Five years ago today I left the RSPB and started life as a …well, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew it was time for a change. Now I tend to call myself a writer and environmental campaigner.
In that time I have written seven books – so I probably can call myself a writer. Seven? You might ask? Yes! Blogging for Nature (self-published and no longer available), Fighting for Birds, A Message from Martha, Behind the Binoculars (with Keith Betton), Inglorious, Behind More Binoculars (again with Keith Betton and almost, almost, almost completed) and another book that I am not going to tell you about yet.
Added to that, I have written articles and columns for Wild Travel magazine (which went bust!), BBC Wildlife, the Independent (which disappeared), the Guardian, British Wildlife magazine and Birdwatch magazine. I’d like to thank, in particular, Andrew Branson and Malcolm Tait of British Wildlife and most especially Dominic Mitchell of Birdwatch for letting me write for their superb magazines for what is now, several years.
And have you noticed that I have campaigned too? There has been all that stuff on driven grouse shooting (We will win! #sodden570, #BanGS3, Hen Harrier Day etc) but also quite a lot helping local campaigns such as The Sanctuary and Fineshade Wood, as well as a focus on marine protected areas, farming, lead shot, badgers and I’ve been a friendly critic of the wildlife NGOs (but also a friendly collaborator and aid).
And how have the wildlife NGOs done? Well, not so well I fear. In my monthly column in Birdwatch magazine I describe the Big Four (the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Woodland Trust) as having ‘lost their way, their nerve and their ambition’.
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