Emily Williamson has been ruffling feathers for over one hundred and thirty years and yet you may not have heard of her.
In 1889 she created ‘The Society for the Protection of Birds’ in order to combat the use of bird feathers in fashion and work to prevent extinctions of some of our beautiful creatures.
She was joined in her campaign by other ladies and, as their activities and influence grew, they were provided with a Royal Charter in 1904 and became our beloved RSPB, ‘the largest nature conservation charity in the UK’.
The Britain that Emily knew was vastly different to the one we inhabit. Thankfully that caring seed she planted has grown into a fabulous organisation that provides a wealth of knowledge to all who are interested in learning more about our feathered friends, the environment we share and how to preserve as much as possible for future generations. Along the way the society provides us with magical memories and experiences by introducing us to and reminding us of so many natural wonders that we may otherwise miss.
If you have stood and been captivating by a ‘murmuration of starlings’, watched ducklings with their parents, seen puffins waddle, spotted birds of prey in the sky or felt a thrill at the passage of the year as formations of geese arrive overhead, you’ll understand why the RSPB is a body we care about and enjoy providing support to, even in small ways.
They manage 222 reserves across the United Kingdom and so you are likely to be near at least one. Check the map, find one near you and go for a walk there, who knows what you may see and discover.
We all have a reserve on our doorstep, it may be a window sill, a balcony or a garden.
There are countless ways you can get closer to birds from putting up feeders to choosing plants that encourage healthy insect populations. A passion for wildlife gives back much more than you may first imagine.
Which birds stop singing and when? How many birds do you recognise where you walk? Which is your favourite bird?
Last year someone mentioned the Merlin Bird App to us, from Cornell Labs it is a wonderful way to use technology and recognise bird song. It’s another layer of enjoyment.