Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

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The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a British charitable organisation which works to promote conservation and protection of birds and the wider environment through public awareness campaigns, petitions and through the operation of nature reserves throughout the United Kingdom.[2] The RSPB has 1,500 employees, 12,200 volunteers and over 1 million members (including 150,000 youth members), making it the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe.[3] The RSPB has a number of local groups, and maintains over 150 reserves across the United Kingdom.[4]



The charity was founded in 1889 Emily Williamson at her house in Didsbury, Manchester (now in Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden),[5] as a protest group campaigning against the use of great crested grebe and kittiwake skins and feathers in fur clothing. Originally known as "the Plumage League", the group gained popularity and eventually amalgamated with the ‘Fur and Feather League’ in Croydon, and formed the RSPB.[6]

The original members of the RSPB were all women who campaigned against the fashion of the time for women to wear exotic feathers in hats, and to this end the Society had two simple rules:[6]

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