Last update: 2013-06-25

Sir David Attenborough and Giving Nature a Home

2013-06-25 Length: 11s

Sir David Attenborough has issued a call to arms in response the State of Nature report. In this month's podcast we hear how news of worrying declines in the natural world, highlighted in the report, has been received. 25 conservation organisations, including the RSPB, were involved in putting the report together and Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Jonny Wright about a new campaign - Giving Nature a Home - to inspire us all to take up Sir David's challenge.

The State of Nature Report

2013-05-23 Length: 11s

The State of Nature report, just published by the RSPB in collaboration with more than 20 other major conservation groups, provides alarming reading. It shows that more than half the UK’s native species are declining and a large number of those are threatened with extinction.  On this month's podcast Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's senior conservation scientist Dr Mark Eaton, one of the lead authors of the report, and Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, about the results and asks where we go from here.

Summer migrants special

2013-04-19 Length: 16s

Swallows,martins,cuckoos and many other summer visitors have yet to arrive this year and on this edition of Nature's Voice we hear from Bird's Magazine editor Mark Ward about why this might be. Plus Danae Sheehan - the RSPB's migrant's programme manager - talks about her work in West Africa, where many of these birds overwinter, why their numbers are declining and conservation projects involving local villagers which benefit both birds and people

Big Garden Birdwatch results in a spring freeze

2013-03-28 Length: 12s

The Big Garden Birdwatch 2013 shows sparrow and starling numbers continuing to decline and on this month's Nature's Voice we look at how saving nature starts at home in our gardens and window boxes. Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Adrian Thomas - Homes for Wildlife blogger and gardening expert - about what to plant to give our birds, butterflies and bees a helping hand

Create a home for wildlife

2013-02-14 Length: 14s

How wildlife friendly is your garden? On this month’s Nature’s Voice we’re celebrating National Nestbox week from seven year old Henry’s point of view - with a little help from his mum and his grandmother. Plus RSPB wildlife advisor Ian Hayward has some top tips about how to choose the right nestbox for your garden and explains why they can really make a difference for the birds and animals around us.

Big Garden Birdwatch - the teenage connection

2013-01-23 Length: 13s

It’s January already and  time for the world’s biggest annual bird survey - Big Garden Birdwatch!  Kate Long, author of ‘The Bad Mother's Handbook’  has taken part with her family for the last seven years. Her sons are now 15 and 12. As a wildlife enthusiast and nature blogger Kate tells Jane Markham that there's never been a better time to be a teenager with an interest in nature.  We'll also have tips and ideas for how you and your family can get involved and what to look out for.

Wildlife at Christmas

2012-12-20 Length: 14s

After both drought and flood in 2012 for this month's Nature's Voice Jane Markham visits Otmoor - a wetland reserve in Oxfordshire - to find out how they are coping in this bleak mid winter. And we get tips from RSPB staff about how they prise their children away from their presents over the festive season to get them outdoors and enjoying the natural world around them. 

Mike Dilger's Wild Town

2012-11-14 Length: 10s

Mike Dilger - ecologist and natural history presenter - has a new book out, written for the RSPB. Wild Town aims to show children that wildlife is all around us in our towns and cities as well as in the countryside. Jane Markham talks to Mike about some of the animals and habitats to look out for on his ultimate urban safari. 

Connecting children with nature

2012-10-18 Length: 14s

Are children today losing touch with nature? The RSPB is joining forces with academics from the University of Essex to find out how connected 8 to 12 year olds are to the natural world. On this edition of Nature's Voice, Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's chief executive Mike Clarke about the research and we hear from children and parents at a family Fun Day on a reserve with insights from TV psychologist Emma Kenny. Plus the winner of this year's RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Awards tells us how he has made his farm a haven for wildlife while running a profitable business. 

Sarah Outen and the Albatross

2012-09-20 Length: 9s

Sarah Outen - the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean - talks about the drama of her summer at sea and her support for the RSPB's work to save the albatross.  Her 'London to London via the World' challenge was cut short by a tropical storm but that didn't stop her kayaking around Mull later in the summer to see some fantastic wildlife. Plus this month's Step up for Nature gives details of how to make sure the fish we eat is caught sustainably and without threatening the world's endangered albatross populations. 

