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

Various again

I went out for a walk on 1 December – it’s one of the things I can do now I am self-employed.  There were fresh worm casts on the lawn and quite a lot of insects in the air – it hardly felt like December.  At my local patch of Stanwick Lakes there were golden […]

November was the cruellest month…

November was a dismal month for nature in our country – just dismal.  This week the Westminster government issued figures showing that farmland birds were at an all time low but didn’t bother to comment on what they might do about it.  The Chancellor had a swipe at the environment and announced a review of […]

Farmland birds reach lowest point since records began

The latest (up to 2010) official figures for the UK Farmland Bird Index (and for that for England alone where things are just a tad worse) were published on Tuesday.  They show a further decline in numbers of the suite of 19 farmland birds which brings the index to its lowest ever point.  Take a […]

Book offer – Simon Barnes’s new book

birdwatching with your eyes closed is Simon Barnes’s new book, published by Short Books.  It’s an introduction to birdsong and if you are a novice bird-watcher then it will help you to be an expert bird-listener. Simon told me that ‘Learning birdsong really has changed the way I see the world. I’d love to help […]

Nature Directives – use them!

The nastiness of George Osborne came out when he mentioned ‘endless social and environmental goals‘ in his Autumn Statement yesterday.  George is keener on economic goals – although not so good at reaching them, so perhaps we can see why he doesn’t want any other goals to miss. As predicted in this blog yesterday (just […]