Author Archives: Mark

About Mark

Born Bristol, UK Educated: Cleeve House School Bristol, Bristol Grammar School and Downing College Cambridge Ph.D. University of Aberdeen, Winter activity of pipistrelle bats. NERC post-doctoral Research Fellow, Edward Grey Institute, Oxford University Former Conservation Director of the RSPB, 1989-2011

Planning for wildlife

It was good to see this story in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.  The RSPB have a legal opinion from Nathalie Lieven QC, the environmental barrister, who has “ no doubt the draft NPPF lessens the policy protection for SSSIs”. I wrote in comments on this blog on 9 September the following: ‘Although European designations […]

Never seen that before

Last weekend I revisited one of the haunts of my youth – a place called Steart or Stert.  And I’m going with Stert as I’ve always known it as ‘Sturt’ rather than ‘Steert’. As spotty teenagers at Bristol Grammar School we would, under the guardianship of masters  Derek Lucas and Tony Warren, make two autumn […]


Today is world vegetarian day.  Will that make a difference to you? I’ll be vegetarian today even though I am not vegetarian. But I am sticking to my self-imposed regime of four vegetarian days a week – and this year I think I am averaging closer to five rather than four. Why?  Well the reason […]


Today I am hoping to attend an event in London’s Supreme Court where there will be a mock trial for ecocide – a proposed new ‘crime against humanity’ Isn’t it an interesting idea – that a company or perhaps a government could be put on trial for destroying the natural environment? But wouldn’t we all […]

Not too reserved

The latest annual RSPB reserve report is out – with a very attractive black guillemot on the cover. Right up front, the first article, is an account of the numbers of various bird species on RSPB nature reserves in 2010 and their target populations in 2012 – the year when this RSPB nature reserve conservation […]