I’m a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds because I like birds. Of course I know that birds are just one part of nature. But I look to RSPB to protect, campaign for, teach about and celebrate birds.
While I consider the RSPB to be a great and effective organisation, commanding respect and authority, I’m disappointed that the members’ magazine Birds is to be renamed Nature’s Home. This twee and fatuous title does no credit to the RSPB’s image. I do not recall any consultation with the members. I was one of the 497 (88 per cent) who voted against the change in Mark Avery’s poll in the summer.
But the real irritation came this week with the arrival of our new membership-cards. I am a joint member with my partner. One card showed guillemots—fine, they’re what RSPB is about.
The other showed a water vole—sweet and cuddly but not directly what RSPB is about. It looks more a membership card the Mammal Society would issue.
So like many RSPB members I shall be keeping a close eye on the organisation, and its magazine in particular, to check that they don’t drift into a nebulous campaigning for everything, but focus their binoculars sharply on BIRDS.