News archive

January 2020

Thursday, 30 January 2020

The women who saved the birds

The women who saved the birds

Hear all about the rise and rise of 'murderous millinery' - and the women who fought back on behalf of the birds. From the first polite Victorian tea party, to billboard parades at the summer sales, to an angry brick through the Home Office window. This is the fascinating untold story behind the birth of the RSPB.

The talk will start at 7pm and end at 9pm on Wednesday 12 February in the United Reformed Church (Verrall Hall), 20 Widmore Road, Bromley, BR1 1RY. Admission is £3.50.

Tessa Boase is an acclaimed author, historian and journalist who contributes to a wide range of national newspapers and magazines. Her latest book is Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather. Tessa will be bringing copies to sign after her talk.

For more information about Tessa and Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather, visit her website below.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Change to March trip

Change to March trip

Our monthly day trip to a nature reserve in March will be a car trip to Oare Marshes on the North Kent coast (we were due to visit Crossness but this reserve is currently closed).

The details of the trip and a link to our amended programme of events are below:

Sunday 29th March 2020 at 10.00am

CAR TRIP: Oare Marshes, Kent

A visit to one of Kent's most popular nature reserves, an important site for migratory, overwintering and breeding wetland birds.

Meet in reserve car park (ME13 0QD).

Download file

Sunday, 19 January 2020

RSPB Bromley Swift Survey 2019 Report

RSPB Bromley Swift Survey 2019 Report

In 2018, we launched the first RSPB Bromley Swift Survey. Over 120 local volunteers took part searching for these endangered birds in their neighbourhood. We did it all again in 2019 and you can see the results in the report below.

Thanks to our volunteers, over these two summers we have covered almost 90% of the places where swifts might be nesting in the borough. This is an incredible effort - our volunteers collectively spent over 1,200 hours! We believe that this is one of the largest local swift surveys in the country.

We have now pinpointed many of the most important places for swifts and also the areas where they are now absent. This is invaluable information that will help target efforts to protect their nests and create new nesting places

In 2019 we found new nests, which now have better chances of being protected - we found 59 nests in 2018 and 74 in 2019. However, the number of survey squares in which we encountered low-flying swifts decreased, which is concerning as this is a good measure of the health of our borough's swift population.

Swift numbers have halved in the last two decades, in part because there are far fewer places for them to nest in new or refurbished buildings. Thankfully, there is an easy solution to this - making sure that new development contains integral swift nest bricks (bricks with cavities in which these birds can nest). There is an important role for the Council to play in providing clear guidance for planners and developers to make sure this happens and, where it doesn't, requiring the installation of swift bricks through planning conditions.

If you would like to take part in our survey this year for the first time or would like to join our team of Swift Champions who are encouraging the installation of swift bricks in their local area, please email bromleyrspbrecords@gmail.com

You can read our first RSPB Bromley Swift Survey report from 2018 here: www.rspb.org.uk/groups/images/10032019192945.pdf

You can download the new 2019 report below:

Download file

Friday, 3 January 2020

Our 2020 wildlife events

Our 2020 wildlife events

Download a copy of our latest programme of events below.

Join us for monthly talks from leading wildlife authors and experts, free guided walks around local wildlife hotspots and day trips by coach and car to some of England's best places for nature.

All our events are open to everyone, of all ages - from wildlife experts to absolute beginners. You don't need to be a member of the RSPB (or the Bromley Local Group). If you have any questions please email bromleyrspb@gmail.com or call 07392 790 719.

The image is a swallowtail butterfly, just one of the species encountered by author and journalist Patrick Barkham on his quest to find all 59 of Britain's butterfly species in one unforgettable summer. Join Patrick
as he shares his search for our emperors and admirals on Wednesday 13 May. Patrick writes for The Guardian on natural history and is the author of Islander, The Butterfly Isles and Badgerlands.

Download file

Thursday, 2 January 2020

RSPB Bromley Swift Survey 2019 - The Results!

RSPB Bromley Swift Survey 2019 - The Results!

At 6pm on Wednesday 8 January, Peter Smart (the organiser of the RSPB Bromley Swift Survey) will be sharing the results from the second year of our borough-wide swift survey in 2019.

Join us in the Verrall Hall, United Reformed Church, 20 Widmore Road, Bromley, BR1 1RY. This is a free talk and is open to everyone. It will be followed at 7pm with our monthly talk, which will be An Evening of Birdsong by the RSPB's Adrian Thomas (cost: £3.50).

You can download the report of the first year of the survey on the link below.

Download file

Thursday, 2 January 2020

An Evening of Birdsong with the RSPB's Adrian Thomas

An Evening of Birdsong with the RSPB's Adrian Thomas

Adrian Thomas will be known to many of you as the RSPB face of wildlife-friendly gardening, but he is also one of the country's leading bird sound experts and, in this brand new talk on Wednesday 8 January, we will get to enjoy and appreciate some of the most beautiful and at times intriguing sounds made by British birds, all from recordings that Adrian has made all around the UK.

Birdsong is the natural soundtrack to our lives, a phenomenon that brings so much joy to so many. As well as exploring how and why birds make sounds, Adrian will guide us through new ways to learn the sounds of different species, including some of the trickier species pairs such as reed and sedge warbler, blackbird and mistle thrush.

We will also hear some of the sounds that are increasingly absent from nature's chorus. We'll even get to listen to the RSPB's single, "Let Nature Sing", that Adrian helped create and which reached the British music charts this spring! If you haven't heard it, you might be pleasantly surprised.

So come and be uplifted by the beauty of it all. Given that we're going to hear nightingales, cuckoos and willow warblers in January, sounds like something not to miss!

Copies of Adrian's brand new book and sound guide, RSPB Guide to Birdsong, will be on sale along with his RSPB Gardening for Wildlife.

The talk will start at 7pm and end at 9pm on Wednesday 8 January in the Verrall Hall, United Reformed Church, 20 Widmore Road, Bromley, BR1 1RY. The cost is £3.50.