Working with conservation organisations
Launched in 2017, Back from the Brink is an ambitious project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to save 20 species from extinction across England, and benefit more than 200 others. The RSPB is one of eight key partners and the lead on four projects supporting field crickets, little whirlpool ramshorn snails, black-tailed godwits (in tandem with Project Godwit and WWT) and willow tits (with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust).
Blueprint for Water
As well as supporting the conservation of species, we also play a key role in shaping wider environmental management. For instance, the RSPB is a member of Blueprint for Water, the freshwater working group of Wildlife and Countryside Link. Water companies in the UK have a huge role to play in environmental stewardship, investing over £1 billion per year in the environment.
In England and Wales they are currently drawing up their business plans for 2020–2025, as part of the Periodic Review 2019 (PR19). The RSPB has led the campaign to develop environmental priorities for PR19, which include protecting and restoring catchments from the source to the sea; stopping water pollution; and ensuring that wetlands are protected.
New web-based toolkit
We've also led the production of the Woodland Wildlife Toolkit, alongside conservation NGOs and statutory agencies. This web-based advice tool is designed to give users tailored habitat management advice, including specific guidance on priority species in their local area. The toolkit has been tested by a range of potential users and final alterations are being made. We hope to fully launch it in 2019.
Working with businesses
As well as working closely with conservation organisations, the RSPB has also forged strong partnerships with a range of businesses, including CEMEX-UK a quarrying and cement-producing company, with sites all over the UK.
In 2010, the RSPB helped CEMEX develop its Biodiversity Strategy, which included ambitious plans to develop 1,000 hectares of priority habitat from worked-out quarries by 2020. Together, we achieved this goal two years ahead of schedule and the new habitat is now home to a range of wildlife, including threatened twites, choughs and turtle doves.
idverde is the largest greenspace management company operating in the UK. We are working together in Bromley to pilot an innovative way to improve the 2,800 hectares they manage for nature and people. So far we have developed plans to restore heaths and mires, and to regenerate extensive areas of native woodland to benefit vulnerable species, such as the lesser spotted woodpeckers.
Working with farmers
Finally, we know that people are stronger together – and that includes nature-friendly farmers! That's why we're working with the farmer-led Nature Friendly Farming Network.
Since its launch in January 2017, 500 farmers have become members, each united in their desire to make farming more productive and better for wildlife. The network also has 850 public members and together they have a strong political voice, which is helping to influence important decisions about post-Brexit agricultural policy. Find out more at nffn.org.uk.