Giving Normality A Miss

RSPB: Not Good For Dinner Parties

A few years ago the RSPB realised that it had an image problem. Bird enthusiasts can often seem obsessive - and full-time bird enthusiasts more so. So the RSPB commissioned an opinion poll. It asked the standard question about who people would like to sit next to at a dinner party. Twenty job types were given. RSPB officials came 19th. Just ahead of a donkey sanctuary executive. The inconsistencies that this website is revealing are down to the RSPB being so obsessional about single issues e.g. hen harriers, that it can’t see the bigger picture. Its supporters are different.

Polling shows that only 17% of RSPB’s supporters think that birds of prey are more important than songbirds. The RSPB is pushing for heavier restrictions on grouse shooting - but only 13% would support that if it was at the expense of scarce rural jobs. The monolithic RSPB has alienated the community in Forsinard over its big building project there - and sacked a cleaner for speaking out about it.

The RSPB’s polling and its marketing relaunch indicate a desire to modernise. But like nearly every other British institution has found, it’s very easy to drift a long way from those you claim to serve.


Fair Questions

  1. Will the RSPB publish the donkey sanctuary survey in full?
  2. Will it list how many of its 2,000 staff regularly get their hands dirty creating bird habitats or feeding birds?
  3. Will it explain whether any other UK charity employs more fundraisers, PRs and lobbyists than itself?