Nature of Farming Awards - your vote counts

2012-08-17 Length: 17s

The finalists in this year’s Nature of Farming Awards have been selected and in this edition of Nature’s Voice we hear from all four of them and how they are working to protect nature on their farms. The Make Your Nature Count results are in and Jane Markham talks to the editor of the RSPB’s Birds magazine, Mark Ward, about the wildlife he sees from his home overlooking farmland.  Plus step up for nature by making your voice heard in the debate over EU funding for farmers. 

Rio Summit report and UK woodlands in decline

2012-07-19 Length: 12s

The Rio+20 Earth Summit may not have seen a giant leap forward for the environment, but as the RSPB's Sacha Cleminson tells Jane Markham on this edition of the Nature's Voice, it has perhaps nudged the agenda forward.  We also assess a new report calling for a woodland culture for the 21st century to restore our ailing woodlands. And why not step up for nature and create a woodland glade in your garden - even if it's tiny!

First catch your hippo!

2012-06-14 Length: 13s

The Rio+20 Earth Summit in late June will focus on sustainable development. In this episode of Nature's Voice we look at the RSPB's work in the Gola Rainforest of Sierra Leone which employs local people to conserve the forest while improving their lives.  It's an illustration of sustainable development at work and we investigate a project in the forest to electronically tag one of the elusive and endangered pygmy hippos who live there. The task is to gather vital information to help them survive....but first they have to catch one. 

Springwatch returns to RSPB Ynys-hir

2012-05-17 Length: 12s

Chris Packham and the BBC Springwatch team return to the RSPB's Ynys-hir reserve at the end of May. On this month's Nature's Voice (our 60th edition) Jane Markham finds out how the preparations are going from the warden there, Russell Jones, and catches up with TV presenter Iolo Williams whose knowledge of wildlife in Wales is second to none. We also preview Make Your Nature Count - the RSPB's summer survey with ambitions to rival the Big Garden Birdwatch!

A drought for all seasons

2012-04-25 Length: 12s

After one of the wettest Aprils on record  East Anglia, the South East, parts of Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South West are still officially in drought.  In this edition of Nature's Voice Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Andre Farrar about why this rain hasn't eased the drought, what it means for wildlife and how water shortages could be avoided in future. Plus there are some ideas of how you can step up for nature by saving water. 

Where have all the starlings gone?

2012-03-29 Length: 12s

The Big Garden Birdwatch results have been published and although starlings remain the second most commonly spotted bird in our gardens there has been a further worrying decline in their numbers.  Their population is down 79 per cent since the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979. In this episode of Nature’s Voice Jane Markham talks to RSPB scientist Dave Buckingham about why this might be happening and to Liberty Smith – one of the film makers behind a phenomenally successful YouTube video recording their chance encounter with a dramatic murmuration of starlings while they were canoeing in Ireland.

Thames Estuary airport threat

2012-02-15 Length: 16s

Proposals to build an airport on the north Kent marshes are in the news once again. In this episode of Nature's Voice the RSPB's Rolf Williams, who is based at RSPB Northward Hill, talks to local people about what a new transport hub on the Thames Estuary would mean for them. The marshes are a wetland habitat that is recognised as being of international importance for wildlife and we hear the RSPB conservation director Martin Harper's response in the light of previous threats to the area. There are also details about how you can make your voice heard about the plans.

Big Garden Birdwatch 2012

2012-01-26 Length: 17s

Which bird's call sounds like a bored football fan chanting United, United, United - and is one of the newest arrivals in the UK to feature in the Big Garden Birdwatch top ten? This edition of Nature's Voice will have the answer to that. Plus Jane Markham talks to RSPB staff in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales on the look out for regional variations and interests when it comes to this year's count. These range from the flashy goldfinch to the chubby nuthatch. 

2011 reviewed and riding the economic storm predicted for 2012

2011-12-15 Length: 24s

In this, extended edition, of Nature's Voice we look ahead to 2012. With gloomy predictions for the state of the economy we discuss at the implications for the environment. We're also tying up some of the loose ends from 2011. Did the spoon-billed sandpiper chicks make it to the UK? When will the government honour its promise to create protected areas at sea and who won the Nature of Farming Awards? Jane Markham is joined at RSPB headquarters by Andre Farrar, Sharon Thompson and Kathryn Smith to provide some answers. 

Vultures, rain forests and solar panels

2011-11-17 Length: 16s

India's vulture population has been devastated over the last 20 years. Ninety nine per cent of one species has been wiped out. We look at why this has happened and, four years after we first featured the subject on the Nature's Voice podcast, we chart progress towards bringing them back from the brink of extinction. Jane Markham also talks to the head of the RSPB's tropical forest unit about the continuing loss of rain forests around the world and initiatives to make the trees more valuable standing than they are as logs. Plus stepping up for nature by investing in solar panels for our homes. 

