Our latest statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Monday 16 March 2020

A man enjoying a solitary walk through a woodland reserve

A message from RSPB Chief Executive Beccy Speight

Like you, I am concerned for the health and welfare of my family, friends and the wider community during this difficult situation. So, it is with a real sadness that I must tell you that we have now closed all our nature reserves to visitors until further notice.

As many of you have told me, being in nature can be a great comfort at a time like this and I recognise that not being able to visit these cherished places will come as a blow. However, we believe that this is the best course of action at this time.

Solace in nature

Nature is all around us. Perhaps, like me, you are able to look out of your window onto trees bursting into blossom, bright white against a clear blue sky, or maybe you can hear the melodic song of blackbirds as dusk approaches.

Watching wildlife, whether from a window or a balcony or even online, can offer many of us hope, joy and a welcome distraction, and so we are keen to help you carry on connecting with the natural world.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be sharing a wealth of ideas for how to enjoy nature at home, and to provide some inspiring and fun activities for families and others. 
As a charity our mission is for everyone to enjoy a world rich in wildlife, and we hope to continue to share that richness with you during this unprecedented time.

Best wishes and good health to all from everyone at the RSPB.

Beccy Speight

Chief Executive, The RSPB

 

Reserves updates: 24th March 2020 Urgent - statement on reserve closures

Following the latest clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home apart from a limited number of allowed activities, we are closing our reserves to visitors until further notice. This means we will close car parks, toilets and playgrounds to the public. These measures are on top of the existing closure of our visitor centres, cafes and shops. It is with great sadness that we ask people to refrain from visiting RSPB.

Our efforts will now move to helping the millions of people spending time at home. We are determined to do our bit to try and help connect people with the amazing wildlife to be seen in gardens or from balconies or windows, and offer some hope and joy in these difficult times.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will also be helping people to share their wildlife encounters and provide ideas for things they can do for wildlife close to home.

 

Reserves update: 23rd March 2020

We're currently keeping our sites open, where it is safe to do so. This includes toilets, playgrounds, hides and carparks. Some sites had to close because it has been unsafe to keep them open in terms of being able to maintain social distancing and therefore keep our staff, volunteers and the public safe. We're constantly reviewing the situation.

For us to be able to continue to keep our reserves open for you to enjoy the outdoors, we urge you to please be responsible and continue to follow government guidelines and keep a safe distance from other reserve visitors. We also ask that you stay local and only visit those places near to you to help us manage capacity, as well as limit unnecessary travel. We'll be updating any changes to the status of our reserves on our website and through social media, so please do check before you go.

 

Reserves update: 18th March 2020

Nature is always here for us

Following government advice, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close all our visitor centres, cafes and shops. As always, the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our priority.

However, we know that nature can be a powerful force for good in difficult circumstances. As many of you have told us, it can lift our spirits, educate us, inspire us, and provide a space for us to exercise and enjoy fresh air.

For this reason, we intend to keep as many of our nature reserves open for as long as possible for you to enjoy, and all entry and car park charges will be waived until further notice.

Welcome signs of spring

Nature has a remarkable way of restoring calm. As I write this, I can hear songbirds calling and see a pair of blue tits in my garden getting busy nest building - clear signs of spring and of birds busying themselves in readiness to raise chicks.

Over the coming days, we’ll be updating all our reserve webpages with the latest information on where you can visit. We only ask that should you visit, please follow the latest guidance on social distancing and take care to look after yourselves and others.

I want to personally thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during this challenging time for us all. We are so grateful for the support you provide for our work.

Best wishes and good health to all from everyone at the RSPB. Spring has sprung and we hope you’ll be able to take the opportunity to enjoy it.

With best wishes,

Beccy Speight 

Chief Executive, The RSPB

These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us but we hope that nature can provide a welcome respite in whichever form and where ever you may encounter it.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be helping people to share their wildlife encounters and provide ideas for things you can do for wildlife close to home.

Thank you for your ongoing support, patience and understanding at this challenging time.

The latest government information and advice on coronavirus can be found on the Department for Health and Social Care’s website.

 

16th March 2020

The RSPB is planning ahead, watching the unfolding situation and following Government advice. We are planning to ensure we can respond to a range of scenarios. Employees and volunteers are being kept up-to-date with the latest advice and information in order to ensure their health and wellbeing. 

All our nature reserves remain open, in line with government guidance. However, we advise anyone with any symptoms that may relate to COVID-19 - however mild - not to visit a RSPB reserve or event. We are reviewing the situation daily.

The latest government information and advice on coronavirus can be found on the Department for Health and Social Care’s website.

Last Updated: Monday 23 March 2020

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