Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
More discoveries. NEW: Zeiss Victory SF 32

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

RSPB very rarely check membership cards

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 18:23   #1
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
RSPB very rarely check membership cards

I've been to a number of RSPB reserves and the RSPB have never checked my membership card. The RSPB seem to rely on non-members honesty to pay an admission at reserve that do charge an admission fee. Compare that to the National Trust and the Wildfowl Trust who both check membership cards very strictly. If a member has forgotten there membership card, that member has to pay the admission charge at a National Trust property and the Wildfowl Trust scans members, membership cards for free admission. I must say I'm very disappointed by the RSPB over this policy. I think that the RSPB should change there policy on checking RSPB Membership cards immediately instead of trusting non-members of paying an admission charge at those reserves where there is an entrance fee.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 18:25   #2
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Sorry posted thread in wrong forum. Can a mod put into correct forum.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 18:29   #3
Original PaulE
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hurstpierpoint West Sussex
Posts: 1,197
As someone who occasionally forgets my card, I am glad that the RSPB staff take my word that i'm a member!! I think there is an argument to make entry into reserves free for everyone, it would certainly encourage more people to visit ,become interested in nature and then maybe join!!
Original PaulE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 19:15   #4
andm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: stoke
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Original PaulE View Post
As someone who occasionally forgets my card, I am glad that the RSPB staff take my word that i'm a member!! I think there is an argument to make entry into reserves free for everyone, it would certainly encourage more people to visit ,become interested in nature and then maybe join!!
How would reserves sustain themselves if they didn't charge an entrance fee or membership? Non- members should be charged an entrance fee, otherwise what's the point of being a member?
andm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 19:17   #5
John Cantelo
Registered User
 
John Cantelo's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canterbury, UK
Posts: 6,417
My understanding is that the RSPB changed its policy some years ago as asking to see cards and not allowing entrance in the absence without a fee simply caused too much friction. I believe that the numbers of non-members who 'tried it on' was pretty small so it was considered on balance better to take a 'liberal' view in the expectation that experiencing the reserve would persuade people to join.
__________________
John

Please support Andalucia Bird Society www.andalusiabirdsociety.org Visit my website & blog on birding in SW Spain at http://birdingcadizprovince.weebly.com/
John Cantelo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 19:25   #6
andm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: stoke
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cantelo View Post
My understanding is that the RSPB changed its policy some years ago as asking to see cards and not allowing entrance in the absence without a fee simply caused too much friction. I believe that the numbers of non-members who 'tried it on' was pretty small so it was considered on balance better to take a 'liberal' view in the expectation that experiencing the reserve would persuade people to join.
Do you think people "that try it on" are in anyway interested in joining at a later date? I don't think so , they try it on because they get in free !
andm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 20:07   #7
John Cantelo
Registered User
 
John Cantelo's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canterbury, UK
Posts: 6,417
Quote:
Originally Posted by andm View Post
Do you think people "that try it on" are in anyway interested in joining at a later date? I don't think so , they try it on because they get in free !
It didn't seem to be a problem when I used to work occasionally at the RSPB Dungeness reserve ....
__________________
John

Please support Andalucia Bird Society www.andalusiabirdsociety.org Visit my website & blog on birding in SW Spain at http://birdingcadizprovince.weebly.com/
John Cantelo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 20:15   #8
Phil Andrews
It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
 
