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

Are you a European?

I was just too young to vote in the referendum of 1975 but as a politically-aware sixth former I followed the debate and the arguments about whether the UK should stay in the European Economic Community (which the UK joined in 1973 (alongside Ireland and Denmark, swelling the original six members (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, […]

The raptor haters – Richard Ingrams

The raptor haters is an occasional series of articles on people who slag off birds of prey. Richard Ingrams finds red kites ‘menacing‘, ‘savage‘ and ‘unlikeable‘ and is ‘pleased to see a picture of a dead one‘.  Every three years or so he dips his pen in poison and is really nasty about these magnificent […]

The CAP still doesn’t fit

It’s not simple to understand, it’s not a riveting read , but it is very important – it’s the EU Budget announcement! The overall budget goes up but CAP funding goes down.  Fears, which were absolutely justified according to insiders, that the ‘good’ bits of the CAP, Pillar 2, would be hacked into, disproportionately hard, […]


Rumours abound as to the outcome of the EU budget discussions. I’ve heard that all is lost, and that Pillar 2 funding has been successfully defended – they can’t both be true. We’ll see! I attended the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee meeting hearing evidence on the Natural Environment White Paper yesterday. Sign up […]


I woke this morning to the sound of thunder.  Whereas Aristotle may have thought that this was the sound of clouds colliding I wonder whether it is the sound of disagreements in the EU over the future funding of CAP.  Or maybe Peter Kendall is still trying to tell Charles Clover how much he enjoyed […]