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More people than ever saving nature

Last modified: 11 May 2010

Kids using binoculars outside Kelvingrove Museum

Image: The RSPB

There are now more voices for nature than ever before with a record number of RSPB members.

The wildlife charity is delighted to announce that its membership total is now 1,076,112, the highest it has ever been.

And with political parties vying for members and votes last week, this total is more than double the members of all three main parties combined.

The biggest driver for the membership surge is the unprecedented number of families and young people joining up, proving that nature and wildlife is important to everyone.

Despite tough economic times, in 2009/10 the charity recruited over 100,000 memberships for the second year running, the first time ever it has been achieved in two consecutive years. This equates to over 185,000 individual members.

Head of RSPB Membership Recruitment, Jonny Wright, says: “The record-breaking numbers prove that there is a real desire among the British public to protect wildlife and places they live in.

“It’s brilliant that more people than ever feel connected to nature and joining a conservation charity like the RSPB is a great way to do your bit to safeguard it for the future.”

Over a quarter of the new memberships were made by RSPB staff and volunteers out and about on nature reserves and at local and national events.

And the biggest reason for the membership surge was the recruitment of families and young people.

Jonny Wright says: “It’s exciting that we have had such a rise in families and children joining up. Inspiring young people about nature is the only way we can ensure they grow up to help protect it and we hope we can trigger a life long interest in thousands of children.

“The popularity of programmes like BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch have made a huge difference to the numbers and types of people that are interested in nature and want to do what they can to protect it.

“And its so easy to see it for yourself at places like RSPB nature reserves on the doorstep and projects such as ‘Dates with Nature’ which show wildlife living in city centres and other places we hope even more people will be able to enjoy first hand experiences.”

Dean Traynor, who recently joined the RSPB with his girlfriend says: “I’m quite interested in wildlife but there aren’t many open spaces near where I live.

“I’d not been to an RSPB reserve before and I visited Leighton Moss which was way better than I thought it would be and really relaxing. That’s why we joined up.”

New RSPB member Stuart Lee-Smith, who joined just two weeks ago, says: “I’m disabled and can’t get out at all but after an RSPB talk at a local event an RSPB volunteer took me to my closest RSPB nature reserve, Pulborough Brooks.

“I had a great day and met some lovely staff and RSPB members on the way round and the rest is history.

“I joined the RSPB that same day because and even though I’m an OAP I can make flexible donations so it’s very affordable.”

To find out more about joining the RSPB visit www.rspb.org.uk/join

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