Phil Andrews's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Sutton Coldfield
Posts: 17,301
At over a million members the RSPB can better sustain such 'loses' than the WWT with 200,000 members. The greater prize isn't taking a few quid on the day but converting people to members who may contribute a four figure sum over their lifetime.
__________________
Upton Warren Life List: 199 (latest: Iceland Gull)
British Life List: 493 (latest: Asian Desert Warbler)
Twitter: @pmandrews1973
Phil Andrews is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 20:18   #9
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
I've just returned from a birdwatching week long holiday on the Isle of Arran with my RSPB Local Group. Before we got on the ferry to the Isle of Arran, the RSPB Group spent 2 nights on the Scottish Mainland staying in a hotel. On our one full day on the mainland, my local RSPB Group visited RSPB reserve Lochwinnoch which supposedly has an admission charge. But the RSPB staff and volunteers never checked our membership cards, of which I was quite shocked. There where two RSPB non-members who had joined our RSPB Group to come on this holiday. But they both where at least honest enough to admit that they where not RSPB members. I was really shocked at the RSPB staff and volunteers at not checking our membership cards. But at least I insisted on showing my card. How much money must the RSPB be loosing at reserves with a charge with this attitude.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 20:22   #10
Phil Andrews
It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
 
Phil Andrews's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Sutton Coldfield
Posts: 17,301
See above post - many casually interested parties may be turned off an organisation who appears to first want to strip you of your money. I can't remember the last time I visited a WWT reserve as that's how the front desk makes me feel, with all the gift aid pleas etc
__________________
Upton Warren Life List: 199 (latest: Iceland Gull)
British Life List: 493 (latest: Asian Desert Warbler)
Twitter: @pmandrews1973
Phil Andrews is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 21:26   #11
andm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: stoke
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Andrews View Post
At over a million members the RSPB can better sustain such 'loses' than the WWT with 200,000 members. The greater prize isn't taking a few quid on the day but converting people to members who may contribute a four figure sum over their lifetime.
Perhaps if the RSPB made the effort to gain the extra few guid, they wouldn't have to keep bombarding existing members for extra donations for appeals, of which I might add I have donated to in the past, non members should pay on the day simple as that,
andm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 21:31   #12
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by andm View Post
Perhaps if the RSPB made the effort to gain the extra few guid, they wouldn't have to keep bombarding existing members for extra donations for appeals, of which I might add I have donated to in the past, non members should pay on the day simple as that,
100% agree!!
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th July 2017, 21:41   #13
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Andrews View Post
See above post - many casually interested parties may be turned off an organisation who appears to first want to strip you of your money. I can't remember the last time I visited a WWT reserve as that's how the front desk makes me feel, with all the gift aid pleas etc
The National Trust are a far bigger organisation than the RSPB with millions of more members and they charge a lot more money for an entrance fee for non-members and they do check your membership card. So if the National Trust can do that, so the RSPB should do the same.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 06:34   #14
Phil Andrews
It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
 
Phil Andrews's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Sutton Coldfield
Posts: 17,301
Personally I believe RSPB staff are better off spending their time engaging with visitors, managing habitat or engaging with landowners / governments that taking a few quid here and there.
__________________
Upton Warren Life List: 199 (latest: Iceland Gull)
British Life List: 493 (latest: Asian Desert Warbler)
Twitter: @pmandrews1973
Phil Andrews is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 08:20   #15
Jos Stratford
Beast from the East
 
Jos Stratford's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Exile in Eastern Europe
Posts: 16,609
What a surprise, yet another thread by Ian Thompson nitpicking at the RSPB over some triviality.
__________________
For photographs and articles, Lithuania and beyond, click here for my website
Jos Stratford is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 09:04   #16
MJB
Registered User
 
MJB's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Holt
Posts: 4,948
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAN JAMES THOMPSON View Post
100% agree!!
Ian.
The trouble is, Ian, that any proposal phrased in an authoritarian way, any demand made in an authoritarian way, and any plea to make things more reasonable phrased in an authoritarian way just make me more determined to make things difficult for the would-be authoritarian.

Of course, my resistance to such would-be authoritarians is non-confrontational, because usually they will otherwise respond passive-aggressively, claiming their view is of course 'reasonable' and mine insignificant. By being non-confrontational, one can expose linear and literal thinking as inadequate, thus frustrating and annoying the would-be authoritarian in ways that remain mysterious to such people.

