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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Black spiders and albatrosses

The Guardian won a protracted legal battle this week to get letters sent by HRH Prince Charles to the UK Government to be published. These so-called black spider letters (due to the Prince’s handwriting) were dismissed by many as an anti-climax. They weren’t seen to contain much that was embarrassing to Government, although obviously they raise questions about the influence of the monarchy and of private interests on political decisions. Simon Jenkins has written a good piece about why we […]

Dear Ms Allen, what’s your Vision for Nature? A letter to my new MP.

Here’s a letter I’ve written to my new MP, Heidi Allen, Conservative. Dear Ms Allen, Congratulations on your election as MP for South Cambridgeshire. I’ve already written to you previously regarding my concerns about the natural world and I hope that over the next five years in Parliament you’ll act to protect and restore it. I’m part of A Focus on Nature, the network for young nature conservationists in the UK, led by and for young people. The previous Government […]

Natterjacks and nestboxes

Feeling a bit blue yesterday morning I was pleased to get some natural relief in the form of some surveying. At lunchtime I went out (with a license) to look for natterjack toadspawn and tadpoles (Epidalea calamita). Natterjacks are confined to sand dunes or sandy ecosystems. They used to be far more widespread in the UK, when we had a lot more heathland, but are now found at only a handful of sites across the UK. The ponds are shallow, warm […]

Nature: who gives a flying…?

This is a blog about hope, although you have to wade through a bit of cocktail-napkin analysis to get there. The election, in particular an election where we vote to return a party that, in Government, hasn’t had a great record on the environment, can be cause for some soul-searching (I’m writing elsewhere about the potential implications of a Conservative government for nature might be, and what the top pundits think). This morning the RSPB’s Chief Executive Mike Clarke has written […]

David Cameron: remember your climate pledge

Originally posted on the RSPB climate change blog. The dust is still settling and many questions remain unanswered, but we can be sure that one of the biggest challenges for the Government (and for wildlife) will be climate change. Fortunately the new Government is committed to lowering our emissions in line with our domestic and international commitments. It might feel like a hazy and distant memory but, as Greg Barker (former Conservative Climate Minister) has reminded us today, David Cameron made an important pledge on climate change only […]

Biofuels are capped but the job isn’t done

Originally posted on the RSPB’s climate blog. The European Parliament voted last week to approve a cap on the use of first generation biofuels, those from land-based crops. This cap places an important restriction on the use of a form of energy that can put wildlife at risk and in some cases be more polluting than the conventional fuels it is designed to replace. This cap sends a strong signal that there is no future for the worst of all biofuels. […]

The Joy of Disappointment

Learning to deal with disappointment. It’s not something we necessarily finish learning, it doesn’t mark the transition from childhood to adulthood, and on some days it feels like it isn’t getting any easier. But, I feel like I’ve learned to go with the flow more and be more patient. I’ve learned this in particular from nature. Being grateful for what we have and what the universe offers us, rather than what we feel like we want and need, is healthy. […]