Europe and Central Asia

UK - Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

BirdLife Partner

Founded in 1889
1090000 members
Staff: 2200
The Heath, Potton, Sandy, GB, SG19 2DL
Tel. +44 1 767 68 05 51; Fax +44 1 767 69 23 65

Mission of the organisation

The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so that our towns, coast and countryside will once again teem with life.

Key Activities

How does the RSPB take action?

The problems facing birds, other wildlife and the environment are large and complex. To make the greatest impact, the RSPB has nature recovery groups which prioritise species, habitats and sites, setting clear objectives for each. It also works with other partners, sometimes on a landscape-scale, to do all that it can to save nature.

The RSPB takes action by:

  • Monitoring and analysis
  • Identifying the changes and problems facing wild birds, wildlife and the environment so that it can direct support  where it is most needed
  • Lobbying governments and other organisations to do all they can to save nature
  • Encouraging everyone to give nature a home.

Creating objectives and priorities:
The RSPB sets reasoned, clear objectives for its conservation work, which shapes its priorities for action.

Research and analysis:
The RSPB carries out scientific and economic research to gain insight  into the problems facing birds, wildlife and the environment in order to devise viable solutions. In 2013, an independent assessment of the RSPB’s Conservation Science Department evaluated it as being  “outstanding”.

Action planning:
Action is determined by carefully considered and detailed strategies and plans. The RSPB implements nature recovery group action plans and promotes them at international, national, regional and local levels.

Implementing plans:
The RSPB protects wildlife and habitats and manages nature reserves for all wildlife. It advises and informs the public, influences government action and policy, and works and campaigns internationally.

Monitoring progress:
By monitoring progress and reviewing what it does, the RSPB can ensure that it meets our objectives - and that it works effectively.

Raising awareness:
The RSPB focuses its media activity and involvement in events where it will have most effect. It communicates under the umbrella of ‘giving nature a home’ to help people understand who it is and what is does. The RSPB clearly and consistently promotes its identity and messages through its external communications and draws on a strong brand.

One of the RSPB's most important audiences is young people. Their future decisions will affect the environment – their understanding and involvement is vital for conservation. The RSPB works to increase young people's concern and active commitment to conservation issues by playing a leading role in both environment education and less formal activities. The RSPB has successfully influenced the content of the National Curriculum in England and Wales, helping pupils to develop awareness and understanding of the environment.

The RSPB works in partnership with many people and organisations, both in the UK and internationally. It works with industry, land managers, statutory and public bodies, local authorities and other conservation organisations to help give nature a home.

Action for Greening:
The RSPB is committed to using resources wisely and has an environmental policy and active 'greening' programme to help it conduct its activities in the most environmentally sensitive way. This programme addresses a wide range of activities from travel to use of energy, water, paper and other resources.

Political activity:
The RSPB is a charity and does not support any particular political party. It asks all those in the political arena to take the environment seriously in their decision-making. All RSPB activities fulfil the Society's charitable objectives and meet the UK Charity Commission Guidelines.

Working internationally:
The RSPB's international vision is to maintain the numbers, diversity and geographic distribution of the world's birds and to protect the world's most important sites and habitats. We support BirdLife Partner Organisations in 24 countries in Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Asia and the Middle East to become strong, independent BirdLife Partners and champion conservation action in the UK Overseas Territories. We work with other BirdLife Partners around the world to safe threatened species and tropical rainforests.

Where does the RSPB take action?
The RSPB takes action at local, regional, national and international level. In the UK, the RSPB's Headquarters are in Sandy, Bedfordshire but it also has country headquarters and offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with an additional network of six regional offices in England and three in Scotland.

RSPB nature reserves:
• The RSPB has over 200 nature reserves covering almost 130,000 hectares, providing homes to 80% of the UK’s rarest or most threatened bird species.
• Each year, over 2.5 million visits are made to RSPB nature reserves (2011/12)
• Active local community involvement is an important aspect of the RSPB's approach to reserve management

How does the RSPB fund its work?
The RSPB's income comes from membership subscriptions, legacies, fundraising, grants, business support, trusts and trading. The RSPB's cash reserves are very small. If the RSPB stopped earning money tomorrow, its cash reserves would last only ten weeks.

Recent Achievements

• The RSPB has over 200 nature reserves in the UK.
• In 2013, two TV adverts were made to convey brand messages and ask for support from 80% of the UK public who would have seen them.
• The RSPB and Crossrail are working in partnership to create the biggest man-made nature reserve in the UK at Wallasea Island.
• With other BirdLife partners, huge steps have been made to secure the future of vultures in India.
• We work with BirdLife Partners and others to protect and restore more than 240,000 hectares of tropical rainforests, including the groundbreaking Harapan Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia and the Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
• Over half a million people take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch each year, counting the birds in their garden or local park for an hour in January.

Did you know?