The Charity That Forgot Its Mission
Britain’s millions of bird lovers come in many forms- from city dwellers feeding ducks in the park to rural heroes doing the backbreaking work of building bird habitats.
They include many farmers, wildlife volunteers and gamekeepers. These true bird lovers appreciate all types of birds and want all to flourish. They are also pragmatic. They know that foxes and cats are a nightmare for birds. They accept that you cannot have vast numbers of both birds of prey and songbirds. They are realistic that humans have been managing nature for thousands of years - and that there are often difficult choices.
If you have lots of goshawks today, you may have no kestrels tomorrow. Sparrowhawks reduce sparrow populations - the clue is in the name.
What disturbs many bird lovers is their perception that an organisation that once stood head and shoulders above the rest in defence of birdlife has gone astray. It’s not just that the RSPB recently relegated its “protecting birds” mission for a soft sell conservation image.
They fear that it has also sold its soul and become a giant fundraising machine where decisions are made not according to what is good for birds but what will keep the RSPB’s revenues growing. Their disquiet is that its hoovering up of charitable funds and single-issue campaigning is toxic to bird welfare.
“the RSPB recently relegated its ‘protecting birds’ mission”
Are their concerns valid? This website asks fair questions of the RSPB. Many, while believing that the charity does much good, will have their own questions. We are happy to pose them for you. Will the RSPB provide full answers? Or will its activist fringe simply shoot the messenger?
The Observer“... a charitable organisation drifting away from its principal purpose – to propagate all species of birds, rather than a chosen few; instead of acting as a model of evidence-based science, it seems to have turned increasingly into a lobbying body, more intent on boosting its membership than in propagating objective research.” Magnus Linklater
These ideologues tend to avoid hard questions by switching the focus to others. That’s not to say that others shouldn’t be challenged. There are tough questions to be asked about wildlife crime - from well known naturalists who encourage the stealing of eggs through to gamekeepers who persecute birds of prey.
The TelegraphLack of information means many donors are
”too disillusioned to give”