This blog

Tomorrow morning I will post the 4,000th post on this blog in well under six years.

If you’ve been with me since the first post, Don’t let them get away with this, 21 April 2011, then you have quite a lot of stamina. Thank you!

There have been more than 3.8m pageviews in that time.  And, to be right up to date, February 2017 was a more popular month than any previous February in terms of readership numbers (despite having 28 days whereas some previous years had 29).

In all modesty, there isn’t another blog quite like this one and that’s why politicians, journalists, conservation professionals and normal people all read it regularly.  I’d like to think that it is the combination of experience, knowledge, news, comment, and beautiful writing that bring people back to these pages time after time but only you can tell me why you keep reading.

I am very grateful to all those who have contributed Guest Blogs over the years, to those who have contributed photographs (especially Oscar Dewhurst, more recently Tim Melling and with a Hen Harrier speciality from Gordon Yates), to those who have contributed cartoons (Ralph Underhill above all others) and to all those who have tipped me off about things or sent me information.

Thank you too, to all those who comment on the blog – I’ve often been praised for the quality of the comments here, but that is thanks to you. If you haven’t made a comment then please do consider it – new voices and differing opinions are welcome.

This blog has had two long excursions to the USA and shorter trips to Slovakia, France, Spain, Ireland and Israel.  I’ll be out of the country for most of April which will be a challenging time to post content.

There has been quite a lot about driven grouse shooting during those 4000 posts but maybe not as much as you might think – other regular topics have included marine protected areas, farming, the timidity of the wildlife NGOs, the hopelessness of Defra, whether Natural England is fit for purpose (any purpose?), the need to ban lead ammunition, protecting wildlife sites, bird flu, UK overseas territories, nature conservation in (or more often not in) national politics, and encouraging young nature lovers.  And there have been plenty of posts which are simply about nature.

There have been regular book reviews and irregular quizzes (not for a while) and polls of your views (there will be one coming along fairly soon) and even a writing competition (there will be another this year too).

This website is my shop window and you can find out more about me, about the books I write, about where I am speaking in public and you can sign up to my (roughly) monthly newsblast.

If you’d like to submit a Guest Blog then I’d be happy to consider it – see guidelines here.

To all of you, for your support and/or interest,

Thank You Very Much!




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  1. Dave says:

    Thank you very much Mark for keeping us informed.

  2. Robert Seago says:

    Thank you Mark.

    One of my early blogs to follow as I started to really use Twitter.

  3. Miles says:

    Here's to another 4000 Mark! Congratulations.

    I can't imagine there is going to be less to write about in the next few years, with the massive changes coming to society and the economy.

  4. I rely on you and your blog to bring things up which I might have missed - I regularly make contributions and comments on social media about wildlife matters that distress me but I rely on your blog to keep me informed - thank you for the time and effort you put in and the difference you make ....

  5. Dave Mannifield says:

    Keep up the good work Mark, your blog is the thorn in the side of many whose illegal activities previously went unnoticed. Well done.

  6. John Cantelo says:

    I don't think that I'm alone in reading your blog because it's so well informed, well written and, above all, not afraid to be polemical when needed. I can only echo others here by saying keep up the good work.

  7. SG says:

    Many congratulations Mark! Your blog is essential reading - I always start my day with a cup of tea and a read of your blog. I agree, standard of comments are excellent and I always read these too. Please don't ever stop what you do! 🙂

  8. Random22 says:

    Congratulations and well done. I don't know how you do it at times. I wish I'd half your gumption. Here's to you!

  9. Jane says:

    Thank you, Mark, for giving ordinary people like me a voice. When I first discovered your blog I felt like at last I had found a community where there were like minds, and somewhere I could go for information and news - and the truth! - about the things I care about. We see great injustices but rarely feel we have the power to influence - thanks to your knowledge and campaigns I do now feel I can make a contribution, however small. Keep banging on! "They" will hate you for it, but that's all the more reason to follow your blog - scary times call for champions like you.

