February, 2013

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.
  • Welcome to The Bell House Hotel!

    Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement about our second corporate member I am pleased to announce that The Bell House Hotel have also joined us!

    The Bell House Hotel is located in Saxmundham, about 8 miles from Minsmere.  It’s an old coaching inn that once hosted royalty!  In 1737 King George II stayed at the hotel.  The historic surroundings are complemented by modern food and service.  Each boutique room is individually designed to provide a modern, impeccable service to all visitors.  Guests can dine on European influenced cuisine or enjoy speciality coffee and afternoon tea.  Food is sourced from local Suffolk farms and they host events such as wine tasting evenings.  Importantly for pet owners, dogs are welcomed.

    Excitingly enough, the Hotel recently won a Michelin Two Fork award for 2013 for their fine dining restaurant and in 2012 received the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, so you can be assured of excellent hospitality.

    The Bell House Hotel are offering a 10% discount to all RSPB members on accommodation and food – to be eligible for this please book in advance and present your membership card.  During March to April you can book a one night stay, including cold buffet breakfast and a bottle of Los Tres Chilean White Wine and complimentary tickets to RSPB Minsmere for £99.  An additional night is available for £59.  For further information on these offers and for other promotions please see here or contact the Hotel directly.

    Support from local businesses like The Bell House Hotel is vital in allowing us to continue our conservation work.

    Did you know...

    Minsmere was the first place in the UK that avocets returned to in 1947.  Flooding of the sand dunes during World War Two provided the perfect habitat.  In 1963 we built the Scrape - the world’s first artificial lagoon – and Avocets have been with us ever since!

    Photograph taken by David Tipling


    Otters are still pretty rare creatures but we are lucky enough to have two families using the reserve.  Recently one of our visitors caught this brilliant photo of one walking on the ice outside Island Mere Hide.

    Minsmere is a great place to see bitterns.  This elusive and rare heron relies on reedbeds so we carefully manage the areas they love and are proud to host 10 booming males – out of a UK population of 100 (we did say they were rare!).

    Last in my list is the silver studded blue butterfly.  This gorgeous creature favours Heathland, something which Minsmere has a lot of, so we are rewarded with a large colony which can be seen during the Summer months.

    All this and more is a big draw for tourists.  Every year 80,000 visitors to Minsmere spend around £8 million pounds on businesses in the local area.  Joining the RSPB as a corporate member means you help us to continue our work and invest in your local area for generations to come.

    To find out more please contact Neil Santy at neil.santy@rspb.org.uk

    Many thanks to The Bell House Hotel for their support – together we can provide a better environment for future generations.


    The Scrape at dusk

    Photograph taken by David Tipling

  • Martin Harper's blog - definitely worth a read!

    The EU Budget: why it is a terrible deal for wildlife



  • Good News! Minsmere has a new corporate sponsor.

    Welcome Riverside Beef!

    Riverside Beef are the newest corporate supporters of Minsmere!

    Run by Jon Reeves, Riverside Beef grazes cattle on riverside pastures and water meadows across East Anglia.  Riverside Beef have a strong tradition of supporting conservation – in large part due to Jon’s role as site manager of the RSPB’s Ouse Washes reserve!

    Image by Jon Reeves

    Jon has a long standing interest in agriculture and conservation, having worked on farms all his life.  Moving to the Fens and working at Ouse Washes opened his eyes to the role of cattle grazing in managing grassland for the benefit of nature.  Out of this interest Riverside beef was born.

    In addition to supplying butchers in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, Riverside Beef also offer farm visits, talks and presentations on farming for nature.

    To find out more visit Riverside Beef’s website or follow Jon on twitter.

    Thanks for the support Jon!

    If you want to find out more about becoming a corporate member of Minsmere please contact Neil Santy on neil.santy@rspb.org.uk.  Members get a range of benefits such as reserve passes, invites to networking events, use of meeting room facilities, team challenges and more.


    If you are a farmer and want to find out more about conservation management of farmland for nature, you can find your local adviser here.