Come Dine with the birds!

2011-10-20 Length: 13s

Dave Lamb, of Come Dine with Me fame, lends his voice to this year's RSPB Feed the Birds Day. On this month's podcast we look at some innovative ways of feeding our  garden birds as halloween  approaches and talk to some Nature's Voice Facebookers about how they look after the birds and other wildlife in their gardens. Plus details of how you can win a fabulous Feed the Birds Day kit including a nest box, bird feeders, seed, a pocket book of birds and a cuddly toy!  

Saving the spoon-billed sandpiper

2011-09-23 Length: 17s

The spoon-billed sandpiper is in danger of becoming extinct. The population of this tiny and charming wading bird is crashing by more than a quarter each year.  There are now fewer than 300 birds left. They've never been bred in captivity before but because they are so endangered an urgent rescue operation was started earlier this year. 20 eggs were collected from some of the few remaining pairs on their breeding grounds in Russia. This is the story so far of a remarkable project to save a species and the educational work the RSPB is doing in China  - one of their most important wintering grounds - to protect the coastal mudflats it needs to survive.


Making Your Nature Count and seaside rock pools

2011-08-18 Length: 12s

Garden birds have had a good breeding season. We know that because the thousands of responses to this year's Make Your Nature Count survey have now been analyzed. On this edition of Nature's Voice Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Richard Bashford about the results. And we investigate the simple pleasure of that timeless summer holiday pastime  - exploring seaside rock pools with the help of a discarded Pringles box!

The Nature of Farming Awards 2011

2011-07-14 Length: 16s

The RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Awards celebrate the work farmers do for wildlife. In this episode of Nature's Voice the RSPB's Heather Griffiths visits one of this year's regional winners Robert Kynaston. Plus we hear how South West regional winner David White risked the wrath of the gardener to help out the swifts and swallows.   

The judging panel will chose 4 of the 8 regional winners to go forward to a public vote to decide this year's overall winner who will receive £1000. Voting opens on July 22nd - either on the RSPB website or by calling 0870 601 0215 - calls from  BT land lines are charged at standard rate, other networks may vary. If you vote you will also be entered into a draw with the chance of winning a luxury weekend break for two. 

Bempton Gannets and the Marine Wildlife Pledge

2011-06-16 Length: 13s

How do you put a satellite tag on a Gannet? Research at the RSPB's Bempton Cliffs reserve in North Yorkshire meant staff there needed to do just that. Jane Markham asks Steve Race, community education officer at Bempton, how it was done and what they hope to find out from the data that is being collected. Plus step up for nature by signing the RSPB's Marine Pledge to call for marine conservation reserves to benefit the seabirds around our coast. 

Springwatch's new home at RSPB Ynys-hir

2011-05-18 Length: 13s

BBC Springwatch's new home is at the RSPB's Ynys-hir reserve near Aberystwyth. From May 30th Kate, Chris and Martin will be broadcasting from a converted tractor shed on the site. In this episode of Nature's Voice we visit Ynys-hir in the run up to Springwatch and Jane Markham talks to David Trotman from RSPB Cymru - who is delighted that the BBC are coming to a Welsh reserve in the year the RSPB is celebrating its centenary in the principality.

Ospreys, Wood Ants and Smooth Snakes at Arne

2011-04-14 Length: 11s

The RSPB's reserve at Arne on the Dorset coast boasts all six of the UK's reptiles. On this podcast meet the season's first baby smooth snake with Rob Farrington and Paul Morton who work there and have many more than six good reasons to join them on the reserve.We hear from members at the volunteers weekend about what they'll be doing to take part in the Stepping Up For Nature campaign. And this month's Nature's Voice will also be available for the first time on YouTube so if you want to see what Rob, Paul or the smooth snake look like you can take a look -! 

Stepping Up For Nature and Big Garden Birdwatch Results

2011-03-30 Length: 10s

Kate Humble tells us how she is ‘Stepping Up For Nature’ as part of the RSPB’s latest campaign.  As RSPB President, she was at the launch of the project and this month’s Natures Voice looks at how you too can step up to help wildlife and the environment.

Also this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch results are in and Mark Eaton, one the RSPB’s scientists, discusses them with Jane Markham.  Despite the cold winter there is some good news for some of our smaller birds. 

