Students using their skills for good

Our successes: people

It’s no exaggeration to say that without people, conservation work simply couldn’t happen.

We've done it!

It’s no exaggeration to say that without people, conservation work simply couldn’t happen.

What will happen to environmental laws post Brexit?

Currently, UK wildlife is protected by strong EU laws. With uncertainties around Brexit, we’re gearing up to address this governance gap and campaign to develop strong environmental laws.

Nature Matters NI was formed to campaign for a nature-friendly future in Northern Ireland post-Brexit, a coalition of RSPB NI, NI Environment Link, National Trust and Ulster Wildlife.

In Scotland, 37 environmental charities including RSPB Scotland have come together to form “Fight for Scotland’s Nature” and campaign for a Scottish Environment Act.

In Wales, we’re participating in a task and finish group to develop proposals on how to secure environmental principles and governance in Wales.

We’re calling for a new ”watchdog” to provide advice on environmental law and how it is followed. Wales has recently passed legislation on sustainable development and the environment, but we’re calling for even greater ambition.

The first English Environment Bill for more than 20 years will shortly be brought before Westminster. The RSPB is a member of the Greener UK Coalition, alongside the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, the Woodland Trust and others. We believe the draft Environment Bill doesn’t go far enough, and we’re proposing tough amendments.

We won’t rest until UK wildlife is protected in law.

Greener UK

Farmers unite for nature

The Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) unites farmers across the UK who are passionate about wildlife and sustainable farming. The RSPB is one of the official advisory partners and together, we’ve made a massive impact in the last year.

The NFFN network is free to join and more than 900 farmers and 2,000 members of the public are now working together to share knowledge and ensure their views on the future of farming are being heard by UK policy makers.

The NFFN is a farmer-led movement and in the last year, a UK farmer steering group was established as well as country-level steering groups to help drive the network forward across the UK.

In October, the NFFN held its first parliamentary event at Westminster under the banner of “Nature Means Business” and 38 nature-friendly farmers from across the UK met MPs to lobby for an Agriculture Bill that puts nature at the heart of farming policy. All 22 of the MPs involved agreed with the NFFN message that long-term food security and food production can only be secured by ensuring nature friendly and sustainable farming methods.

Farm tractor

Students using their Skills for Good

In November 2018, the RSPB joined forces with the NUS to deliver Skills for Good, a programme designed to equip students with the skills to have a positive impact  on the environment or nature.

The programme was offered to students from the Universities of Stirling and Strathclyde and 15 dedicated young people applied to attend bespoke training sessions over the course of five months. These sessions covered topics from project management and leadership, to sustainable development and nature connection.

The final two months were student led, with the students encouraged to develop sustainable initiatives themselves. Some focused on spaces that were meaningful for them: for example, one created a plan to make their family farm more wildlife-friendly, while another developed a business plan to help a community in India tackle wildlife persecution. Other approaches included spreading awareness through social media and blogs and organising litter picks and clothes swaps on campus.

This was the first RSPB project specifically tailored to university students. We’re keen to find a way to take forward what we’ve learned and deliver the programme again in a sustainable way, to empower future students to take action for nature.