Up-close wildlife

At the African wildlife conservation hunting conference, the man from the UN Environment Programme was unequivocal with me: “if elephants are global ‘public goods’, then developed countries should also pay towards local communities having to ‘manage’ living alongside them”. Pigeon pie There have been plenty of conservation conflicts covered by mainstream news items in 2019. … Continue reading Up-close wildlife

Gimme Shelter

‘Wild streams and wild birds (with apologies to the Rolling Stones)’ A piece published for the Wild Trout Trust in their annual journal ‘Salmo Trutta’ in 2014 (light edit update since publication) The sun beat down mercilessly on me as I travelled light, with rucksack and rod, high up in the Brecon Beacons. So light … Continue reading Gimme Shelter

Moorland muddles

The Langholm Moor Demonstration Project taught the conservation community a number of valuable lessons. [A re-post of an article first published in a magazine – see link at end] There is a chunk of moorland in Scotland that has been subject to a 25-year project involving upland land uses, habitat, nature conservation designations, biodiversity, fieldsports, … Continue reading Moorland muddles

Forest grump

Seven years in the life of a tree is nothing. A few rings of growth, some leave litter, 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 in 2019) as a District … 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