October, 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.
  • The Story of Migrants & Where have all the biscuits gone?

    Blogger: Laura White, PA to Public Affairs Team Manager

    Today we had a terrible thing happen in the office. It was mid afternoon, the time when the blood sugar is falling and inspiration gets up and heads for the door. Around this time we usually put the kettle on and head for the biscuit tin. We have two biscuit tins in the public affairs office and they are kept stocked with a wide assortment of goodies. Today our goodies were a brand new box of double chocolate biscuit fingers. The box was opened at lunch and a couple of biscuits removed, (but this was a quality control exercise carried out by the more senior members of the team) but it was still pretty full.  So, it was while the kettle was on and the tea bags were in their mugs waiting for their shower of hot water that the terrible thing happened! Somebody had eaten all of the chocolate fingers!


    I say eaten but I really mean stolen and eaten!


    We know the culprit and we have eye witness accounts of his crime so I'm sure that justice will prevail and he will replace the biscuits he stole or else he will remain banned from our tuck to watch forever as the rest of us enjoy sharing the next pack of double chocolate fingers!


    This did make me wonder though, we had waited approximately ninety minutes for our biscuits and we were so disappointed when we went to the tin and they weren't there. To be honest though, there was a substantial amount of much healthier food around if we had really needed to eat. But, what about those lovely migrant birds which are arriving or leaving our shores, do they find themselves in the same predicament?


    Some of our beautiful visitors to the UK are facing the same terrible shortage we did. Whether our winter visitors like the pink footed geese or our summer visitors like the swifts or swallows - food is critical. For instance, the turtle dove travels from the Sahelain region in Africa and travels thousands of kilometres to get here. How sad it is that we no longer provide for them as nice a breeding destination as we used to.  Which could be a contribution to the shocking statistic that turtle doves have declined by 93% since the 1970s. We need a plan, and we have one. A small group of 'heroes' are helping to find out what's happening to our turtle doves and creating habitats especially to support birds such as the turtle dove as well as insects and mammals.  But they can only do this with your support and you can help for further information please go to the Operation Turtle Dove website.

    For more information visit: http://operationturtledove.org/the-project

  • The RSPB - What's it all about then?

    Blogger: Hannah Gray, Work Experience Volunteer - July 2013

    Firstly, I have to say most people think the RSPB is all about birds and you have to know loads about birds to get involved in it. However, this is not the case, the RSPB try to conserve a multitude of habitats and animals that live in them, and a knowledge of birds whilst useful is certainly not necessary in this organisation. The RSPB offers a range of different jobs in its offices and on its reserves I have had the pleasure of learning and experiencing all of these different roles and whilst you don’t need to be a ‘tree hugger’ at least working at the RSPB makes a difference and is not all about financial gain. I never realised before I came here all the different aspects of the RSPBs work and how it all interlocks to create a successful charity organisation. From applying for grants, to organising festivals to blogging and controlling the RSPB brand. You don’t realise how much goes into this organisation until you come here, and how much of a close community it is here, everyone works together to achieve the same goal, conserving our environment.

    You may ask why is the RSPB so important? What does it even do? Well the RSPB is the largest conservation organisations in Europe and works with farmers, businesses, international funders, other wildlife organisations and the individual to make a difference in the world of conservation. The RSPB do a whole range of activities to achieve their goal. From hands on stuff like creating new reserves and managing habitats, to working with others and making them aware of the need for conservation and how they can get involved. Without the RSPB and its work, we could face losing some of our best-loved native animals and their homes. The RSPB bring back species from the brink like the current project on turtle doves. Without these vital projects these animals would be lost forever.

    The most important thing the RSPB want to achieve though is connecting people with nature, letting people enjoy the natural wonders that surround them by helping them to understand our environment so they to can have a part in saving and sustaining it too.

    This is what my time here has taught me and this is something I will take away and never forget. Everyone here has been wonderful and I would like to thank them for putting up with me and supporting me. The RSPB is an amazing organisation and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in wildlife or conservation.


    [Editor: No, thank you Hannah for coming to find our more about what we do, we could not do the amazing conservation work that we do without support from good people like yourself. Thanks also for this impromptu blog post - makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside].

  • We should have worn wellies

    Blogger: Sarah Green Project Coordinator - Natura People Partnership Project

    A few months ago I marked my very first trip to the Birdfair.  I was there to assist with the RSPB birder reception, where a small but very keen team of us mixed up approximately 350 Black Grouse whiskey cocktails for sampling by lecture attendees.


     Why Black Grouse whiskey?  Well, the RSPB has a partnership with Famous Grouse whereby for each bottle of Black Grouse sold a donation is given to our Black Grouse conservation work.  Since 2008 we have raised £300,000.  At the Birdfair we made Black ‘N Black cocktails – fill a glass with ice, squeeze fresh orange juice over the ice, add a shot of whiskey, top up with coke. 





    Inbetween preparing for the reception I got to watch some excellent lectures including the British Bird Photography Awards, presented by Simon King, and Martin Garner and Tormod Amundsen discussing how to push the boundaries of birding – in Tormod’s case he moved his family to Arctic Norway!


    There were some spectacular images in these presentations including a couple from the Norfolk area.  The award winning photo shows Norwich’s very own peregrine falcons teaching their young to hunt.  In third place is a stunning photograph of a common swift flying across a roof.  I need to give a special mention to what may be my favourite photo, the dunnock and the greenfinch, coming in at 9th place.  You can view them all here.


    Meanwhile at the RSPB stand we had information about our reserves (including a gorgeous aerial picture of Minsmere), turtle doves, our work combating wildlife crime and our albatross campaign.  Above the stand was a model of an albatross.  I keep wanting to call it a giant model, but it’s not giant, it’s life size, it’s just that they are THAT huge.


    It was an inspirational day.


    What was that in my title about wellies?  Well, I hadn’t quite realised the logistics of the Birdfair.  It’s in a field.  Rutland had experienced a deluge of rain early that morning and as I arrived I re-considered my choice of footwear.  After 4 hours on site our feet looked like this:



    Yep, we really should have worn wellies.