The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the BirdLife PartnerFounded in: 1889
Address: The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL, UK
Mission of the organisation
The RSPB is the UK charity working to secure a healthy environment for birds and wildlife, helping to create a better world for us all. The RSPB’s work is driven by a passionate belief that:
- birds and other wildlife enrich people’s lives
- the health of bird populations reflects the health of the planet, on which our future depends
- we all have a responsibility to protect biodiversity
How does RSPB take action?
The problems facing wild birds and the environment are large and complex. To make the greatest impact, the RSPB focuses on priority species, habitats and sites, and sets clear objectives for each.
RSPB takes action by:
- Monitoring and analysis
- Identifying the changes and problems facing wild birds, wildlife and the environment. The RSPB then focuses action where it is most needed;
Setting 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 understand more about the problems facing wild birds and the environment - and to find solutions.
Action is determined by carefully considered and detailed strategies and plans. The RSPB implements species and habitat action plans and promotes them at international, national, regional and local levels.
The RSPB protects wildlife and habitats and manages nature reserves for biodiversity. It advises and informs the public, influences government action and policy, and works and campaigns internationally.
By monitoring progress and reviewing it does, the RSPB can ensure that it meets our objectives - and that it works effectively.
The RSPB focuses its media activity and involvement in events where it will have most effect. It communicates in ways that achieve a more accurate understanding among its key audiences of who it is and what is does. The RSPB clearly and consistently promotes its identity and messages through all its staff and volunteers' external communications.
One of the RSPB's most important audiences is young people. Their future decisions will affect the environment – their understanding and involvement if 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 provide a better future for wildlife and the environment.
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, Action for Greening, addresses a wide range of activities from travel to use of energy, water, paper and other resources.
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.
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.
Where does the RSPB take action?
The RSPB takes action at local, regional, national and international level. The RSPB's UK Headquarters is in Sandy, Bedfordshire. There are also country headquarters and offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and a network of six regional offices in England and three in Scotland.
RSPB nature reserves:
- The RSPB owns or manages 190 nature reserves across the UK
- RSPB nature reserves are home to 85% of the rarest or most threatened bird species in the UK
- RSPB nature reserves cover more than 129,337 hectares
- Each year, over one million visits are made to RSPB nature reserves
- 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 and trusts. The RSPB's cash reserves are very small. If the RSPB stopped earning money tomorrow, its cash reserves would last only three months
- Native Red Kites continued their increase in Wales, with well over 500 pairs in 2004, from just over 30 only 30 years ago, and White-tailed Eagles were reintroduced to Scotland with 32 birds rearing 19 young birds in 2004. The Corncrake, continued to increase following RSPB action, with 1,059 males in 2004, 579 more than in 1993 and a further increase in booming male Bitterns on RSPB reserves saw the UK passing its 2010 target of 50 booming males six years early
- The RSPB added 59 hectares (146 acres) of land to The Lodge nature reserve around its UK headquarters in Bedfordshire. The land will be restored to heathland
- At the RSPB’s Hope Farm in Cambridgeshire more than 100 species have been seen at the farm since its purchase. In 2000, there were 10 pairs of Skylarks on the 180 hectare farm; by the summer of 2003, there were 27, in the same pattern of crops
- With strong backing form local people and local authorities, the RSPB successfully opposed a proposed airport at Cliffe, Kent. More than 150,000 members wrote to the Government demanding that this outrageous plan, which would have destroyed vast protected areas of special conservation importance and left hundreds of thousands of birds with nowhere to go, should be stopped
- In 2004, RSPB membership reached 1,041,712, the eighth year in succession with more than a million members
- The support of volunteer letter writers helped the RSPB win an award for setting the political agenda at the annual Political Studies Association (PSA) Awards in recognition of the RSPB as one of the UK’s most effective campaigning groups
- The RSPBs long running survey, Big Garden Birdwatch, grew from 314,000 counters in 2003 to 419,000 in 2004 – an astonishing number for a garden bird count