Rich places for wildlife
As we look back on the past year, it’s impossible not to mention our Minsmere reserve in Suffolk, which celebrated its 70th birthday with a series of events. Minsmere is home to some of the UK’s rarest wildlife including avocets, bearded tits and bitterns. But it’s not just Minsmere. All our reserves are incredibly rich places for wildlife. A staggering 16,000 species are present on our 218 nature reserves, which cover a total of 152,791 hectares. We’re constantly working to ensure that our reserve network provides the most suitable conditions for these species.
On our reserves
RSPB reserves support more than 10% of the UK wintering population of about 35 species. The majority of wetland bird species are faring well on RSPB reserves, as are our priority heathland species, whilst farmland and upland species, and seabirds, show more variable trends. 93% of UK land mammal species occur on RSPB reserves and we are pleased to have found dormice at Radipole Lake in Dorset and Exminster Marshes in Devon, adding to our four other reserves that host this beguiling rodent.
We have identified 65 priority bird species, on which we report the population status across our reserve network. Of these, 40 are faring well; 13 are struggling, but we have identified measures to increase their populations; and 12 are faring poorly, mostly due to factors beyond our control. Our work over the coming months will be focusing on improving the outcomes for these bird species.