Giving Nature a Home in Northern Ireland

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Giving Nature a Home in Northern Ireland

The latest news on how we're Stepping up for Nature in Northern Ireland.
  • Invitation to quote

    Request for Quotation with fixed budget of £6500 of work to be completed by 31/3/2015




    Peatlands cover 13% of the land area of Northern Ireland but store over 40% of our soil carbon stock.  80% of peatlands in Northern Ireland are degraded to some extent which has implications for wildlife and water quality. Damaged peatlands will be less resilient to the pressures of a changing climate, which will have further implications for the natural resources they provide.


    The RSPB wish to promote the sustainable management of peatland, and other open habitats, on forestry land in Northern Ireland,  and the further restoration of these habitats under forestry, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Forest Service.  


    Key outputs will be maps showing areas which could be prioritised for open ground restoration and identification of a potential project area to be used as a demonstration site. The report will also provide a review of the current Forest Service Open Habitat Restoration Strategy to evaluate the Forest Service’s current strategic approach and make recommendations for its development.


    You are invited to quote in competition with others to provide goods / services as specified below:



    • Use peatland and Forest Service (under agreed licence agreement) datasets to map the extent of forestry on peat
    • Use Forest Service Data available from an extensive ecological survey of forestry land carried out during 2002-2005, which identifies areas of high biodiversity value that are not designated as ASSI or NNR
    • Use priority species data, land ownership data, drinking water catchments and designated site maps to prioritise areas for open ground restoration
    • Use of RSPB NI Futurescapes scoping maps to identify areas for open ground restoration (peatland and wet grassland)
    • Consult with NIEA to get up to date data on peatland condition and extent
    • Consult with NI Water to see which sites fall within drinking water catchments prioritised for investment through the Sustainable Catchment and Management Planning (SCaMP) project
    • Review LIFE peatland restoration projects undertaken in Ireland, and identify relevant learning in relation to site characteristics and restoration potential using different methodologies
    • Identify candidate restoration areas that would be suitable for demonstration purposes


    Write up

    • Produce a project report including a list of candidate peatland sites for tree removal and restoration. The Report should also include a review of the current Forest Service Open Habitat Restoration Strategy, and the effectiveness of restoration of current sites.


    Your quote should be emailed to by 14/01/2015


    If you wish to discuss any aspect of this quote prior to submitting, please email  


    Yours faithfully;

    John Martin, Senior Conservation Officer


    Belvoir Park Forest,

    Belfast, BT8 7QT


    Name of Company















    VAT registration number (if applicable)


    Name of person applying on behalf of the company





    Are you able to meet the specification in full? If so please give details below

    If not please state any differences in goods / service offered

    Specification met?  Yes /No (tick as appropriate)












    Please outline your experience of competing similar projects (use a separate page if necessary)



    Cost for providing goods/services, as outlined in specifications

    £      + VAT



    Added Value

    The RSPB is always open to corporate partnerships that deliver benefit to both your organisation, the RSPB and nature. Working as part of your CSR agenda we can provide opportunities for fundraising, secondments, interns and volunteering, offering your staff both personal and career development opportunities. We also welcome all forms of gifts in kind as valuable contributions to our work to Give Nature a Home.


    Tenderers should provide details of any associated added value features/services/gifts in kind available to the RSPB under the terms of this Tender. (Attach separate document if needed)


    Terms and Conditions

    The basis of the contractual agreement between RSPB and the applicant is detailed in the RSPB Terms and Conditions – please click on this link to download. In applying for this work you are explicitly agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions for the duration of the contract. If you require any alternations to these Terms and Conditions please state your issues below. (Attach separate document if needed)






    On behalf of







    Please note: a name added in an electronic document is functionally equivalent to a signature.

  • Nature under threat

    Blog by RSPB NI Policy Advocacy Officer Colum Delaney.

    RSPB NI believes that nature in Northern Ireland is under threat from deep and broad budget cuts. You can join us in standing up to save nature by taking a couple of minutes to feed into the public consultation to protect our environment.

    The latest budget allocations demonstrate that the natural environment is not seen as a government priority. Disproportionate cuts to the Department of the Environment (DoE) budget (11.1% of its spend) means that ‘front-line’ services and projects which protect and enhance the places and wildlife we hold dear, will be lost.

    A short-sighted approach to funding the natural environment will mean that many of the benefits of a clean thriving environment could be lost. We rely on our environment for so many things, including clean water and air, carbon storage, flood protection and access to green spaces - which helps our physical and mental well-being. We often hear people say that the economy is the priority, but do not recognise that the environment is the economy.

