Knot Calidris canutus at a high tide wader roost at Freiston Shore RSPB reserve. Also in the flock are Dunlin Calidris alpina. The Wash. Lincolnshire, England.

The RSPB's role

The RSPB has assisted the development and implementation of the Birds Directive in many ways.

How the RSPB was involved

  • Campaigning for the Directive during the late 1970s - we also assisted in its drafting.
  • Supporting bird surveys to identify Important Bird Areas, for consideration for protection as Special Protection Areas.
  • Assisting the UK Government, country administrations and statutory conservation bodies, in the development of SPA site selection guidelines, and their application.
  • Promoting protection for Special Protection Areas in planning documents and other land use strategies. We also help to identify best practice policies and disseminate them between planning authorities.
  • Acting as a ‘watchdog’ to spot development proposals that might damage sites - where appropriate, objecting to damaging developments. We also assist with site monitoring to help assess site condition. If deterioration in site quality is detected, we will press for remedial action to be taken by the appropriate agencies.
  • We support the protection and positive management of SPAs through the RSPB reserve network. Some 60 per cent of the RSPB’s reserve holding has been designated SPA, that is 802 square kilometres of 1,340 square kilometres. In total, the RSPB helps to conserve 5.5 per cent of the total SPA area of 14,475 square kilometres in the UK.
  • The RSPB has lead on ground-breaking research that demonstrates the Birds Directive works. In turn we have used this evidence to support better implementation of the laws to protect nature.
 Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra), Balranald nature reserve, North Uist, Scotland.