The Minox challenge results


In the end it was close, but the winner was: the rspb.

The total 1352 votes cast were as follows:

rspb   311

The Wildlife Trusts   274

Buglife   264

Butterfly Conservation   231

BTO   128

Plantlife   75

MARINElife  69


Well done to the rspb – but well done to all.  I hope that being able to put your messages on this blog with bring in a few members for all of you.

Watch this space for how you could bid for the pair of Minox 10x43HD binoculars.


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26 Replies to “The Minox challenge results”

    1. It wasn`t a difficult choice for me Ian. I voted for the Wildlife Trusts because they aim to conserve and protect all species of wildlife in Britain in all habitats, be it Basking Sharks, Brown Hairstreaks, Barn Owls, Bombardier Beetles, Birds-foot Trefoil and anything/everything else that you can think of...
      Well done to the RSPB nevertheless.

      1. Lancastrian - the RSPB came with a late run to overtake the wildlife Trusts on Sunday. I hope everyone feels like a bit of a winner!

      2. Thanks Lancastrian.

        I can understand how some people found it easy to vote but I can honestly say I am not one of them. I have spent more time working and volunteering for the RSPB than any of the others but I have volunteered for the Wildlife Trusts too. At the same time I have been a birder for more than 35 years so it is difficult to ignore the work the BTO does. My academic background is in Marine Zoology and I recognise the importance of Buglife, Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation. So did I vote with my heart or with my head? To be honest, I think it is nicer not to know how everyone voted...or their reasons for doing so.

  1. Well done RSPB and WTs great organisations doing great work. Thank you to all our voters.

    We may not have won the prize, but we have had some new members and hopefully made some more people aware of the desperate plight of bugs and the great work being done by Buglife staff and volunteers.

    If you want to make your support more material go to

    And if you want to stay abreast of Buglife action we have a great Twitter feed @Buzz_dont_tweet.



    1. Matt - thanks very much for being a good sport and entering into the fun of this challenge. I'm glad you got something out of it. @Buzz_dont_tweet ran a great Twitter campaign and is always worth a look.

  2. That came as a surprise when looking how the the likes/dislikes were moving (although I haven't looked at final likes/dislikes) - proves what a weak metric they are!

    I wonder what this looks like if you put the size of each organisation alongside the number of votes? Is this a case of the bigger you are the more people you have to vote for you?

    1. Steve - yes there must be an element of that, of course. Quite a large element - but then that is in itself a reflection of which organisations people think are 'best'.

      1. An organisation has more members (or Twitter followers, since I suspect that Twitter was the real driver in getting people to vote) because they have a broader appeal, not because they are 'best'. The RSPB and Wildlife Trusts will always have more followers than taxa specific organisations (I've never considered the RSPB as a taxa specific org, bet even if they were, we know birds are 'best' 😉 don't we). The narrower your remit, the narrower you're following.

        Do the results simply illustrate that those voting did so on a partisan basis? It almost looks like it to me.

        For what its worth, I didn't vote down the partisan line. I'm primarily a birder, and staunch support of the BTO, but I didn't simply vote for the organisation I already think of as 'best' (that would be BTO). I read all the blogs and voted for who I felt deserved the prize based solely on the words in front of me. I ranked them as I read them and BugLife won my vote, BTO came third and RSPB came sixth.

    1. Sally - I agree (in a way) but maybe Plantlife should have promoted themselves more? And it was certainly one of the best-written blogs on offer.

      1. "maybe Plantlife should have promoted themselves more"

        Plantlife ought to be my charidee of choice but it scarcely shows on my radar and when it has it has an air of Dullsville about it. I wish this was not the case. There is wealth of publications available on its website which I ought to read but it has to compete with the welter of information that arrives every day in addition to work for which I get paid. Perhaps they could make a start by organising an RSS feed.

        If we wanted to embiggen that which underpins everything we would have to vote for the Republican Society for the Protection of Soil - or something.

        1. Filbert, there is an organisation called the Soil Association that Alissa at the RSPB (Mark, she has a quote in the public domain so I am not giving too much away here) once worked for. She once told me that it was one of the biggest failings [in UK conservation] that the British government has NO policy for soil. I am inclined to agree and it is a neat extension of the point made by Sally.

          1. The draft European Soils Directive was kicked into the long stuff by a group of nations including UK in 2007. There is plenty of excellent work going on but the main thrust of any soil protective action is still bureaucratically orientated via cross-protection.

            Some of the best ideols for restoring functionality in UK soils involve mob-grazing cattle - but they are mostly dissed because they don't fit the sustainable intensification theme and of course the Carbonistas are scared of the shadow of a cow. Not to mention the loss of farming infrastructure in the areas where such restoration is needed most. SNAFU, IMHO.

          2. The main thrust, as Filbert describes, it of Defra's bureaucratically orientated soils policy, consists of a policy where it is quite acceptable for a farmer to trash their soils, providing they record this damage in their Soil Protection Review (SPR) booklet.

            Declining organic matter ? "That's not a problem sir, you appear to have recorded it in your SPR".

            Severe compaction in both the top and subsoil ? "Again that's not Sir, as you appear to have recorded it in your SPR"

            What about tonnes of sediment exiting the field onto the adjacent watercourse/road ? "Help yourself sir, just remember to record it in the SPR, you naughty boy".

            "Now then sir, what have here ? These minor wheel ruts in the middle of this very large and flat as a pancake field, do not appear to have been recorded in table D on page 54 of the SPR, I sorry to have inform you of this sir but that will be a 3% SPS penalty I'm afraid".

  3. Mark,

    I thought so too which is why I voted for them, even though I am a member and volunteer for the organisations that came first, second and fifth. Like you I hope that all seven NGO's get something positive out of it. ( And thanks for running the vote and donating the bins.

    1. Like a number of others, I voted for Plantlife as I thought Joanna Bromley had written the most engaging and evocative blog - the principal criterion of the contest, as I understood it.

  4. I'm a member of both the rspb and TWT, I rate both organisations highly and will continue to support them, however I did vote for Buglife on the basis that Matt Shardlow's article was, imho, the best of the bunch.
    Funnily enough, the two articles which I rated the least were those by Mike Clarke and Stephanie Hilborne.
    I think I'll look into joining Buglife, I was very impressed with the way they campaigned on the neonicotinoid issue.

    1. I agree with Ernest and I voted exactly as he did! I think that Mike Clarke is a good leader of the rspb and fully support the direction in which he is taking it. With all due respect I do find he lacks the articulacy and charisma of previous incumbents. Dare I say it Mark? They miss your voice!

  5. Sadly the RSPB or the WTs were always going to win, if all twittered their social media minded membership then it only needed a miniscule percentage of any who read your blog to cast a vote.

    As you say, and this is perhaps the bigger benefit, it has raised the profile of the others. Sadly too it also illustrated the mean spiritedness of a WT member of staff who levelled accusations at you.

    Well done to all the other five and thank you Mark for your generosity towards the others.

    1. I looked at all the twitter accounts and the RSPB didn't once promote themselves on this challenge. Here is how many times the others mentioned the challenge on their twitter streams to their follows -

      Buglife - 26x (to 12,000 followers)
      Wildlife Trusts - 9x (21,500)
      Plantlife - 5x (8,500)
      Marinelife - 45x (3,000)
      BTO - 8x (20,500)
      Butterfly Conservation 2x (15,000)

      So the RSPB is just so large and has so many members that they didn't have to promote it as a significant number of those peeps being tweeted to by others will be RSPB members - the others did the RSPB's work for them! And despite 45 mentions, Marinelife's 3,000 followers aren't enough to deliver results on something like this.


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