26 Jul 2018
In our Autumn issue of Nature's Home magazine (out now!) we tell the story of Etta Lemon, 19th-century co-founder of the RSPB, as told by author Tessa Boase.
Back in the late 19th Century, the threat to wild birds came not from climate change but from milliners, who fuelled a demand for feathers that saw birds killed in their hundreds of thousands – purely to decorate the hats and accessories of fashionable ladies. Both plumes and whole, taxidermied birds from across the world were de rigeur.
But not all of Britain’s ladies were prepared to turn a blind eye. Appalled by the slaughter and alarmed by plummeting numbers, these women galvanised a movement to save the birds. When their individual campaigns finally came together, the RSPB was born.
Below, Tessa Boase introduces five women who built the RSPB.