See you at the Bird Fair and five campaigning opportunities

It’s about six weeks until the Bird Fair (and two weeks until the Game Fair).  I hope to be at the Bird Fair on all three days signing copies of my book which will soon be available.  One evening after being at the Bird Fair I usually sit outside my house in the garden with a glass of Rioja and look out for some of the last swifts over the garden.  It is the culmination of many evenings spent cradling many glasses of Rioja and looking at many swifts.  But it occurs to me that I have not had a single such evening yet this year – what weather!

Vote here to help Lifelong Learning at Saltholme get some dosh – please!

Plantlife’s road verge campaign could do with some more signatures – sign here please.

The Saving Spoon Billed Sandpiper blog is a very good one – follow it here.

Do you care about dolphins – have a look at this interesting campaign.

What do you think of Greenpeace’s campaign to save the Arctic?


I have occasionally thought in this time of errant bankers of that passage from the King James bible: For the love of money is the root of all evil. Couldn’t apply to nature conservationists though, could it?

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6 Replies to “See you at the Bird Fair and five campaigning opportunities”

  1. Thank you Mark for pointing to the Save the Arctic campaign. I wonder if, because it's a Greenpeace campaign, it might get no-votes that it wouldn't get if it was driven by some other organization.
    If anyone knows a good argument for not voting yes, I'd love to hear it.

    One small critical point about the campaign, though: its focus on the polar bear, and especially the strategy to try to get yes-votes through "love for the polar bear". Why should we have to love something to save or spare it? Why the need to make things cute and adorable? Greenpeace is not alone in this fad.

  2. Money is important - as is membership - but - and you'll know the answer to this as well as anyone Mark - I have wondered over recent years just how loud the voice of the Marketing Department is in big NGOs - certainly in RSPB, but probably much more so in the National Trust and Woodland Trust. I wonder whether the lethal combination of marketing and accountancy are killing vision and courage.

    I certainly wondered that as the forestry debate continued - there was a certain irony (and perhaps hope for the future !) that an organisation (the Forestry Commission) with no marketing department whatsoever had managed to attract the level of public support it did. A huge advantage was there was never a siren voice suggesting the possibility of massaging the truth. I know I'm hopeless at lying - I wasn't brought up to lie - so i didn't and it caused lots of little problems but it probably built trust as well - if you tell the truth + admit you are wrong sometimes people do tend to trust you. But of course, there are other, much cleverer, people who lie and are sure they can get away with it - mostly by lying and then lying again and we know what happens when it all comes out. Not really worth the candle.

  3. The difference is that bankers were making money for personal and corporate profit. Conservationists and their marketing people are interested in money because they can't do conservation without it. Though I suppose they could stop raising money and just sit criticising everyone else from the sidelines like certain other people seem to enjoy doing.

    1. Hi Linnet, I'm not sure that you refer to me, but just in case you do, I'd like to be a bit clearer than I was in my original comment. I have signed the Save the Arctic campaign, I donate to Greenpeace on a monthly basis, and have commented about this cuteness business on the Save the Arctic facebook page. Although my contribution is less than a drop in the ocean, I am not criticising from the sidelines. Although I'm maybe only just on the line 😉
      My issue with the cuteness is real, I'm not being cynical or something, I genuinely worry about using cuteness as a hook to try and get people to support balance in nature and conservation efforts, because cuteness has zero weight, when the opposing arguments are trying to justify e.g. drilling in the Arctic with need for fuel, need for jobs, prosperity etc.
      And I agree with you, raising money for our environment is vital as long as none or not enough of our tax money is used for it. At the same time, it's important to keep a sharp eye on the money-raising side of conservation. Sniping from the sidelines is sooooo annoying but it comes with the package. It's better to have even it than not tolerating any critisicm, no?
      I may of course have totally misunderstood your comment 🙂


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