Heathland at the Lodge RSPB reserve, UK headquaters of the RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire

Friends of The Lodge

  • 230 ha

    We have extended the land at The Lodge from 43 hectares
  • Over 4000

    species are found at this special reserve
  • New Heath

    enabled raven, hobby, nightjar and stonechat to breed

Why heathland is worth saving

Two hundred years ago heathland extended over great swathes of the UK including here in Bedfordshire. Today, less than 15% of this habitat remains and much that remains is damaged and not great for wildlife.

Heathland at The Lodge is vital for specialist wildlife such as stonechats, nightjars, mining bees and wasps and natterjack toads, and may soon become home to woodlarks and Dartford warblers.With your help we can create and maintain a wonderful home for this vulnerable heathland wildlife.

Your gift will help us complete our heathland vision, and help the RSPB create a vital heathland habitat in Bedfordshire.

Become a Friend of The Lodge by giving a regular gift. You will receive our newsletter, Impact, which will keep you updated on events at the reserve.

Dartford warbler backlit with prey, Arne RSPB reserve, Dorset

What we'll be doing

The Lodge has the largest area of heathland in Bedfordshire, and woodland that has great potential for birds, bats, beetles and fungi. Since 2005 we have restored around 40 hectares of heath and now need to make its management more sustainable.

Your donations will help to:

  • Introduce Dartmoor ponies to graze the heath. Install fencing where needed. 
  • Make a home for lesser spotted woodpeckers.
  • Encourage Dartford warblers by planting gorse and managing invasive birch and bracken.

We will reduce the number of conifers so that we can plant native broadleaf scrub and create new glades and rides and increase the amount of deadwood for lesser spotted woodpeckers and rare invertebrates. 2019 saw the disappearance of spotted flycatchers as a breeding species: the important woodland work we are doing will give them every opportunity to return.

Our gardens are being managed as an exemplar for wildlife gardening, to encourage others to do it themselves. We will continue to deliver events and provide natural play opportunities for children, to inspire the next generation of nature lovers, and we hope to add better visitor facilities, so that a visit to The Lodge is an even more enjoyable experience.

Mottled grasshopper clinging to heather on heath, The Lodge RSPB reserve

See the impact of your gift

So you can see the difference your regular gift will make to The Lodge, we’ll send you the RSPB’s Impact newsletter twice a year, either by post or email.