field, gain the benefit of their experience and learn a wealth of skills. The natural world urgently needs passionate, versatile individuals to take on the challenge of protecting it and this is an excellent opportunity to gain the skills and experience you need to do just that".

    Annie Sadler, Volunteering Development Officer for RSPB in the East added: “Over 17,000 people are currently volunteering with the RSPB for wildlife and conservation, giving over one million hours of their time each year.

    “But there’s plenty of room for more.  Why not head the January blues off at the pass by jumping into 2013 with a new purpose and volunteering with the RSPB?

    “Our full time internships are an amazing opportunity, and there is also a multitude of other ways to help us ensure that there is a viable future for the natural world, no matter how much time or experience you have.”

    For more information on the internship contact Paul Eele on 01485 211973 or e-mail

    Make a difference, make new friends, and make 2013 the year that you start your RSPB volunteering journey; you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome!  Check out for more information.