Curious courtships amongst the birds and the trees!

2011-02-17 Length: 10s

The plant and animal kingdoms are starting to wake up to spring. In this podcast we look at some fascinating mating rituals of birds, animals and even trees. The humble hazel is one of the first trees to brighten the hedgerows at this time of year, we'll find out why. And we look at the most graceful spring time double act - the ritual courtship dance of great crested grebes. Plus our Great Moment with Nature is a close encounter with one of Britain's favourite mammals. 

Big Garden Birdwatch 2011 - where will you be watching?

2011-01-27 Length: 14s

Facebook followers of the RSPB Love Nature pages tell us where they'll be doing their Big Garden Birdwatch this year. We also hear of a new partnership between the RSPB and BUPA  Care Homes to bring nature into their gardens and into the lives of their residents. Plus the busiest woman at the RSPB this month,Big Garden Birdwatch co-ordinator Heather Griffiths, chooses her Great Moment with Nature. 

Bird is the Word and a mistletoe mystery

2010-12-16 Length: 10s

Surfin' Bird for Christmas number one!  What has the RSPB's director of conservation Mark Avery got to do with the campaign for Bird is the Word to beat the X Factor to the top of the festive pops? We also hear about the 'new bird on the block' when it comes to Mistletoe - Jane Markham talks to a man who knows everything there is to know about this festive plant. Plus who has knocked the robin off the Christmas card number one in the RSPB shop? 

Sun bears in Harapan Rainforest

2010-11-18 Length: 12s

Bella the sun bear was rescued from a snare. Now, fully fit, she has been released into the Harapan rainforest in Sumatra. Information from her radio collar will play an important role in the restoration of the the forest - a joint project between the RSPB and Burung Indonesia. In this podcast Ian Rowlands, on a working trip to Harapan, spoke to the project's diversity officer for mammals  Elva Gamita, to find out why. Plus the RSPB's Andre Farrar talks to Jane Markham about the plight of rainforests around the world and this month's Great Moment with Nature takes us to South Stack on Angelsey.

Government Cuts and the RSPB

2010-10-21 Length: 8s

The RSPB has welcomed the government's commitment to increasing funding for wildlife friendly farming in October's comprehensive spending review.  But it's not all good news and on this episode of Nature's Voice Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Director of Conservation Mark Avery about what cuts at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will mean for nature. We look ahead to Feed the Birds day and there's a spooky Great Moment with Nature from the assistant warden of the RSPB's Otmoor reserve. 

Every Child Outdoors

2010-09-22 Length: 13s

Climbing trees, playing conkers and making daisy chains - the simple outdoor pleasures of being a child. But these are becoming a thing of the past according to Every Child Outdoors, newly published research by the RSPB.  In this edition of Nature's Voice Jane Markham visits out of classroom learning sessions at RSPB reserves and  talks to children and field teachers to find out why contact with nature is so important, and why the RSPB is committed to ensuring that as many children as possible continue to have access to it.   

Hope Farm and the Nature of Farming Award

2010-08-19 Length: 12s

10 years ago the RSPB bought Hope Farm.  It's run a commercial venture to prove that wildlife friendly strategies can work alongside modern farming methods to the benefit of farmland birds like skylarks and yellowhammers while still turning a profit.  On this edition of Nature's Voice we visit Hope Farm with the RSPB's Director of Conservation, Mark Avery to celebrate its tenth birthday.  We also take a look at this year's Nature of Farming Award plus Bill Oddie chooses a great moment with nature from the top of one of the world's most iconic buildings.

Bill Oddie on Rainham Marshes plus protecting wildlife from budget cuts.

2010-07-22 Length: 13s

Bill Oddie joins the celebrations to mark 10 years since work began to turn  Rainham Marshes in Essex from urban desolation into the great place it is for wildife and visitors today. And Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Martin Harper about the charity's biggest ever campaign - The Letter to the Future. As the number of signatures nears a quarter of a million he discusses the prospects for protecting wildlife from the government budget cuts being discussed this summer.

