Fireworks and wild birds
The issue of fireworks and their impact on wild birds is a common cause for concern, especially around Bonfire Night in November.
The RSPB monitors both the legal situation and relevant research to ensure that wild bird conservation is not harmed or compromised. We particularly urge firework display organisers to avoid locating near to sensitive wildlife areas, such as nature reserves and roosting sites for wild birds.
The RSPB liaises closely with the RSPCA on issues that have strong welfare implications – such as the use of fireworks. We are working with the recently-established National Campaign for Firework Safety, which aims to reduce the negative impacts of fireworks on people and animals.
Currently, the only legal restriction on the use of fireworks that will protect wildlife prevents the intentional or reckless disturbance of rare birds (these species are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act).
Due to their popularity, it is difficult to envisage there ever being a permanent and total ban, but there may well be grounds for restricting their use. So far, there is little to suggest that fireworks harm wild birds or affect their conservation status. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and research to ensure the best course of action for wild bird conservation.