It’s not a tribal blog, it’s a dialogue

Every so often, I aim to produce a pithy (circa 500 words) piece always with links to references.

Do apply to do a guest blog – note same word count and references if possible. Be prepared for ‘light touch edit’ to ensure positive, rather than divisive, engagement with the widest range of views.


Forest grump

Seven years in the life of a tree is nothing. A few rings of growth, centimetre of leave litter,  length of conifer branch, but where, since the scuppered 2011 forest sell-off, has the ‘enterprise’ around trees gone? I must declare an interest in knotty matters. My father worked for the Forestry Commission (100 years old … Continue reading Forest grump

NFU blues

I hosted a wide-ranging conversation with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president, Minette Batters, at the Hay Literary Festival earlier this year. Gove re-occurring , ‘cheap’ food arguments, farming bogs, issues with subsidies, admirable poultry, over-hyped soil and culture changes – so much, so little space, so little time…Minette was delayed but had enough breathe … Continue reading NFU blues

Rewilding in the UK – hidden meanings, real emotions

The word rewilding has become common currency in nature conservation narratives, but it rarely features in wider discussions on land use. The very mention of the word – especially without context or meaning – stirs up reactions that can equally engage or enrage people. (First published in Ecos – lead editorial 2016) Where I live in … Continue reading Rewilding in the UK – hidden meanings, real emotions

Wielding evidence

A reflection on a British Ecological Society symposium ‘Making a Difference in Conservation’ from an interested ‘outsider’. I was delighted to allocate three days to attend the BES/CCI event in Cambridge a couple of years ago. But things are never that straight forward. My rural surveying work took me away for one day and the other … Continue reading Wielding evidence

Wild bees and wolves. Nature Notebook. The Times Aug 2015

Transylvanian trek Nature Notebook. As published in The Times August 22 2015 – Part 2 of 2 In Romania, on a family holiday travelling with donkeys through the countryside, nature is abundant. Riches abound for those who forage for mushrooms, raspberries and bilberries among the native norway spruce and silver fir. With goshawks and crested tits flitting across the … Continue reading Wild bees and wolves. Nature Notebook. The Times Aug 2015

Hay and more

New ways to disrupt conversations to discover more in common. From industry leaders to young naturalists – it’s how you frame the dialogue.  Bringing three industry leaders together at the Hay Festival on ‘how agri-tech can reduce farming’s footprint on the environment‘ was fun, but challenging in framing the narrative to avoid ‘staked-out’ principled positions being unconducive … Continue reading Hay and more