32 years in the Forces provided me with the perfect training-ground for developing successful non-confrontational strategies to combat would-be authoritarians, and now I've been retired for almost a quarter-century, I am sure that Official Secrets Act no longer applies in this matter and so I've decided to reveal all!
MJB
__________________
The fuzziness of all supposedly absolute taxonomic distinctions - Stephen Jay Gould (1977) "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History".
Species and subspecies are but a convenient fiction - Kees van Deemter (2010), "In praise of vagueness". Biology is messy
MJB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 09:39   #17
peter.jones
You may say I'm a dreamer.. but I'm not the only one

 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Hants
Posts: 1,563
LOL, similarly, my "hacking the human" training might come in handy!
__________________
Blogging since 2006!: https://pdjwildlife.blogspot.com/
peter.jones is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 13:19   #18
Mono
Hi!
BF Supporter 2020
 
Mono's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake District,UK
Posts: 2,073
The WWT has very few sites most of which have duck "zoos", they are heavily fenced to protect the captive wildfowl. As such they can easily police entry and check membership/ take payment. WWT also promote their sites as day-out attractions, with play equipment, canoe safaris etc and want to attract paying visitors.

RSPB has many sites, most of which have no facilities or staff, those that do have staff and facilities do not have the fencing and security to police any membership checking/payment. If you don't want to pay you can simply walk in another way. Caerlaverock WWT, which has no duck zoo, is the same if you don't want to show your card you can just walk in through the unlocked gate.

If you want to be more thorough in checking membership/taking payment then you need to make your facilities able to deliver that. The added cost of throwing fences round and diverting public footpaths is going to soak up any increase in revenue, so if you don't need to do it to protect your wildfowl collection then why would you.
Mono is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 13:26   #19
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
What a surprise, yet another thread by Ian Thompson nitpicking at the RSPB over some triviality.
I will criticise any organisation, such as the RSPB as they do deserve to be criticised, as other organisations that I know both smaller and larger than the RSPB and all other organisations that I know check Members cards, except the RSPB and sadly I have to say that, as an RSPB Life Member.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 13:32   #20
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mono View Post
The WWT has very few sites most of which have duck "zoos", they are heavily fenced to protect the captive wildfowl. As such they can easily police entry and check membership/ take payment. WWT also promote their sites as day-out attractions, with play equipment, canoe safaris etc and want to attract paying visitors.

RSPB has many sites, most of which have no facilities or staff, those that do have staff and facilities do not have the fencing and security to police any membership checking/payment. If you don't want to pay you can simply walk in another way. Caerlaverock WWT, which has no duck zoo, is the same if you don't want to show your card you can just walk in through the unlocked gate.

If you want to be more thorough in checking membership/taking payment then you need to make your facilities able to deliver that. The added cost of throwing fences round and diverting public footpaths is going to soak up any increase in revenue, so if you don't need to do it to protect your wildfowl collection then why would you.
It's very simple have volunteers check membership cards in some of the bird hides. And before anyone says it can't be done, well the RSPB used to do this as there was an entrance charge on lots more RSPB reserves during the 1960's and 1970's despite not having as much money back then. And before anyone says it's not very community spirit or not very welcoming, well it's far better than the RSPB loosing money on non-members entrance fees.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 13:34   #21
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
The trouble is, Ian, that any proposal phrased in an authoritarian way, any demand made in an authoritarian way, and any plea to make things more reasonable phrased in an authoritarian way just make me more determined to make things difficult for the would-be authoritarian.

Of course, my resistance to such would-be authoritarians is non-confrontational, because usually they will otherwise respond passive-aggressively, claiming their view is of course 'reasonable' and mine insignificant. By being non-confrontational, one can expose linear and literal thinking as inadequate, thus frustrating and annoying the would-be authoritarian in ways that remain mysterious to such people.

