Tag Archives: RSPB

Red Kite Reintroduction Flying High At Argaty

Spent yesterday afternoon at the Argaty Red Kite hide and would highly recommend a visit to Central Scotland’s only feeding station for these impressive raptors. Situated on a working farm, it’s a great example of wildlife conservation and farming coexisting and providing a valuable source of tourism revenue to the local economy.  Between 1989 and 2009, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage conducted an ambitious reintroduction project for this severely persecuted species, having become extinct in Scotland as a breeding bird during the late 19th Century following their once widespread population becoming decimated by sporting estates, egg collectors and taxidermy. With their help, Lerrocks Farm continues to play a vital role in their revival, through supplementary feeding and education. Continue reading Red Kite Reintroduction Flying High At Argaty


Twenty Years Of Raptor Persecution Detailed In New RSPB Report

The RSPB Scotland report highlights the plight of 779 birds of prey illegally killed in Scotland between 1994 and 2014.  Of this, 468 were found to be poisoned, 173 were shot and 76 perished in illegal traps.  The deaths included 104 Red Kites, 37 Golden Eagles, 30 Hen Harriers, 16 Goshawks and 10 White-tailed Eagles.  These figures reflect only verified cases involving a criminal element and so the true figure of birds of prey affected during this period will be considerably higher, with a further 305 credible incidents reported involving similiar methods of trapping; or the presence of toxic bait. Continue reading Twenty Years Of Raptor Persecution Detailed In New RSPB Report

England’s Most Endangered Wildlife To Benefit From Lottery Funding

A partnership of seven leading UK conservation organisations, led by Natural England, has been formed to protect the country’s most vulnerable wildlife; such as the Sand Lizard, Grey Long-eared Bat, Willow Tit and Duke of Burgundy Butterfly.  A total of 138 species will be protected by the new ‘Back From The Brink’ project, following the £4.6 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The money will be used to conserve 20 species which are deemed to be close to extinction, as well as providing resources to improve the survival rates of another 118 species and hopefully provide a long-term framework for wildlife conservation in which the government will work closely with charities and volunteers.

Continue reading England’s Most Endangered Wildlife To Benefit From Lottery Funding

Garden Rewilding

General June 2015 225

There’s been a lot of talk recently in Britain about grand plans for ‘ecological restoration’.  But what about rewilding on a smaller scale?  At a time when our garden wildlife is suffering from the effects of overly manicured lawns, pesticide-laden vegetation and a general lack of habitat connectivity, there’s never been a better time to inject some much needed wildness into your garden.  Here are some suggestions on how to go about it and some information on the species that could benefit as a result. Continue reading Garden Rewilding

IUCN Red List Update For Birds Released


Forty new species of bird have been reclassified in the latest worldwide inventory of being at risk of extinction, including four found in the United Kingdom:  the Atlantic Puffin, Slavonian Grebe, Turtle Dove and the Pochard.  The plight of Africa’s vultures is arguably the main headline, with four further species being upgraded from endangered to critically endangered.  Six of the continents eleven vulture species now possess this bleak status.  There are some positive stories to come out of     the findings though, which have been published by Birdlife International, on behalf of the IUCN.  Twenty-three species have been downgraded to lesser states of threat and highlight some important conservation successes, such as the Seychelles Warbler and Chatham Petrel.

Continue reading IUCN Red List Update For Birds Released


Ospreys, Hawks, Birds, Flying, Flapping, Wings, Nest

I had my first afternoon of osprey volunteering a couple of days ago and very interesting it was too.  The Tweed Valley Osprey Project is based near my home town of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, and is a partnership between the Forestry Commission Scotland and Kailzie Gardens.  Up until last year, it also had operational support from the RSPB.  These persecuted raptors became extinct in Britain around 1916, largely due to egg collection.  It wasn’t until 1954 that a pair returned naturally to the Highlands from Scandinavia and a further forty years before they were once again seen back in this region after an absence of more than a century.




So with the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch soon to take place across the country on the 24th and 25th January, I thought I’d make an early contribution.



George Monbiot’s ever-illuminating Guardian column brought this to my attention today and it could prove to be a landmark moment for the future protection of our ecosystems and wildlife, as well as our engagement with it.  The new Green Paper, compiled by the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts, underlines the current political apathy and resulting legislative deficiency for conserving and enhancing our flora and fauna.  It shines a light on the often underestimated importance of our relationship with the natural world and how vital it is for our own physical, mental and spiritual well-being.  One example of these disjointed and misguided government practices which give way to ecological bureaucracy and detachment is embodied in the ongoing attempts to conserve the Scottish Wildcat.