A fun sustainable way to learn about British birds

Learn how to identify endangered British birds in a fun sustainable way with PlayPress Toys new playsets designed in collaboration with the RSPB. 

How many British birds can you identify?  Do you know how many of those are endangered? 

You might be familiar with the common birds like the robin, the blue tit or the house sparrow but do you know the difference between a lesser spotted woodpecker and the green woodpecker? And which species are endangered? Some surprising birds like the house sparrow and the starling are on the red list. 

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) does a great job of protecting our birds and educating future generations about how to save our birds. 

They make a list of the birds and which ones are endangered once every six years. The last Birds of Conservation Concern (BoCC) list in 2021 lists 70 red list species. That’s double what it was in 1966 in the first report. Nine bird species are on the threatened with extinction list, including some birds that we love like the puffin and the swift. Some have jumped straight from the green list (least concern) to the red list in 6 years, like the ptarmigan. 

The RSPB has a wide range of resources for scientists, farmers and policy makers. They also produce materials for schools and they run a series of programmes each year. One of these is the Big Schools’ Birdwatch, where children at schools make lists of all the birds they see. These teach young children about our British birds and how we can save them. 

That takes money and of their net income, 90% is spent on conservation, public education and advocacy. They fundraise by seeking donations and grants, getting corporate sponsorship and selling items in their shop.  

PlayPress Toys have collaborated with the RSPB on two British bird playsets that are available in their store. The Coastal Birds playset features UK sea birds like the puffin, shag, gannet, razorbill and of course seagulls, sitting on the cliffs. The Forest Birds playset has a blue jay, bullfinch, two woodpeckers (green and lesser spotted), and a tawny owl, nestled among the trees. 

Children will have fun pressing out the birds and perching them on the playset. They can learn to identify birds they might not see in everyday life. And when they are finished playing, the sets can pack neatly away again. 

Parents will be pleased to know that the playsets are made of sustainable and compostable playboards. They are printed and glued with plant based inks. The playsets are vegan and biodegradable. PlayPress Toys’ innovative design means that the playsets are packaging free. 

PlayPress Toys provide hours of plastic free playtime for children (and adults). The company has worked with a number of big brands like the RNLI and Science Museum. They have designed sets featuring space, wildlife, pirates, farmyards, and dinosaurs. Playsets also feature  popular book and TV characters like the Gruffalo and Shaun the Sheep. For commercial enquiries visit their studio page. 

Coastal Birds and Forest Birds are available to purchase at the RSPB shop, in your local toy store, and on the PlayPress Toys website. A donation for every purchase will go to RSPB and support British birds.  

Annette Clubley

Annette is a keen wildlife conservationist, mindful of sustainability and our impact on the environment. Outside of work, family is her focus and she loves teaching the next generation to enjoy the outdoors.