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Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The RSPB was founded in 1889 by ladies who were opposed to the hunting of birds for feathers to decorate hats. It's concern was primarily with threats of extinction rather than issues of cruelty. It received a Royal Charter in 1904.

The society's close interest in securing the future of birds was already showing itself in 1901 when a watcher was appointed to protect breeding duck in Scotland. It bought the land which was to become it's first nature reserve in 1928. They now own the largest number of reserves in Britain.

RSPB membership hit 10,000 in 1960 and reached one million in 1997, making it the largest conservation body in Europe. It has policy influence in Britain and is involved with other wildlife conservation bodies around the world through it's involvement with BirdLife International.

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