THE RSPB is urging everyone to save water as shortages take their toll on wildlife.

The charity is warning that the lack of rain this winter is threatening the breeding season and causing a bleak outlook for wildlife which relies on moist ground and healthy rivers.

And it has offered up a list of water-saving tips to help cut down on waste after Southern Water joined Thames and South East Water in announcing hosepipe bans from next month.

Steve Gilbert, conservation programme manager for the RSPB South East, said: “This serious and prolonged drought has already had a big impact on RSPB wetland nature reserves across the region, with dry conditions threatening to impact this spring’s breeding season at many sites.

“While we are taking steps to use water as efficiently as possible on our reserves, in the wider countryside prospects are bleak for wildlife that needs moist soil conditions and healthy rivers.

“The hosepipe ban is a clear signal that we all need to do our bit to reduce our impact on the environment and help avoid further damage.

“Saving water will ensure more stable, resilient habitats for the birds and other wildlife that depend on our water environments for their survival.”

The Met Office believes there is only a 15 per cent chance of the next three months being wet enough to help restock our reservoirs and aquifers.

So with restrictions on use in Hampshire imminent the RSPB is urging everyone to save water as part of its Step up for Nature scheme.

Steve added: “Sometimes it’s obvious where we can save water, such as collecting rainwater to water our gardens or taking showers instead of baths. At other times the water connection may be less obvious, but it could be just as important for wildlife and the environment.”

l For more information on the Step up for Nature scheme go to