It’s the RSPB AGM on Saturday.
You can attend the morning AGM, which is not as dull as it may sound, and in fact is always a rather uplifting event, for free if you are a fully paid up member. I am, and I’ll be there (although I promised myself when I left the RSPB that I would not ask questions at the AGM) and I wonder whether it might be an interesting event.
First, it will be Mike Clarke’s last AGM as he is stepping down some time before the next one. That will make it a special event in itself.
Second, it will be the first AGM chaired by Kevin Cox who became Chair of Council at the last AGM (which was chaired by the outgoing Chair Steve Ormerod). I know Kevin quite well and I’ll look forward to seeing him handling the event.
Third, the news that the RSPB is making around 200 staff redundant (first through volunteers but then through compulsory measures) is a very unusual position in which the RSPB finds itself (as discussed in my October Birdwatch column).
Fourth, the AGM is being asked to approve changes to the RSPB’s Royal Charter. These are a terribly dull-looking bunch of changes which are all about money – in fact they are, at first glance, a surprising list of asks for changes to the way a conservation charity operates as they don’t mention wildlife but are all about money, investments etc. However, the RSPB has a turnover of well over £100m per annum and operates in a complex world. No doubt all will become clear at the AGM and if not then no doubt the membership will pose questions that will result in clarification.
Fifth, I am always interested in the volunteers who are recognised by receiving President’s Awards and just have a feeling that I will be interested this year too.
Sixth, the presentation of the RSPB Medal to a worthy recipient is always (actually, to be fair, almost always) an interesting reveal.
Have I sold the event to you? If not, I’ll report on what actually happens in this blog on Sunday, some time.
And once you have attended the RSPB AGM, and if you aren’t staying for lunch and the talks in the afternoon (for which you do have to pay) then you, like me, might join the march in London that will end up in Parliament Square (just along the road from the QEII Conference Centre where the RSPB Members’ Day happens) at 2pm. This march calls on politicians to give the people a final vote on Brexit.