Volunteering Special

2010-06-24 Length: 11s
Volunteers play a key role in the work of the RSPB.  In this episode of Nature's Voice we take a look at what they do and why they do it. We hear from volunteers themselves and Jane Markham talks to Alan Murray who heads the volunteering unit at RSPB headquarters at Sandy in Bedfordshire and finds out how to get involved. Plus this month's Great Moment with Nature is from the grasslands of Iowa

Springwatch 2010

2010-05-20 Length: 12s
BBC Springwatch is back at the end of this month and in this edition of Nature's Voice Tim Scoones, the show's executive producer, looks forward to taking the cameras to his native Dorset and remembers boyhood visits to the RSPB's Arne reserve. The place had a profound effect on him as a child and we track down Arne's former warden who was to influence Tim's choice of career. Also - Richard Bashford tells us how to get involved with this year's Make Your Nature Count and there's a startling appearance of the only venomous snake in the UK

Nesting kestrels and polystyrene ospreys..

2010-04-22 Length: 12s
Kestrels nesting at Aston University will be educating staff, students  and visitors at the RSPB's date with nature events in and around Birmingham  this summer. Jane Markham finds out how you can watch the birds live online. You can also find out why RSPB staff are building nests for ospreys in Dorset and putting polystyrene dummies in them. This month's Great Moment with Nature is on the trail of one of the UK's most threatened mammals. Plus there's an unplanned appearance of a must be spring at last! 

Election Special

2010-03-30 Length: 12s
In the run up to the general election Kate Humble and 24 young people from RSPB Phoenix went to Westminster to put questions to MPs. On this edition of Nature's Voice we hear how they got on. Jane Markham talks to Judith Howell, the RSPB's head of government affairs about her role in focusing the minds of MPs, and aspiring MPs, on environmental issues at the this important time. Plus the results of this year's Big Garden Birdwatch are released.…

Birds of Prey Special

2010-02-18 Length: 14s
This month DEFRA Wildlife Minister Huw Irranca-Davies was
presented with the RSPB's best supported petition ever - more than
200,000 people signed the pledge demanding an end to the killing of
birds of prey.  In this edition of Nature's Voice we report from the
Houses of Parliament and hear from the minister, supporters and
organisations who put their names to the pledge.  Plus Jane Markham
talks to RSPB species officer Jeff Knot celebrating the success of some
species like the Red Kite and updating us on how threatened species like
the Hen Harrier are doing.

Little Schools join the Big Garden Birdwatch

2010-01-21 Length: 12s
How will the hard winter affect the birds in our gardens? Jane Markham talks to RSPB scientist Dr Mark Eaton who will be analysing the figures from this year's Big Garden Birdwatch when they come in after the count on the 30th and 31st of january. Plus what will the children at Woodentops pre school be doing as they join the first ever Little Schools Birdwatch. And Countryfile presenter John Craven shares a great moment with nature. …

Bill Bailey and a Letter to the Future

2009-12-17 Length: 14s
Comedian Bill Bailey talks about his passion for nature and his new birdwatching television show - with a competitive edge. We look at the RSPB's Letter to the Future campaign which seeks political backing to save and protect the environment so that our grandchildren will be able to share their world with sparrows and polar bears, eagles and tigers. There's information about how you can add your signature to it.  Plus this month's great moment with nature takes place in a back garden with a festive covering of snow...but it's not robins or reindeer that the RSPB's Ciaran Nelson is celebrating!

Climate Change - The Wave

2009-11-18 Length: 12s
Thousands of people will be marching in London, Glasgow and Belfast on December 5th ahead of crunch global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. At the summit, world leaders must deliver a fair, ambitious and binding agreement to cut climate pollution and stop climate change reaching dangerous levels.

Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Mairi Dupar about why the RSPB is encouraging people to sign up for the largest demonstration on climate change the UK has ever seen.

Feed the Birds and at sea with killer whales

2009-10-22 Length: 15s
As winter approaches it becomes even more important to provide food for the birds in our gardens.  In this episode of Nature's Voice Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Heather Mitchell about this year's Feed the Birds Day and out in the garden Richard Bashford suggests the five top things we can be doing at this time of year to help our wildlife. Plus BBC Autumnwatch cameraman Gordon Buchanan recounts his great moment with nature - a close encounterwith killer whales.

