News archive

June 2016

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Baked Alaska, our talk on climate change

Baked Alaska, our talk on climate change

Pip Roddis explained some of the work that the RSPB has been doing in relation to the fact that climate change is one of the greatest long-term threats to the nature we love.

The focus is on improving our understanding of the effects of climate change, and about implementing measures that will help wildlife to cope in the future.

The RSPB has investigated various models and Pip showed us alternative approaches that would mean that the UK can meet its climate targets, in particular through support for the low-carbon sector, and through cutting emissions acrosss the economy, to 2020 and well beyond.

As temperatures rise, a typical European breeding bird is projected to shift around 340 miles further north, causing birds to lose 20% of their breeding range through climate change. Protected areas are crucial to help species to track suitable climate.

Pip certainly gave us a lot to think about but it was a positive message and that we can do things as individuals and communities to help.

The RSPB have produced a report called "The Nature of Climate Change" and it can be found at (or by clicking on the link below).

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that David (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this talk.

Download file

Friday, 3 June 2016

Prime Minister visits RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve

Prime Minister visits RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve

Howard Vaughan is known to many of our group from visits to Rainham Marshes, his involvement with East London Birders Forum (ELBF) and to some of us who many years ago, belonged to the Epping Local Group (the long-ago predecessor of our North East London Local Group). The coach trips back then had some teenage boys on the back seat - one of whom was Howard! So couldn't resist adding this photo...
[Click on the link below,, to see this article on our Facebook page with another photo]

Below is the press release from the visit.

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking on a visit to the RSPB's Rainham Marshes nature reserve at Purfleet on the eastern edge of London, has warned that the outcome of the EU Referendum would have significant implications for the future of our wildlife.

During his visit he got to see breeding lapwing and asked about the declining opportunities to hear cuckoos; both red-listed species of conservation concern as their populations are dwindling alarmingly. There were also sightings of amber-listed redshank, but the PM wasn't lucky enough to see the resident kingfishers or any water voles. All of these species are protected by European legislation and the whole site is a designated area of European relevance for nature.

RSPB Chief Executive Mike Clarke said: "It is great to see nature and the environment now featuring in the national debate on Europe. The RSPB recognises that weighing up the pros and cons of EU membership will involve, for most people, consideration of multiple issues and therefore we will not be telling anyone how to vote in the referendum. However, when considering the implications solely for wildlife and the environment, we have concluded that the safer option for nature is for the UK to remain a part of the European Union."

RSPB Rainham Marshes site manager, Andrew Gouldstone says: "The Prime Minister visited for about an hour so didn't have time to explore the whole site. I welcomed him to the reserve and gave a potted history and we lent him some binoculars so he could see more of our wildlife."

The visit gave the Prime Minister an opportunity to hear more about research from the RSPB and WWF, which concludes that nature is safer in the EU. David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF was joined by celebrity ambassador and impressionist Alistair McGowan to meet Mr Cameron, who also spoke with RSPB reserve staff, Louise Moss, Nicole Khan and Howard Vaughan.

Rainham Marshes is a freshwater marshland on the banks of the Thames. It's home to nesting lapwing, kingfishers, threatened water voles, dragonflies and rare grasses. Management of the site has seen wildlife populations flourish. The reserve also provides local residents with free access to its natural gems and additional activities ranging from bouldering, cycle hire, running, yoga, orienteering and volunteering. RSPB members also enjoy free access. Non-members have to pay an entry fee.