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Celebrating 50 years of RSPB groups

Logo: RSPB

Did you know the first RSPB groups were in Epping Forest (now North East London group), Bath, Coventry and Newcastle, all established in 1969?

We have nearly 150 groups around the UK. They are the face and voice of the RSPB in local communities - groups of people working together to reallymake a difference for nature where it counts

Logo: Celebrating 50 years of RSPB groups

Highlights - since 1969 RSPB groups have:

  • Raised over £25 million for saving nature 
  • Given over 12 million volunteer hours
  • Led over 120,000 guided walks showing people wildlife
  • Held over 80,000 wildlife talks open to the public
  • Inspired a generation with thousands and thousands of talks in schools and communities, radio and tv interviews, attending events, writing news articles, websites and social media
  • Published over 33,000 newsletters distributed in local communities

21st century stars of RSPB groups

Jean Crouch (RSPB)
Jean Crouch (RSPB)

Jean Crouch, Stockport group

Stockport Local Group leader Jean Crouch explains how she got involved with local groups initially and why she’s still going along 40 years later…“Over 40 years ago my daughter’s friend’s Mum and I decided that there was more to life than bringing up a family and working in the NHS! In 1979 a local group was starting up in Stockport, so naturally we went along to support it. As the group developed we not only held monthly indoor meetings, to which guest speakers were invited, but also ran coach trips, car trips and local walks. We were able to meet and make new friends, broaden our knowledge of birds and discover new places to

visit. Without the local group I would never have gained the confidence, knowledge or interest in the environment and wildlife, or achieve all of the things that I now do. This has filled a void since retiring from full time work. You do not have to get involved in volunteering, but for company and an opportunity to go to places and see new things, I thoroughly recommend you join your nearest local group.”

Sarah Hookway (RSPB)
Sarah Hookway (RSPB)

Sarah Hookway, Norwich group

Sarah spends one to two hours a week volunteering for RSPB Norwich Local Group in her social media role and is also a physics teacher at a secondary school. ‘That’s one of the reasons I do this role. I feel a responsibility to get younger people involved in conservation and volunteering. My advice to anyone considering getting involved is to do it. Local groups need a wide range of people to take on roles likes fundraiser, treasurer and communications. If you’ve got a skill to offer, you shouldn’t be scared to speak to people. It’s only one or two hours a week. My group is very friendly and welcoming and they make my contribution feel worthwhile.’

Jane Tyler (RSPB)
Jane Tyler (RSPB)

Jane Tyler, Bromley group

Jane arranges speakers for RSPB Bromley Local Group and tells us of an unexpected benefit to her recent marathon training. “I live in a city with plenty of beautiful green spaces and it was a pleasure to run through them as I trained for the London Marathon this year. This also, of course, gave me a marvellous opportunity to enjoy seeing and hearing bird song, whatever the weather! I’ve been lucky enough to hear skylarks in spring, whitethroats and blackcaps in the hedgerows and trees, and seen green woodpeckers foraging on the ground.  I’ve also seen redwing and fieldfare stripping the holly berries in winter, heard mistle thrushes churring, and once the sound of a cuckoo!

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