Saving special places

2009-09-23 Length: 16s
The Severn and the Tana are two of the world's great rivers. This episode of Nature's Voice looks at the RSPB's work to save special places like these. We visit the Tana Delta on the coast of Kenya which is teeming with wildlife and is home to farmers and fishermen who have been making their living there in the same way for generations. But the delta's habitat is under threat from proposals for industrial scale sugar cane farms to provide food and biofuel. Nearer to home Jane Markham talks to the RSPB's Andre Farrar about the threat to the Severn Estuary. There's more information on the new saving special places pages of the RSPB website. …

Crimson Wing - flamingos on film

2009-08-20 Length: 13s
Disney's new documentary, Crimson Wing:the Mystery of the Flamingos, is due for release at the end of september. In this episode of Nature's Voice we talk to Matt Aeberhard who spent two years at Tanzania's Lake Natron to film the story of these remarkable birds. We look at why they are under threat at this their only breeding ground in east Africa. Plus we've details of how to claim free tickets to special showings of the film at cinemas around the UK.

Mike Dilger and Alison Steadman visit Minsmere

2009-07-22 Length: 14s
Naturalist and TV presenter Mike Dilger keeps a promise to actress Alison Steadman as she prepares to start filiming a new series of Gavin and Stacey and takes her to experience the wildlife at the RSPB's reserve at Minsmere. We also look at how to get the best out of a visit to an RSPB reserve and our Great Moment with Nature feature looks at one of the noisiest of our summer visitors - the swifts - with a plea to report sightings as their numbers are on the decline and statistics are vitally important to find out why. Join Jane Markham for this episode of Nature's Voice.…

Stone curlews and cuckoos - the good and bad news

2009-06-18 Length: 12s
There is good and bad news from the newly revised red, amber and green conservation lists. In this podcast Mike Dilger goes to Suffolk to find out how work to improve habitat has led to an increase in the numbers of stone curlews there. They've moved from the red to the amber list while cuckoos have been put on the red list for the first time. We hear from the RSPB's Grahame Madge about the winners and losers on the new lists. Plus, actress Alison Steadman recalls her Great Moment with Nature.…

Swifts' late arrival and Make your nature count

2009-05-25 Length: 16s
Why were many swifts and housemartins so late to return the UK this year? The RSPB's Andre Farrar has some answers. Jane Markham talks to Chris Packham, a vice president of the RSPB, and the new face of the BBC's Springwatch about joining the show plus we look ahead to some springwatching we can all do with the RSPB's new Make your nature count project. If you've enjoyed the Big Garden Bird Watch in the past then this is definitely for you.…

A date with nature and a birds of prey update

2009-04-22 Length: 19s
TV Naturalist Mike Dilger has a date with nature to see one of his favourite birds dancing at dawn - the black grouse. It's just one of many RSPB Dates with nature around the country and we pick some of our other favourites too. We also assess the progress of the Birds of prey campaign a year after its launch and look forward to keeping up with the some of the country's most threatened raptors, hen harriers, as they take to the blogosphere.…

Good news for the albatross and Big Garden Birdwatch results

2009-03-24 Length: 17s
There's good news for threatened albatross species - 85 per cent fewer birds are being killed by long line fishing boats, in the waters around South Africa, than the numbers killed two years ago. In this episode of Nature's Voice we report on the work of the Albatross Task Force which shows fishermen how to prevent the birds being attracted to their hooks. We also have the results of the 30th Big Garden Birdwatch; and there's a new entry in the top ten this year. Plus TV presenter and naturalist Mike Dilger chooses what bird he'd be - if he were a bird.…

Saltholme - a new reserve in an industrial landscape

2009-02-19 Length: 18s
The RSPB's newest reserve - Saltholme, near Middlesborough - is now open. It is set amid the chimneys and factories of the industrial north east of England on the site of Victorian salt wells and is protected as a site of special scientific interest. In this episode of Nature's Voice we go along to find out what makes it so special and talk to Kate Humble, RSPB vice president and digger driver extraordinaire, about digging the first hole there! We also have tips about choosing and siting a nestbox to encourage our garden birds into our gardens.…

Big Garden Birdwatch at 30!

2009-01-14 Length: 19s
Happy Birthday Big Garden Birdwatch - 30 years old in 2009. In this podcast we look back to when it all started and forward to this year's event on the 24th and 25th of January. Wildlife cameraman and television presenter Chris Packham tells us why he is such a fan of the Big Garden Birdwatch and we hear from Peter Holden - who was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to nature conservation - the man who came up with idea in the first place.…

A starling spectacular and dreaming of a green Christmas

2008-12-12 Length: 19s
We've a starling spectacular on this month's Nature's Voice as we find out why huge flocks of them perform their nightly ballet as they come in to roost. We visit Brighton Pier to see them in action and tell you where else you can go to witness this magnificent natural wonder for yourself. Plus we'll be asking how green will your Christmas be? We've top tips from the RSPB's head of climate change, Ruth Davies, on how to save energy over the festive season and how you can make a difference.…

