About Us – Helping Reverse the Scandalous Decline in the Population of British (uk) Songbirds

About Us

I started this website in 2010 with true sadness and a passion to try and help reverse the tragic decline in the number of British songbirds.

Starting in the 1980s, myself and a few other nature lovers, began to notice their decline. In approx 1981 we began writing to magazines, newspapers and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (R.S.P.B)

It was not uncommon to have to wait 4-6 months for a reply. When it came, all our letters of concern were dismissed as “ignorant and wrong“. Only the R.S.P.B. knew what was right!

And today, nothing much has changed for what’s left of our singing garden birds. This is both sickening and alarming. Especially as we have thrown money in the  R.S.P.B.’s direction for years. Our naive hope was that they would do something to protect our country’s lovely singing birds.

Instead of offering support, much of the birds’ decline is largely due to the R.S.P.B.’s policies. Their attitude is truly shocking and shameful.

SparrowPeople often used to say to me “Where have all our sparrows gone?” Nowadays, nobody bothers to even ask.

Why? As time goes by, fewer and fewer people can remember those glorious dawn choruses of yesteryear.

NOT hearing the birds has now become the “norm.” And people go about their business blissfully unaware of what they have lost with the sad decline of these chirpy British birds.

But what could we have done to save them?

As far back as the 1950s, it was clear that vicious grey squirrels were killing and eating sparrows and millions of other garden birds. A sensitive cull before it was too late would have really helped.

Here is another thing … Britain is a nation of “cat-lovers” yet these are the cause of 75 million bird deaths per annum.

Nowadays we seldom see one example of over 80 different species of the beautiful British garden birds that were once part of all of our everyday lives. They flourished in our gardens, backyards, parks and squares. We heard them singing as we walked around town, or on a day out in the country.

Those of us with longer memories miss hearing all these lovely singing birds whose calls added richly to the wonderful soundscape of our lives.

Prof Roy Brown warns that if we are to help these birds survive, let alone increase their numbers, society must wake up to the fact that predators need to be controlled. In spite of these specific warnings, the R.S.P.B. continues to ignore the huge increase in prey raptors, such as hawks.

Instead, they actively protect those very birds of prey that are guilty of killing thousands of other birds and mammals. They callously ignore something which is so patently clear and obvious. This does nothing to enhance their already dwindling reputation.

In areas of high grey-squirrel density, more than 93% of birds’ nests are being raided. When this is combined with sparrowhawk activity it can result in 100% of breeding failure for our singing garden birds.

The crazy thing is that these birds would start returning if predator control was gradually introduced. There is no room for complacency about the damage being wreaked by predator scavengers. Their populations are being allowed to spiral out of control. If this situation is left unchecked, what a sad legacy this would be for Britain.

In many civilized countries, limited sensitive culling of particular predators is regarded as an act of conservation. Unfortunately here, in the UK when seen through the eyes of the R.S.P.B., it is supposedly “an intolerable outrage”.

Hence most culls have been made unthinkable despite the fact that they would be a sound conservational practice.

Ten years ago I visited three of the R.S.P.B.’s Welsh sites and all I saw even then were predators and scavengers.

If only the R.S.P.B. would open their eyes and wake up to reality. Even acting alone they could secure a healthy future for birds and animals and restore for humans a remarkable soundscape of birdsong. I guess we can only live in hope!