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

Every so often, I aim to produce a pithy (under 800 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.


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

Wielding evidence

A reflection on a British Ecological Society symposium ‘Making a Difference in Conservation’ from an ‘outsider’. I was delighted to attend the BES/CCI event in Cambridge a couple of years ago, but as things are never straightforward for a single-subject symposium (‘Improving the links between ecological research, policy and practice’), there was nothing ‘single issues’ … Continue reading Wielding evidence