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A reflection on jays

There’s one bird whose very heart is a beating contradiction. As I walk through the wood I can hear their dry-throated screams. The sound dodges between bare branches. Perhaps their call is them expressing anger at their cover being taken away. In Autumn, when the trees become bare, these birds are suddenly revealed. They’ve spent the rest of the year hiding in plain sight. But even the most avid birdwatcher barely sees them in the Spring and Summer months. One […]

Vision for Nature

The Vision for Nature report, published on 25 July 2016, sets out young people’s visions for the future of wildlife and nature in the UK. I helped to manage the production of this report over the course of two years. Back in 2013 I argued that we needed this vision, and how it is out there in the world. Our top recommendation is for a 250-year plan for to restore nature and then protect it for generations to come. You […]

This is the Earth

The world. Makes you think of a blue and green blob floating in blackness, perhaps glimpsed from the moon or the international space station right? Perhaps a photo taken by Tim Peake? Often the world means that other, distant place. World News, the ‘Orient’, the ‘Occident’. The globe. Our own planet often feels far away from here, from this chair, this table, this cup of tea, this tiny glowing screen in a room in Cambridgeshire of Tucson or Indonesia. But […]

The world keeps turning

I’ve cried. I’ve barely slept. When I have slept I’ve dreamed dreams I didn’t want to. No matter what the events of the past few days though, a sense of relief, comfort and detachment washed over me like a wave as I watched the juvenile kestrels practising to fly opposite our house. The world keeps turning and the creatures on my doorstep, in my garden, in the fields nearby were singing, flying, feeding and acting as if nothing had happened. […]

Tiny windhovers

Gazing out of our window today I spotted a thin-winged, fan-tailed shape circling above the ears of corn. Against a blue sky it was dark and speckled, difficult to pick out against a bright sun. It lured the eye to white patches of cloud that left the pupil disoriented and drunk on light. One of the pair of kestrels that live in the tree on the opposite side of the road. It pulled up, into a midair halt, and hovered. Head […]

Power companies to receive renewable energy subsidy for burning kittens

Environmental organisations have criticised new revelations that power stations, including Cremat-em Ltd, are burning kittens for energy. Kitten burning policies are being incentivised by renewable energy policies, as kittens are officially classed as a renewable energy, thanks to a ruling by the EU’s Directorate on Energy-Climate-Domestic Animal matters. Chris Heartfelt, a spokesperson for the Catwood Alliance, said ‘energy companies have tried to claim that they are only using heads and tails of kittens, or even just the waste furballs. But […]

Far from home

Last weekend I watched a female hen harrier drift past my front window. It has now been a week and I still haven’t seen another hen harrier from the comfort of the sofa. You might call me spoiled but I’m starting to get impatient with the lack of birding action I can enjoy without getting up out of my chair. I’m starting to think I might have to go out of the house to see wildlife. But yesterday, I was […]

Mother’s Day, interrupted

I clutched a freshly brewed mug of tea to my chest and turned down the soothing, Geordie tones of Ruth Archer on the wireless. Then, picking up the phone handset I punched in the numbers to phone my Mum. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I wanted to make sure that I explained that while I had put a card in the post, a freak and isolated snowstorm in the southwest Cambridgeshire area had delayed its arrival on her doormat. The […]

Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum 2016

Having helped to organise the 2012 Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum, it was an honour to be invited to speak at the 2016 event. We arrived in time to see the end of the talk by Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. He was able to reel off by heart a host of statistics and examples that were reasons to feel optimistic about the chances of fixing the mess we’ve made, and of the role business can play. One thing I […]

Discovering Hope

We’ve moved house lately and the village we’ve moved to backs right onto RSPB’s Hope (Grange) Farm. On one of our first weekends in our new house I decided to set out on a long walk. All in all I covered about eight miles or so, on a windy but sunny day in late January. I had layered up but soon I was removing my jacket and hoodie as I warmed up from the exercise. The countryside I crossed is […]