Recycle old binoculars to help conservation projects

Old or unwanted binoculars, telescope, spotting scope or tripod that still work but are collecting dust in the drawer? If so, we’d love to put them to good use!

A lone women birdwatching, looking through binoculars looking over water.
On this page

Recycle your binoculars to help conservation projects worldwide

There are so many ways you can help us in the fight to give nature a future. If fundraising and volunteering aren’t your thing, why not play our lottery, visit our online shop or check out our second-hand binocular scheme? 

A set of Binoculars sat on a glass display in a shop.

Second hand binocular scheme

Have you got an old or unwanted pair of binoculars, a telescope, a spotting scope or a tripod that still work but are collecting dust in the cupboard? If so, we’d love to take them off your hands and put them to good use.

Since 1985, the RSPB's second-hand binocular scheme has provided more than 12,000 items to conservation and education projects in more than 90 countries. Binoculars and telescopes have found their way to some of the world’s most remote communities, often delivered by RSPB staff and supporters.  

We’ve kitted out Angola’s first-ever bird hide, helped Tanzanian school children see wild animals up-close at a national park, and given Brazilian rainforest reserve rangers the equipment they need to protect wildlife from poachers. 

A close up of a fan shaped green leaf.

How it works

When we receive donated binoculars, telescopes, spotting scopes and tripods, RSPB staff and volunteers check the condition of the items. We keep the usable ones in storage until they’re needed. 

We get lots of requests for equipment from BirdLife International Partners and other organisations that have heard about our scheme. We do everything we can to fulfil each request. To keep costs as low as possible, we often rely on an RSPB staff member or supporter visiting the country where the request has come from to deliver the items. We also keep a record of where we send the equipment and ask that the organisation/project agrees not to sell items for profit. 

Where to send your binoculars and scopes

Please send your items to the address below: 

RSPB second-hand binocular scheme  

Unit 17  

St Martins Business Centre  

St Martins Way  

Bedford MK42 OLF 

Please note – we can only use items in good working order. 

If you'd prefer, you can take your donation to your nearest staffed RSPB nature reserve or regional office/country headquarters, or send it in via your RSPB local group, where your donation will be forwarded to us. 

If you have any questions about the scheme, contact binoenquiries@rspb.org.uk.

Person looking through a telescope surrounded by greenery.

How the scheme is helping

Here are a couple of examples of projects that are benefiting from the scheme:

'The community is conserving and managing an area of locally-owned forest, rich with bird life, to encourage ecotourism and sustainable resource use which will be of benefit to themselves and the natural environment. 'Thanks to the RSPB second-hand binocular scheme, we were able to provide an essential piece of kit with which to start training local people as bird guides' 

Esther Bertram from the Rwenzori Development Foundation in Western Uganda 

'We are working with BirdLife Brazil to monitor birds in the Atlantic rainforest. To date, 403 bird species have been confirmed in the reserve, including seven categorised by BirdLife International as threatened. 'Much of the area has been damaged by poor land management, and we intend to start planting trees, demonstrating to landowners that habitat creation for birds and wildlife is possible.' 

Alan Martin, REGUA (Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu), Brazil 

Useful websites

The view looking up at a Bamboo tree and its leaves.

Browse our online store

Whether you’re after a bird feeder for your garden friends or are looking to make some sustainable kitchen swaps, there’s something for everyone in the RSPB online shop. Your shopping supports our work – a portion of each sale goes towards funding our fight to save nature. All products are tested for their effectiveness and quality and are chosen with the environment in mind.  

We’ve got everything you need to do your bit for local wildlife, from bird tables to bat boxes and everything in between. If you want to brush up on your birdwatching skills, we have identification charts and binoculars. Or if you’d like to make your home extra eco-friendly, we have beeswax kitchen wraps and.reusable cotton pads. 

Looking to take your trip outdoors to the next level? Why not check out our selection of camping chairs, water bottles and rucksacks? Searching for the perfect present? Buying something from the RSPB shop means you’ll be giving us a gift as well as the lucky recipient. We have candles, jigsaw puzzles and cosy blankets.  

The view of the inside of an RSPB shop, filled with wooden displays.

Flight of the swallow collection?

Buy a pun-tastic t-shirt

Since 2015, Weird Fish have been making us smile with witty T-shirts, designed exclusively for the RSPB. From "Lord of the Wings" and "Harrier Potter" to "Starling Wars" and "Ducktor Who", every T-shirt sold through their shops and online generates a minimum £5 donation to the RSPB. We also stock them in RSPB shops and online.  

Our partnership with Weird Fish has raised over £100,000 since 2015. Darth Wader is the fastest selling T-shirt so far, but watch this space for more designs. 

Support while you shop with Give as you Live

Thousands of companies will donate money to us when you shop with them online through Give as you Live™

All you have to do is download Give as you Live™. Your computer will remember that you've signed up to the scheme every time you visit a partner website. Give as you Live™ does all the admin, while the retailers (including John Lewis, iTunes, British Airways, Tesco, Boots, Marks & Spencer and many more) do all the giving. 

When you spend money online, retailers will give a donation to the RSPB and it costs you absolutely nothing. 

Side view of a person typing on a laptop, with the sun setting outside the window in the background.

How to download Give as you Live ™

Head to the Give as you Live ™ website to download. Then just shop online as you usually do and you’ll be raising money for us directly through your favourite online stores. 

If you're a regular online shopper, you could raise hundreds of pounds for the RSPB every year. What better excuse to shop ‘til you drop? 

Share this article