Blogger: Kate Blincoe, Communications Manager
What would be your Mastermind specialist subject? Like a party trick (I can twist my arm round 360 degrees), everyone should have one. I think my specialist subject would have to be Thomas the Tank Engine. I’ve studied his life, friends and various escapades in detail over the last few years. However, I have to admit, my young son is arguably more knowledgeable than me. If only they did phone a friend!
You may not be surprised to hear that many RSPB employees are bird experts and would probably choose avian topics as their subject. However, a fair few would choose moths, bats, spiders or even social media too. We are increasingly finding that knowing your birds is not enough; nature conservation is about so much more.
Wildlife and habitats are such complex, interconnected ecosystems, that to be a specialist in all fields is pretty challenging. Those that achieve it do so over a life time of passionate interest. For those of us a little younger, many of us go along with Socrates who said, ‘the only real wisdom is knowing you know nothing.’
The trick is involving someone who does have the highest level of expertise. Nature is in real trouble and if we are going to save it then we all need to work together. The more we do this, pooling expertise and resources, the more we’ll achieve.
We’ve recently joined forces with Buglife to enable both organisations to provide more and better advice on wildlife friendly farming in the region. Buglife are the experts on saving Britain's rarest little animals. With their help, we’ll now be able to advise farmers on protecting snails, bees, wasps, ants, spiders, beetles, butterflies and more.
Insects aren’t just something that ruin a picnic. They are vital for so many birds and creatures, so if we can look after them, then we are well on the way to a thriving ecosystem. Not to mention a healthy economy; recent figures indicate that the loss of bees would cost the UK £1.8 billion as we would have to hand pollinate all our crops.
We need the expertise of farmers too. They are the custodians of our land and know their patch like the back of their hand. Farmers have seen the changes over time and they are brilliantly placed to step up and save many special and vital species. Farmers, Buglife and the RSPB, all working together, starts to make the massive challenges ahead seem possible.
Sadly, I’m far from an insect expert. It would sound so much more impressive to have ‘entomology’ as my specialist subject. However, it is reassuring that the RSPB has got Buglife on our ‘phone a friend’ list.
Photo credit: Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com).jpg