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


A recent tweet on Twitter from Mary Creagh MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defra, said that Defra Minister Richard Benyon had described the relationship between nature charities and Defra as ‘edgy’. The ‘really quite admirable’ Mr Benyon did use that phrase,  in a debate, when expressing his pleasure at having his report card […]


The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group is ‘expected to go into administration in the coming days’. Henry Lucas the FWAG Chair of Trustees has written to a range of organisations giving them the bad news. FWAG is a little over 40 years old and has been a respected part of the wildlife and farming scene […]

You are one in 7 billion

Today, apparently, will be born a child who will bring the standing crop of the human population to 7,000,000,000.  Yes, that’s a lot! The human population reached 1 billion in 1804 and 6 billion just before the millennium – we’ve stuck an extra billion people on the planet since then and 8 billion is about […]

Bits and pieces

I was planning to do a bit of research on this subject and then found that someone else had already done it.  It seems that climate sceptic Tory MPs tend to be euro-sceptics too.  This doesn’t mean that they don’t believe that the EU exists – at least I don’t think it does. I don’t […]

Nature Improvement Areas – nature conservation’s ‘Strictly’

A few days ago Natural England put the list of 20 short-listed areas that have been proposed as Nature Improvement Areas onto their website and apparently didn’t tell anyone.  And Defra didn’t tell anyone either it seems. How odd? It’s like not mentioning the penultimate episode of Strictly Come Dancing. Perhaps it’s because this is […]