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The Problem With Holding the Middleground

There is a fundamental problem with occupying the middle ground in any argument, particularly one as polarising as the debate surrounding driven grouse shooting. This problem is simple and stems from the fact that, sooner or later, something (or many somethings) is going happen, and pull you one way, or the other. Towards either side.…

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A focus on Black Grouse decline

The Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) is, by far, my favourite upland bird. A vision of unrivalled beauty, clad in flamboyant plumage and boasting a surprisingly timid demeanour. A species which, each year, leks its way into my heart as I make my annual pilgrimage to view the birds in their upland realm. Usually at RSPB Geltsdale, or, should…

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Good grief, I’m in a journal…

This week saw the publication of a note in the Entomologists Record and Journal of Variation, by myself and the wonderful Nick Littlewood. The note itself, centred on a summer spent scrutinising the Lepidoptera of the Invermark Estate, in Angus. Detailing a number of interesting finds, including, a county second, a number of BAP species,…

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Monday Reading List

I love reading the blogs of other naturalists and do so near daily. Both as a means of gaining knowledge and inspiration, and as a way to revel in the experiences of others. Something made possible through the sheer talent and dedication of many online nature writers. I assume that most of the people browsing…

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A Truly ‘Wild’ Birthday

Yesterday marked my birthday, my 23rd to be precise, an event that, in all honesty, would usually have been defined by copious amounts of alcohol and the bright lights of Newcastle. This year, however, that was far from the case. And instead of celebrating in typical “young” person fashion, I choose to do something a…

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A Disgraceful Decision by Natural England

This week, in an incomprehensible show of ignorance, Natural England granted a licence for a Northumbrian gamekeeper to lethally control “up to 10 Buzzards” to protect non-native pheasant poults.  This appalling announcement comes less than a year after the High Court ruled that Natural England was “wrong” to deny keeper Richard McMorn a license to kill…

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It’s Time for a WILDER Britain

Nothing is certain in post-Brexit Britain, not least the protective legislation that safeguards our wildlife. The safety net provided by EU directives has been cast aside and now our countryside fa… Source: It’s Time for a WILDER Britain