Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Letters discuss the RSPB.

There is a charity based in the UK known as the RSPB - the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. In 1891, a few societies with similar aims merged to become the RSPB, and the aim was to prevent birds from being killed simply so ladies could have feathers for their hats. Later, the society's remit was extended to protecting birds and their environments, as it was clear that so much of birds' existence is dependent on the places where they live, feed and migrate.

In case you're wondering, the bird in the logo is an avocet.

More recently, it became painfully obvious that the RSPB needed to widen their focus even further; a neither birds or the flocks exist in a vacuum. Any locale is so much more than the sum of its parts; everything depends on almost everything else. So it is that the society now campaigns for the protection of animals, plants and environments in general, alongside the original focus of our feathered friends. In fact, they recently looked into whether they should change their name to reflect the widened aspect of their interests. However, it was decided that they would keep their name - partly out of nostalgia, partly because they felt it would show potential donors that they are not simply another environment charity, and partly to reflect their moderate emphasis on - guess what? - birds.

That said, and bearing in mind that the RSPB, along the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), is one of the biggest animal-related organisations in this country, pretty much everyone knows what the initials stand for.
So, when the question arose in a game of Trivial Pursuit, I was expecting Julie to rattle off the correct answer pretty smartly.

Silly me.

So Julie. What do the initials stand for?


Indeed.
To learn more about the RSPB and its work, visit their site.
Oh, and my humblest apologies for the terrible pun in the title.