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Protection of Birds Act, 1954

Protection of Birds Act, 1954

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1954/2&3Eliz2c30

Tufton Beamish was passionate about nature conservation, and was heavily involved with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). His involvement with wildlife conservation causes would prove to be one of his most long lasting achievements as MP for Lewes. Later in life he would also become a member of the Nature Conservation Council.

In 1954 Beamish fought hard and negotiated extensively to secure passage of what was (at that time) the longest private member's bill to go before the House of Commons. This bill became the Protection of Birds Act (1954). The Act aimed to to protect birds, their nests and their eggs all the year round, with exceptions made for game and food birds. During the second reading of the Bill (4th December 1953), Beamish said that:

"The need for new legislation is very real indeed and we can all agree with my hon. Friend that many of our neighbouring countries of Europe and other parts of the world have much more advanced legislation on this subject than we have."

The Bill received Royal Assent on the 4th June 1954.

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