Exhibitor Spotlight

Exhibitor Spotlight: RSPB

Exhibitor Spotlight: RSPB

In the first of Volunteer Expo’s ‘Exhibitor Spotlight’ series, we hear from Alan Murray, Head of Volunteering at RSPB, about how volunteers are critical to the charity’s ongoing efforts to protect our wildlife.

At the RSPB we are passionate about nature and dedicated to saving it. Since we started on our mission in 1889, the threats to nature have continued to grow, but we’ve grown to meet them too. Nature is in big trouble, but we’ve got big plans to save it.

As an RSPB volunteer you’ll be part of those big plans – a team of amazing and dedicated people who donate their time, energy, talent and skills to help birds and other wildlife every day.

You’ll help to give nature a home now and for future generations to enjoy. From planting reed beds, tracking bird migrations and teaching children about wildlife, to raising funds for our work and advising on health and safety in our offices and on reserves, we depend on all kinds of passionate volunteers to help in every aspect of our work.

We cannot save nature without you. Whatever your skills or talents if you are passionate about nature you can volunteer with us to save it.

You can hear some of our volunteers stories on the RSPB website.

rspb volunteer expo

Alan Murray, Head of Volunteering at RSPB, has been with the organisation for more than 20 years.

One of our current volunteering projects is puffarazzi! Puffins are one of our favourite seabirds, instantly recognisable with their brightly-coloured bills. Sadly, their numbers have plummeted, and they’re now threatened with global extinction.

We think this may be down to lack of food, so we need to find out how the food puffins carry in their bills has changed over time.

We cannot save nature without you.”

This is where you come in. We’re asking you to become part of Project Puffin’s team of “Puffarazzi” by sending us photos that you have already taken of puffins with food in their bills (from any year and any colony), or visiting a colony this year and taking a photo.

This year we celebrated 40 years of one of our most iconic citizen science surveys and the world’s largest wildlife survey, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.

The concept is really simple grab a beverage of your choice, and possibly some cake, and spend an hour watching the birds in your garden and recording how many you see.

rspb volunteer expo

RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch has been running for 40 years, with close to half a million volunteers taking part each year.

Around half a million people regularly take part making it one of the biggest citizen science events around, as borne out by the stats.

  • Over 8 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979
  • The total number of birds counted as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch since 1979, is more than 130 million
  • In 2018, a staggering 8 million birds were counted during the Big Garden Birdwatch

It’s an impressive amount of data, and the great thing about 40 years of the Big Garden Birdwatch is that we now have four decades of comparative results. The findings provide an important insight into how our wildlife is faring.

The Big Garden Birdwatch alerted us to the decline in song thrush numbers. Back in 1979 song thrushes comfortably occupied the number ten spot, but numbers in gardens have declined by around 70% over the last 40 years, and they have dropped to 27th in the rankings.

“I always enjoy seeing a song thrush and love listening their song. They were always in the top ten seen during Big Garden Birdwatch but more recently they have dropped out, and we don’t see so many.”
– Ian Barthorpe, original Big Garden Birdwatch participant 40 years ago and still involved today.

“It’s a fact. We couldn’t do all our conservation work without our amazing volunteers.  Whether you’re a computer whizz or an outdoors type, there’s bound to be an RSPB volunteering opportunity that suits you.”
– Ann Kiceluk, People Director at RSPB

These are just two examples of how our volunteers are helping to save nature whatever time you have to spare.

rspb volunteer expo

RSPB have hundreds of volunteering opportunities across the country.

As Ann says we have lots of volunteering opportunities and there is bound to be one that suits your skills, interests and circumstances.

Why not join us and volunteer for a brighter future.

To find out more click visit the RSPB website.