    The proposed cuts to the DoE budget will have a major impact:

    • Important environmental outcomes could be threatened due to cuts to a significant proportion of the DoE workforce.
    • The Natural Heritage Grant to many environmental NGOs will be cut, meaning that many of the projects which directly provide important environmental outcomes will cease.
    • Northern Ireland could leave itself open to large fines if it can no longer effectively meet EU obligations and Directives.


    What would this mean for RSPB?

    • Threatened species become extinct and habitats are lost. RSPB NI manages 2,636 ha of land as nature reserves in Northern Ireland, they support important populations of threatened species such as the chough, curlew, Irish lady’s tresses orchid, Irish whitebeam and red squirrel. Funding for this work is provided by the NIEA through the Natural Heritage Grant Programme and is threatened by cuts.

    • Our out of classroom learning programme ends. Currently the RSPB engages with approximately 15,000 pupils and 400 trainee teachers, giving young people valuable opportunities to learn about the natural world. This programme is now under threat.


    Are there solutions?

    Whilst the situation is perilous, the RSPB does believe that there are some solutions:


    Challenge Fund/Carrier Bag Levy: We believe that there is an onus on the Department to find innovative and creative ways to reallocate the Carrier Bag Levy money (£4.25m) to ensure that it is funding priority work, including the Natural Heritage Fund.

    Remaining balance of budget: We believe that the £1.2m balance of budget remaining should re-directed to fund the programmes in the current grants programme that deliver DoE targets, including meeting EU Directives and thus reducing the risk of infraction, and have the ability to lever in additional funds (creating a multiplier effect).

    Reallocation of Treasury funds: The RSPB understands that following the recent Autumn Statement by George Osborne, an extra £67 million is now available to the NI Executive to spend. We recommend that the Department of the Environment bids for a proportion of this funding, to plug the gap from the loss of the Natural Heritage Fund.


    What you can do

    The draft budget consultations remain open until the 29th December 2014. Make your voice heard by sending a short response to the DoE. Please consider telling the DoE of your concerns for the natural environment, your concerns for what this could mean for the RSPB’s work, and the potential solutions. Please feel free to use some of the points set out above. You can write to the address below or email

    Anthony Carleton

    Director of Finance and Business Planning

    Room 6-15

    Clarence Court

    10-18 Adelaide Street


    BT2 8GB

  • Beached Seabirds

    Seabirds face many different threats, both man made and natural. Birds may be storm-wrecked by adverse weather conditions that exhaust them and sometimes very large numbers can be affected. Oil and other pollution may kill or injure birds. Seabirds may also be accidentally caught and killed in fishing gear in some circumstances. In all cases, live and dead seabirds may be found ashore. Last year, for example, winter storms killed at least 28,000 seabirds in the NE Atlantic.

    We carry out an annual Beached Bird Survey, in order to monitor and record numbers of beached seabirds so that we can identify pollution or other incidents and, as appropriate, take action with partner NGOs and the statutory agencies.

    What should you do if you find a beached bird?

    Apart from this survey, we are interested in hearing from members of the public who find dead seabirds ashore.

    The information we need is:

    • Date of finding birds
    • Location of birds (a grid reference is ideal, but a postcode will do)
    • How many birds you found
    • Species of birds – a description/photo is helpful for identification (see ID guidance below).
    • Details of any obvious pollution (oil or other substance)
    • Your name and contact details (so we can contact you for more information if necessary).

    The more detail the better and photos are helpful, but please do not handle birds.

    If a bird appears to be alive, try to find a local vet who may be able to help.

    Example:  “14 February 2014, 2 dead guillemots, no visible injuries, plumage dirty from beach but no obvious sign of any pollutant and 1 unidentified dead gull, clean-looking, found at west end of Summertime Bay, Dorset by Jill Bloggs”

    Please send your report to

    Please DO NOT deliberately go looking for seabirds on beaches in stormy and dangerous conditions.

    Pollution and other incidents affect many species.  In winter some species have a less colourful plumage (eg, divers and grebes, puffins) and some immature birds look different from adults (eg, young gulls have brown plumages while young razorbills and puffins lack the broad bills of adults).

    Some of the species that may be affected in incidents (not to scale). 







     (the only gull with black legs)





    Great northern diver

    Great skua     



     All artwork: Mike Langman (  

    To look for other species, please see the RSPB’s bird identifier