  10. murray marr says:

    This blog is like a series of habitats in a healthy ecosystem: lots of information; lots of edge; lots of visitors – all bound up with loads of discussion, argument and the occasional verbal fisticuffs.
    4,000? Blimey, that’s one heck of a well beavered weblog. And there’s time and space to be homely too. It seems that almost any opinion can be lodged. But each one had better be sensible; there are plenty of high flying readers out there ready to swoop and shred it.
    Mark, well done. Keep gnawing and ‘navvying’ on your journey to create a richer, healthier and fairer countryside.

  11. Richard Ebbs says:

    Mark, I've been with you since May 2009. First blog with the RSPB. Your book, Blogging for Nature, the only one in my collection without your signature, was already outspoken.

    Many thanks for all you endeavour. Please keep up the good work.


    • Mark says:

      Richard - I appreciate that, thank you for all that support and all your comments and kindness.

  12. Northern Diver says:

    Thanks Mark. Your blog is one of the things that makes getting up in the morning more worthwhile (......I'm not a "morning person"). I firmly believe the majority in the UK are behind you - just some people don't realise it yet. Keep spreading the truth.

  13. Thank you Mark for all your hard work and considered words. Your book 'Inglorious' is in the must read section of our web site. We look forward to reading your next 4000 posts.

  14. Sandra Padfield says:

    Thank you Mark for being a valuable source of information in print, in person and on-line.

  15. Jackie White says:

    Thank you Mark Avery for helping me to become more informed about the things which I care passionately about. I also love reading all your contributors comments and I feel I'm in the company of kindred spirits. I've been inspired to do things like writing to my MP, MEPs, NGOs, etc and passing on my new-found knowledge to others. I firmly believe that together we can make the changes which are so desperately needed. Thank you !

  16. Trapit says:

    As touched on by Murray Marr, a very fair minded blog that will publish any relevant comment(I think).
    No favourites, mockery, offhand dismissal, or ending a discussion when convenient, thus denying your readership the truth.
    Thank you.

    • Mark says:

      Trapit - the number of comments unpublished (out of nearly 45,000 that have been published) can be counted on two hands.

      Thank you.

  17. Jonathan Wallace says:

    Here's to the next 4,000! Keep up the good work!

  18. Alan says:

    I remember asking you quite early on (at Hope Farm I think, when you were still at the RSPB) whether you thought you might weary of the challenge of a daily blog. I think we have our answer! Well done, thank you for such a consistently informed and stimulating contribution, and here's to the next 4,000.

    • Mark says:

      Alan - thank you for all your various means of support. We need to have a chat over a drink as soon as your dramatic movements around Europe and the UK allow!

  19. Ed Hutchings says:

    Keep up the good work, Mark. I don't comment as much as I used to (that's fatherhood for you!), but I do try to check in whenever time allows.

  20. Alan Bread says:

    "In all modesty"?

  21. MK says:

    Mark - thank you. I've been an avid reader since early 2012 when I first started work at a certain wildlife NGO the name of which escapes me for the moment (all views my own of course!). To borrow a nice phrase from a former colleague here, the blog gives "a heightened view of the world". I guess most of us commenters are of relatively similar mindset to you and each other yet I don't think it ever feels like it's fallen into the trap of being an 'echo chamber' due to the thought that goes into each contribution. Four thousand is a heck of a milestone (average at least two posts per day) but it's the quality and variety as much as the quantity wot wins it for me. Congratulations and thank you once again.

    PS very much agree with the honorable mentions for the super talented cartoonists and photographers.

  22. Les Wallace says:

    Thanks Mark - brilliant blog, don't know what I'd do without it.

  23. Dennis Ames says:

    Don't think I have known anyone get through as much work as you and in my book that is a great attribute.The fact you are knowledgeable and intelligent a big bonus.
    The politest way I can put the next bit is to say what a loss to the RSPB you have been.
    Hope you get the reward eventually of Hen Harriers not getting persecuted,that would be a fitting tribute.

  24. Peter Howe says:

    Wow 4000 blogs, well done!

    Until I joined Twitter I was unaware of so many issues affecting nature and wildlife. For some reason, you were my 2nd follower, I've always appreciated that, it made me read your blogs and become inspired to do more, especially to write to my MP, something I had never done.

    Enjoy your blogs, guest blogs, comments, tweets, humour and the way you just say it as it is.

    Keep up the good work


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