Shooting Times speaks out over raptor persecution

Shooting Times speaks out over raptor persecution

If you kill raptors and you buy Shooting Times, please desist from doing both. You are ruining our sport and we don’t want your custom. https://t.co/YJN06aKHie — Shooting Times (@ShootingTimes) 14 March 2018 Change was never going to come overnight but reform has been happening for some time. We would all like to get to [...]

Freethinkers, echo chambers and the cult of personality in conservation

Freethinkers, echo chambers and the cult of personality in conservation

Just as it is in politics, the cult of personality is alive and well in the environmental field. Just as the charisma, views, values and outlooks of notable politicians - Trump, Corbyn, Merkel - shapes our political ideologies, so do the same features mould and sculpt our views on environmental issues. Influencing everything from our [...]

Hunting and Optics: should I feel guilty for where I shop?

Hunting and Optics: should I feel guilty for where I shop?

It cannot have escaped your attention that, over the past few weeks, some optics companies (those who produce binoculars, scopes and cameras) have received a large amount of criticism due to their ties to the hunting industry. Indeed, following the publication of their first report in 2016, Ethical Consumer has published a second report highlighting the [...]

Labour’s Animal Welfare Plan with regards to wild animals

Labour’s Animal Welfare Plan with regards to wild animals

It surely won't have escaped your attention that just over a week ago now, the Labour party released what they have branded as a plan for the future of animal welfare under a Labour government. Based on the response of conservationists, campaigners and various online commentators, it appears said plan has gone down rather well. [...]

Goosanders face yet more hostility in Scotland

Goosanders face yet more hostility in Scotland

Discussions regarding the impact of predators - particularly Cormorants and Goosanders - upon fish stocks are not uncommon in my family. This is due to one particular family members prevailing interest in angling, and, more often than not, such debates end in a stalemate. One which often culminates in claims that piscivorous birds clear out [...]

We really must rethink the bonkers notion of Hen Harrier ‘brood management’

We really must rethink the bonkers notion of Hen Harrier ‘brood management’

I am late to the party on this one I am afraid, and there are already many excellent articles out there regarding the rollout of the Natural England sanctioned Hen Harrier Brood Management (or Meddling) scheme. Of these, recent articles by Patrick Barkham, Mark Avery, RPS are all worthy of a read and cover the [...]

A tentative step in the right direction | Some thoughts on the 25-year Environment Plan

A tentative step in the right direction | Some thoughts on the 25-year Environment Plan

This past week, and to an equal mix of fanfare and apprehension, the government released its long-awaited 25-year plan to improve the environment. A full outline of which can be found here, for those interested. I would advise all to have a read. The plan, launched in style by the PM herself, sets out a long-term [...]

The New Northern Forest | I am not entirely convinced

The New Northern Forest | I am not entirely convinced

The government has pledged £5.7m to kickstart the planting of a great Northern Forest that will span the country from Liverpool to Hull. With the M62 as its spine, it will cover approximately 120 miles of land, involve the planting of over 50m trees and take some 25 years to complete; costing an estimated £500m over [...]

Reflecting on six-months of Michael Gove

Reflecting on six-months of Michael Gove

Like a great many people, I suspect, the June appointment of Machiavellian, boris-slaying, hardline Brexiteer Michael Gove as Secretary of State for the Environment left me feeling more than just a little pessimistic. Saddened even; following a succession of unsavoury individuals ranging from the plain old bad (Truss), to the stupid (Leadsom), and the downright villainous (Patterson), it seemed [...]

10 environmental wishes for 2018 (Part 1)

10 environmental wishes for 2018 (Part 1)

An end to raptor persecution in the uplands In 2018 I want to see an end to the illegal persecution of protected raptors in upland Britain, by any means necessary. However this happens, whether through a ban on the practices responsible for the decimation of England's Hen Harrier's and the suppression of Peregrine and kite [...]

A touch of hypocrisy from the SGA

A touch of hypocrisy from the SGA

I don't particularly mind the Scottish Gamekeepers Association; sometimes they say quite reasonable things and on other occasions, they produce some exceptional twaddle. As a body, they support (some) practices I do not necessarily agree with but, much like the gamekeepers that fill their ranks, are in my humble opinion far from the greatest threat [...]

The drawbacks of Environmental Blogging

The drawbacks of Environmental Blogging

Bloggers in the present day are everywhere: voluntary journalists covering, in often exquisite detail, everything from hair and beauty to politics and, of course, the environment. There are so many now, in fact, that most people (myself included) will visit a blog on a daily basis, to ascertain new information, form opinions, kill time and [...]

Clarification from LACS regarding Mink

Clarification from LACS regarding Mink

A few days ago, I posted somewhat of a fervid piece in response to tweets published by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) apparently disputing the notion that non-native American Mink are detrimental to the British ecosystem, and criticising legitimate control efforts enacted to curb their expansion. Said post can be found here for those interested. Well, [...]

A mighty blow to LACS conservation credibility

A mighty blow to LACS conservation credibility

  In the eyes of ordinary folk, conservationists and animal rights activists are often indistinguishable. Indeed, both groups boast some pretty distinct similarities in that each, above all else, cares profoundly about the natural world, striving to protect the creatures which inhabit it wherever possible. Ask a conservationist if they buy into animal rights and [...]