Greater Manchester

Formation of the RSPB

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) was founded as the Plumage League in the Manchester suburb of Didsbury in 1889 by a group of respectable middle-class women as a protest group campaigning particularly against the use of great crested grebe and kittiwake skins and feathers in the fashion trade, which was having such a devastating effect on waterbird populations.

The organisation initially had two rules:

  • That Members shall discourage the wanton destruction of Birds, and interest themselves generally in their protection
  • That Lady-Members shall refrain from wearing the feathers of any bird not killed for purposes of food, the ostrich only excepted.— RSPB rules, 1899 Wikipedia