July, 2011

Our work

Our work
You might be surprised to read that our work is far broader than nature reserves and Big Garden Birdwatch. Read more about what else we do.

Bugs, Birds and Beasts in the East

All of our up to date fun and frolics in the East from office antics to great conservation stories and those magical connections with nature.
  • What do you do in the bath?

    Blogger: Adam Murray, Communications Officer

    What do you do in the bath? Every evening I have a bath with my 8 month old and we soak the bathroom playing with his plastic animal toys. When I was in the bath the other day I couldn’t help going through each of the different aquatic beasties and telling stories about them and my adventures (it’s a daddy’s prerogative). Pelicans on the California coast, green turtles from Guam, spinner dolphins in New Zealand, night diving with squid in Thailand and crabbing in Walberswick (keeping it nice and local). Then it hit me, wouldn’t it be devastating if within his life time my little chief would not have the same opportunities as me to see these majestic marine marvels.

     

    As well as a passion and drive to make a difference we need the science behind conservation so that we can make informed decisions. Luckily, there are people out there that are doing this work with the RSPB being at the forefront of bird conservation science. Here are a few examples of those people championing the different inhabitants of the seas:

    Birds: RSPB, UK (you know what we do right?)

    Mammals: Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, UK (experts in policy)

    Crustaceans: Chesapeake Bay Program, USA (local industry and conservation partnerships)

    Reptiles: WWF, International (flagship species based conservation)

    Cephalopods: Cephalopod Behavioural Research, UK  (John Messenger is my old lecturer from my Uni days)

    As ever though, this science and passion is sometimes not enough. We need people to support us in our fight, helping us to shout louder or donating so that more science can carried out. Do you want to be part of making sure that the memories of these animals are not left to stories around the bath tub? Find out more by signing our petition to safeguard our seas here.

    Note: No crabs or dolphins were harmed in the making of this blog post.

  • Now that's what I call a Summer Megamix

    Blogger: Adam Murray, Communications Officer

    In the words of Dodgy (the 90’s indie band) “I'm staying out for the summer, playing games in the rain”. What a great attitude to have – get out there regardless. We tend to fall into two categories with regards to summer. The optimist: “Wahey, here comes summer, it’s going to be great” or the pessimist “Here comes the summer, bet it rains as usual”. Which category do you fall into?  The summer is a very evocative time, think about those ever lasting summers when you were a kid, fishing for sticklebacks, making dens and homemade bows and arrows. Even now, remembering that glorious day with friends one summer with a perfect barbeque or sipping gin and tonics in the garden. This is why the good, the bad and the ugly of the music world have carved up some classic tunes that put a smile on your face. Just take a look at some of these tunes and see if they bring back memories of those golden days:

    Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald

    In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry

    Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

    Summer in the City by the Lovin Spoonful

    Summertime Blues by The Lebron Brothers

    Staying out for the Summer by Dodgy

    When it is good, a British summer can be very very good, when it’s bad it’s rubbish. Or is it? The beauty of getting out there regardless of the weather is that you it is better than being indoors, sitting in front of the TV, computer or games consoles. So if you have nearest and dearest who air on the pessimistic side of summer, get them out there, visit one of our reserves and make those memories. In the heartfelt words of Ella Fitzgerald “Summer time and the living is easy”.

  • Swiftly moving on

    Blogger: Erica Howe, Communications Manager

    This morning was one of the first morning’s i haven’t heard them in weeks. I live in a city centre, the heart of the action with houses crammed in wall to wall and although it’s a busy place to live, it’s not our neighbours who have been making all of the noise! For the last few weeks, i have been going to bed and waking up to the sound of the screaming swifts playfully darting above our roof tops. They sound like fireworks going off as they all come streaking past my window.

    But their absence this morning reminded me that they won’t be in the country for much longer. As we near the end of August and our summer starts the cool journey into autumn where the leaves turn a vibrant shade of red, these hardy little creatures will start their journey down south across the African deserts for the winter. To be honest, i’m a little bit jealous! What is there to dislike about spending spring and summer in England and then cruising over to another continent for the some winter sun?

    Having said that, It’s no easy ride taking the flight over there. They have to refuel on the wing, even sleep whilst flying and then who knows what greets them when they arrive. Will their habitat still be there, will there be any water or food? I certainly wouldn’t go on holiday if my hotel had been destroyed and there was nowhere to stay!  Migration is an intriguing concept, one of the many wonders of the natural world.

    The BTO issued a media release yesterday that highlighted some of the lucky species that seem to be doing rather well despite such a tough commute. Sadly and as is now often the way, there is another side to the coin. Some of our more nostalgic summer visitors are in big trouble. Population declines are happening in devastating numbers and we still don’t really know the whole picture.

    For now, I will enjoy and take great pleasure in hearing the swifts soar above my house and i will keep my fingers crossed that they are still abundant next April.