Letter: RSPB campaign not `militant'

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The Independent Online
Sir: While the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is keen to boost its membership and attract a million supporters of all ages, we are not embracing a militant approach as your article suggests (report, 22 April).

The aim of our new poster campaign launched in East Anglia this week is to draw public attention to the increasing range of threats facing birds and the environment. In the last 30 years the decline of wild places has been massive as they have been built on or turned over to intensive farming and forestry. Large parts of the countryside now have considerably less wildlife than they used to and even familiar birds such as the song thrush and skylark are declining at an alarming rate.

The RSPB has been campaigning to improve the environment for birds and people throughout its 108-year history. The support of our loyal membership, which currently stands at 967,000, is even more important if we are to meet the challenges to birds, other wildlife and the environment. The message conveyed in the new poster campaign has been chosen to symbolise the link between birds and the health of the environment. Far from becoming "militant" the RSPB will continue to address important conservation issues through rational practical action based on sound science.

BARBARA S YOUNG

Chief Executive, Royal Society

for the Protection of Birds

Sandy, Bedfordshire

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