Founded in 1889 the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the largest conservation charity in Europe with over 1 million members and more than 200 reserves in the UK. The society began life life back in the 19th century with a small group of influential ladies who were opposed to the trade in bird feathers for women's hats. Royal Charter status was granted in 1904 and they purchased their first bird reserve (Romney Marshes) in 1930. Since then the RSBP has been at the forefront of bird protection and in 2013 with their 'Give Nature a Home' campaign they broadened their appeal to incorporate the protection and creation of natural habitats.

Broadly speaking the RSPB's main areas of conservation work are -

Creating more homes for nature: nature reserves are at the heart of what the RSPB do best and they aim to double their land holding by 2030 thus providing vital habitat for nature to thrive.

Species recovery: most bird species are declining as breeding birds in the UK, some drastically so such as Willow Tit, Turtle Dove, Hen Harrier and Puffin. Through a combination of habitat creation, research and campaigning the RSPB work hard to restore the fortunes of bird species that are in trouble.

Partnership working: habitat creation and the protection of struggling species can only fully work by working with others. The RSPB has a strong track record of working in partnership with farmers and other landowners as well as connecting with the public on specific projects such as the 'Big Garden Watch' to raise awareness of conservation issues.

International initiatives: a respectwed and valued partner of birdlife international, the RSPB is involved with several international conservation projects including the 'albatross task force' protecting these birds from long line fishing and 'birds without frontiers' conserving migrant birds.

Here in Yorkshire the RSPB currently have 5 nature reserves each with their own unique appeal for the visiting birdwatcher. Bempton Cliffs support nationally important breeding populations of Puffins, Kittiwakes and Gannets; Blacktoft Sands attract many migrant wading birds and wintering harriers; Fairburn Ings host breeding Spoonbill and Bittern; St Aidans star birds include Black Necked Grebe and Bearded Tit, and Old Moor's network of sites are a haven for wintering wildfowl. In addition they are involved in several ecological projects across the county including the Humberhead Levels and Long Preston Deeps (included on the map)

The interactive map on this page displays all of the RSPB's sites in Yorkshire. Clicking on any of the marker pins will bring up a brief description of each site and external links for more information.

RSPB website

Local RSPB Groups