Why city sparrows struggle for survival

2008-11-19 Length: 20s
House sparrow numbers have plummeted in recent years but the reason has been a mystery. At last a new study from the RSPB has come up with some answers. In this podcast Will Peach, who led the research, talks about what they've discovered and what we can do to help this iconic bird survive in our towns and cities. Agony Aunt Clare Rayner and the Urban Birder, David Lindo add their memories and hopes for the sparrow's future. We also get an early view of two new RSPB reserves that will open to visitors for the first time in 2009. We slip and slide through the mud at Middleton Lakes in the Midlands and preview the delights of Saltholme on Teeside.…

Bird feeding tips for the credit crunch

2008-10-16 Length: 20s
Feed the Birds Day is approaching and in this episode of Nature's Voice we look at frugal ways to feed our garden birds. We'll visit a newly built garden pond and ask Jules Howard from Froglife how long it will be before frogs and toads to arrive. And one of the great winter spectacles - we'll be pinpointing some of the best RSPB reserves where you can see pink-footed geese in their magnificent thousands. Plus naturalist and TV presenter Mike Dilger chooses which bird he'd be - if he were a bird. Nature’s Voice is presented by Jane Markham.…

Nesting hornbills in Sumatra and discovering the UK's lowland heaths

2008-09-25 Length: 20s
Saving the Sumatran Rainforest - a year after our first visit to the RSPB's ambitious project in the Harapan Forest we return to see how the regeneration this threatened habitat is getting on - there has even been a glimpse of the fantastically rare Sumatran tiger. And, closer to home, we look at a restoration project in the UK - how the reserve at Sandy in Bedfordshire is being returned to lowland heathland where an Iron Age hill fort has been uncovered in the process! Plus if he were a bird what bird would comedian Rory McGrath choose to be?…

New families for orphaned peregrine chicks and great grassland reserves.

2008-08-19 Length: 20s
How the RSPB teamed up with Raptor Rescue to find wild Peregrine foster families for two orphaned chicks. We meet one of the youngest volunteers - at just 10 years old Daniel Barton has been working with the Peregrines at Chichester Cathedral. Our series looking at great nature reserves puts grassland sites in the spotlight. And if she were a bird what would interior design guru, Changing Rooms presenter, Linda Barker choose to be…

The case against Biofuels and where to spot a puffin

2008-07-21 Length: 19s
Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB's Director of Conservation talks about why Biofuels (once seen as a green alternative to oil) are destroying vital habitats around the world. And, in what's turning out to be another poor breeding season for many seabirds, we visit some the most exciting coastal reserves in the UK. We hear about the rise and rise of the gannet but the decline of puffin populations and why wildlife presenter Kate Humble so passionately supports the introduction of legislation to protect marine wildlife.…

How a new whisky will help the Black Grouse and RSPB reserves near cities

2008-06-20 Length: 20s
How a new whisky called Black Grouse will be helping the plight of its endangered namesake. It's a bird who loves to dance and does so in a spectacular way. Also, in the first of a series, we'll be visiting RSPB reserves around the UK, starting with some great days out in easy reach of big cities - near London, Birmingham and Glasgow. While naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham makes his choice in 'If I were a bird'. And he'd be up to no good!…

Birds of prey - the good news, Bill Oddie and the Loch Garten ospreys

2008-05-21 Length: 19s
The launch of 'On a Wing and a Prayer' a new report into the status of the UK's Birds of Prey. There's plenty of good news but still work to do to protect the most threatened species - like 'Harry' the Hen Harrier at Geltsdale, a youngster in search of a mate. And Bill Oddie looks forward to this year's Springwatch. We report from the RSPB's reserve at Loch Garten where it's hoped their pair of ospreys may have good news to hatch in time for the series!…

India's vultures on the edge of extinction and UK egg thief is jailed

2008-04-22 Length: 19s
Three of southern Asia's vultures have declined by more than 95 percent since the early 1990s and this episode of Nature's Voice looks at what is being done to reverse this catastrophic loss to the region's ecology. And what makes someone steal wild bird's eggs? This month a man was sent to prison after being discovered with more than 7000 eggs at his home - Jane Markham talks to the RSPB investigator who worked with police on the case. Plus if she was a bird what bird would TV's It's Not Easy Being Green Brigit Strawbridge choose to be?…

