About us

Operation Turtle Dove, launched on the 10th May 2012, is a project which aims to reverse the decline of one of England’s best loved farmland birds, the turtle dove. For more information about project activities, look at the ‘what are we doing to save turtle doves‘ page.

Operation Turtle Dove is a partnership of four liked-minded organisations with the determination to save this dainty dove;  the project partners are the RSPB, Conservation Grade, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Natural England.

The RSPB speaks out for wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Wildlife and the environment face many threats. Our work is focussed on the species and habitats that are in the greatest danger. Our work is driven by the passionate belief that birds and wildlife enrich people’s lives. We have more than one million members, over 13,500 volunteers, 1,300 staff, more than 200 nature reserves, 10 regional offices, four country offices… and one vision – to work for a better environment rich in birds and wildlife. www.rspb.org.uk


Fair to Nature is a farming scheme that facilitates relationships between farmers, brand owners and consumers for the good of farmland wildlife. The system of agriculture adopted by members optimises both crop yields and the conservation of biodiversity. www.fairtonature.org



The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust’s unique expertise in captive rearing turtle doves and other threatened species for recovery projects will facilitate the investigation of matters vital to the long-term success of Operation Turtle Dove. An initial project element will involve offering captive-reared birds a choice of different types of seed to determine preferred foods throughout their breeding and rearing cycle; translating this crucial information into prescribed seed mixes to be sown by farmers. www.pensthorpetrust.org.uk


Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public. As part of our work, we run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes, enabling farmers and landowners to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland. We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats. We also promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them. www.naturalengland.org.uk