Farmers are not the problem: I am, and you might be too

The recent State of Nature report paints a bleak picture of modern Britain. One in which wildlife populations tumble and wild spaces are hemmed in, degraded and destroyed. Unfortunately, most of us will recognise this as the norm and at a relatively youthful 26-years old, it worries me that this is all I have ever…

Nets Down for Nature: when people power works for wildlife

There is rarely any cause for hope in the environmental field. Indeed, everywhere we look, habitats are being erased, ecosystems dismantled and vulnerable species pushed ever closer to the brink of annihilation. It can be grim, at times, and outright depressing at others. Every once in a while, however, something bucks the trend – the…

Moles apart: a sorry sign of a split in our attitude to wildlife

A week past, I had the pleasure of spending a full day in the uplands of Northumberland. A thoroughly enjoyable affair marked by the energetic courtship flights of returning waders, the go-back, go-back calls of innumerable Red Grouse and even the sight of a black cock or two. It was a joyous day, truth be…

10 Tips for Nature Bloggers, with Kate on Conservation

I started this website as a place to express my interest in the natural world and to share sightings and photographs from my local ventures. Truth be told, I never planned to start writing; although five-years in, here I am, waffling regularly about myriad environmental topics and thoroughly enjoying myself. Blogging, ultimately, is about finding…

Take a Stand for Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

We have seen the same story play out time and time again in the North East, as developers buy up our scant remaining green space and build, build, build absent consideration for the environmental impact of their actions. Normally, such developments are difficult to dispute: the benefits of housing overruling the needs of any particular…

RSPB criticised for protecting birds… fancy that?

This week, the depths of social media have been filled with grumblings of discontent aimed at the RSPB for their use of lethal control as a conservation tool on their land: to protect threatened curlew (and other ground-nesting birds), to restore woodland and to protect a suite of native fauna from damaging invasive species. To…

Lets talk about the Tyne Kittiwakes

If you live in the North East, doubtless you have noted the recent, and entirely justified, outcry surrounding the unfortunate deaths of a number of Kittiwakes (a globally threatened, predominately oceanic and entirely harmless species) caused by entrapment in bird deterrent netting erected on Newcastle’s Quayside. The issue has been everywhere this week, highlighted by…

Compassionate Conservation or admirable ignorance?

Compassionate Conservation is proposed as a “growing international movement that seeks to build the welfare of individual animals into conservation practice. Achieved by promoting change, acceptance and education to reduce intended or unintentional harm to wildlife”. Its core principals are built around the assertation that, in our quest to conserve vulnerable species, humans should refrain…

Here’s why I, personally, watch birds

My attention was recently drawn to an interesting article authored for The Conversation by the esteemed and eloquent Dr Robert Lambert. Centred on the logic behind birding (or twitching, if you prefer), I found the piece highly interesting, both as a birder who spends a great deal of his time observing our feathered friends and as an…

Gull cull? No thanks

The last few days have seen an infuriating surge in the rhetoric of those calling for the control of Britain’s gulls; as campaigners clamour for the lethal action, red-faced MP’s bluster and the national press embarks on yet another misinformed wildlife witch-hunt. It has all been rather depressing, at least for those, like me, rather fond of…

Martin Hughes-Games is wrong about Planet Earth

For clarities sake, let us get this out of the way first: I, personally, am a fan of both the Planet Earth series and presenter Martin Hughes-Games. More fond of the former than the latter, in truth, but boasting a positive perception of both. This post is not at all intended as an attack on Martin….