Big Garden Birdwatch results and a new RSPB centre for Wales

2008-03-26 Length: 18s
Kate Humble and the Mayor of Newport cut the ribbon to launch the RSPB's newest visitor and education centre just minutes from the city centre on the Newport Wetlands nature reserve. And Sarah Kelly who leads the Big Garden Birdwatch team looks at the results of this year's count.…

Skylarks and stone curlews at risk

2008-02-19 Length: 19s
Skylarks and stone curlews are under threat due to the loss of set-aside land on the UK's farms. The RSPB's Head of Agricultural Policy looks at the implications of new rules for farmers. And preparing your garden for the nesting season - Richard Bashford gives Jane Markham's garden the once over and suggests improvements to encourage more wildlife into it.…

Big Garden Birdwatch 2008

2008-01-18 Length: 20s
The 29th annual Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on the last weekend in January when the RSPB asks us all to spend an hour counting the birds that visit our gardens. This podcast looks at the history of the event and the valuable scientific data it provides. Also what's the most exciting bird wildlife photographer Chris Packham has spotted during Big Garden Birdwatch? Plus there's information on how you can take part.…

Successes and Challenges - the RSPB's Chief Executive looks back at 2007

2007-12-16 Length: 20s
As the end of the year approaches, Graham Wynne, the RSPB's chief executive puts the highs and lows of 2007 into perspective and looks forward to the challenges ahead in 2008. Plus the confused Christmas robins - we investigate reports of a nest and a clutch of eggs in Bedfordshire in December while TV wildlife presenter Kate Humble chooses the bird she'd like to be...if she were a bird. If you'd like to comment on the podcast we'd love to hear from you at our new email address -…

Lake Natron flamingo threat

2007-11-18 Length: 20s
One of the most important breeding grounds for Lesser Flamingos in East Africa is under threat from industrial development - the RSPB's Chris Magin tells us why and what we can do to protect one of nature's most spectacular sights. We look at the increasing popularity of giving virtual gifts - from buying a fish supper for a Bittern to a nest box for a tree nesting duck on an RSPB reserve. Plus the Urban Birder, David Lindo, is the 'If I were a bird' guest - what would he be?…

Homes for Wildlife

2007-10-19 Length: 19s
TV presenter, Kate Humble, tells us how she encourages wildlife into her tiny London garden as the RSPB launches Homes for Wildlife. In this edition of Nature's Voice we're in at the start of this five year project to improve our garden habitat and monitor the creatures, great and small, that we attract to share our space. We also meet Sally Webber the RSPB's woman at Westminster and find out about her work in the corridors of power to influence environmental policy and reflect the views of RSPB members.…

Sumatran rainforest on the brink

2007-09-20 Length: 20s
News of an ambitious project to regenerate one of the world's most important habitats for biodiversity and save it from the threat of destruction the Harapan Rainforest in the lowlands of Sumatra, named after the Indonesian word for hope. And we celebrate 40 years of out of the classroom learning on RSPB reserves at one of the newest sites - the soon to be carbon neutral education centre at Rainham Marshes on the edge of London.…

Birds at sea and a wetland recreated

2007-08-18 Length: 19s
Kittwakes on the cliffs at Bempton in Yorkshire and puffins at Sunborough Head in Scotland in this episode we're looking at and looking after the remarkable bird life around the UK's coasts. And we celebrate 10 years on Otmoor - an RSPB success story that has recreated the moor’s traditional wetland habitat for birds like snipe and bittern. Plus Graham Wynne (the RSPB's chief executive) on why wetlands are so important.…

Birds of prey still under threat

2007-07-24 Length: 19s
Hear about the illegal persecution still faced by birds of prey, find out about RSPB projects where you can see them in the flesh and exciting news of a pair of rare Montagu's harriers that have nested at Digby Fen in Lincolnshire this summer.…

Saving the albatross and Spring on Islay

2007-06-15 Length: 18s
Prince Charles adds his voice to the campaign to save the albatross from extinction. We look at how the RSPB and Birdlife International are making a difference - but is it too late? And Springwatch on Islay - behind the scenes with one of the BBC's most successful wildlife shows.…

About this podcast:

Nature's Voice

Love nature? You'll love Nature's Voice. Each month we'll bring you features, interviews and news of birds and wildlife, from back gardens to the Sumatran rainforest. If you can't get enough, try dipping into our back catalogue. We'll take you soaring

Nature's Voice