32 years in the Forces provided me with the perfect training-ground for developing successful non-confrontational strategies to combat would-be authoritarians, and now I've been retired for almost a quarter-century, I am sure that Official Secrets Act no longer applies in this matter and so I've decided to reveal all!
MJB
And that post is just gobildeegook.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 14:40   #22
Fat Paul Scholes
My real name is Mark Lewis

 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 2,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAN JAMES THOMPSON View Post
It's very simple have volunteers check membership cards in some of the bird hides. And before anyone says it can't be done, well the RSPB used to do this as there was an entrance charge on lots more RSPB reserves during the 1960's and 1970's despite not having as much money back then. And before anyone says it's not very community spirit or not very welcoming, well it's far better than the RSPB loosing money on non-members entrance fees.
Ian.
But the RSPB doesn't lose money when people don't pay to get in - it doesn't cost the RSPB anything to host these people on their reserves. Surely far better to encourage them to visit and hope that some of they join, rather than demanding money from them which could put them off joining or returning to the reserve.
__________________
My website: https://lewissparky.wixsite.com/website
Fat Paul Scholes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 14:40   #23
MTem
Registered User
 
MTem's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 2,314
Ian,

If you just want to post an opinion and then only consider and reflect upon the responses that agree with you, then you can only expect (once this has occurred a few times - Druridge mining to name another) a degree of dismissal and derision, I would suggest.
Several responders here have proposed alternative perspectives, and backed them up with their reasoning. If your purpose posting was to solely pour scorn (a la Daily Mail) then I'd suggest you can only expect responses like Jos Stratford. If your intention was to seek understanding as to why an organisation like the RSPB might do something intentionally that you initially find baffling then I'd suggest perhaps you might reflect more on their responses.

I too am a Life member of the RSPB, and occasionally get frustrated an the umpteenth begging letter, but I also hope they never seek to emulate the WWT, with their duck zoos and pinioned waterfowl. I too therefore think their 'payment' strategy makes a lot of long-term sense.

I hope this post makes more sense to you.

Mick

Last edited by MTem : Thursday 13th July 2017 at 14:43.
MTem is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 14:53   #24
IAN JAMES THOMPSON
Registered User
 
IAN JAMES THOMPSON's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tyne and Wear
Posts: 840
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Paul Scholes View Post
But the RSPB doesn't lose money when people don't pay to get in - it doesn't cost the RSPB anything to host these people on their reserves. Surely far better to encourage them to visit and hope that some of they join, rather than demanding money from them which could put them off joining or returning to the reserve.
How do you know the RSPB don't lose money. They can pay for there entrance fee or join the RSPB. Why should non-member get free admission where there's a charge.
Ian.
IAN JAMES THOMPSON is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th July 2017, 15:06   #25
MTem
Registered User
 
MTem's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 2,314
Ian,

As you said at the top you think the RSPB should change their policy and actively and strongly 'police' the payment of admission fees - going as far as having volunteers checking people in hides. Others here (some also RSPB members) have explained why they think this would be a bad, counter-productive point of view and while it might increase gate receipt revenue in the short-term it is likely to have a greater negative long-term outcome.

Given the balance of responses to date, I think you can see why the RSPB do what they do. It is not an omission or error on their behalf, but a positive strategy.
That you don't agree is also clear, but then if you want only to be a member of organisations that do what you want 100% of the time, then I think you'll be saving a lot of subscriptions.

Mick
MTem is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Should the RSPB start scanning RSPB membership cards at RSPB reserves? IAN JAMES THOMPSON Birds & Birding 64 Tuesday 25th August 2015 13:43
Bread, check. Milk, check. Eggs, check. Rare bird, check... (RSPB) BF Newsroom Latest news from the RSPB 0 Friday 2nd August 2013 09:23
RSPB membership chiffchaff123 Birds & Birding 3 Thursday 9th February 2012 21:36
RSPB Membership Huntso Birds & Birding 8 Sunday 2nd January 2011 16:57
RSPB membership? wildlifelove Birds & Birding 16 Thursday 9th December 2010 15:29

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.22642994 seconds with 37 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 21:13.