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.


Tribal humans

After my guest blog for the RSPB, I noticed very little engagement. Is it too complex or, due to partisan posturing over who ‘owns’ curlew’s recovery, we risk letting it slip below critical? This tribalism risks more than just a wading bird. I’ve had some frank responses in private to my concern voiced above -: … Continue reading Tribal humans

Cuckoo barley

For Andy Roberts, the sound of skylarks singing is a sure sign that spring is on its way. A farmer fresh back onto the land, he outlines his thoughts on timeliness to provide barley, potatoes and birds.  When my brother and I plan to sow spring barley and plant potatoes, we have learnt over the … Continue reading Cuckoo barley

Thorny hedges

A pair of nest-building long-tailed tits flags up the importance of hedgerows. And controversy over their management While I too often dive into gritty countryside issues, the joy I’ve had from long-tailed tits making their nest in a hedge, is not without a subtle lesson. Mine’s a lichen Long-tailed tits are unmistakable. Twittering, flitting, bustling … Continue reading Thorny hedges

Fey living

An unpublished letter to the Times Literary Supplement in response to an opinion article on the ‘latest crop of nature-writing books’ Dear Sir While Nick Groom found ‘fey living’ on a retro-farmed wheat field preferable to a ‘teen fantasy’ of rewilding, both his oversimplification and polarised nature of the piece made it almost misleading. It didn’t start well. … Continue reading Fey living

Digging dialogue

We need better social science to work closer with farmers and land managers – many of whom are conservationists. The pressures on farmers today are immense. Working out how farmers think is a seriously ignored matter and requires us to come closer together to work on common ground issues. Alas, there is still too much fear around being seen to agree … Continue reading Digging dialogue

Elite nature

On ringing the head office to query the language in the ‘Bob for Nature’ campaign letter I received.  Could someone please explain the sentence to me “despite our efforts…..ancient woodlands destroyed, hedgerows flailed and uprooted, fields forsaken – and a staggering 60% of our species in decline”? They were most apologetic. It was not intended … Continue reading Elite nature

Pollen counts

When I chaired a discussion on the National Pollinator Strategy, things unfolded differently to what delegates expected. The Public Policy Exchange framed the conference around two words: exchange – as in knowledge sharing, and communities – as in farming, urban, scientific and political involving research councils, environmental groups, academia, farm conservation advisors and beekeepers. Alongside the politician – Huw … Continue reading Pollen counts