A round up

A few things that caught my eye:

There are lots of excellent comments on this morning’s blog about feral daffodils (from many points of view) – what do you think?

At the suggestion of a reader of this blog I have become an affiliate of Blackwell’s Bookshop – that means that if you get to Blackwell’s website through this link then I’ll get a little bit of money when you buy things.  I notice that some of my own books are cheaper from Blackwell’s than on A*az*n at the moment – which surprised me.


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5 Replies to “A round up”

  1. Mr Churton, who this week … took the opportunity of examining some of the holes in the sand banks … they are undoubtedly bored by bank-martins … he hopes they might have slept there ..., & that he might have surprised them as they woke from their winter slumbers … [Mar. 23.; Gilbert White’s journal for 1788].

    Congratulations, Mark, on this wide awake blog being ranked at 8th in the world.

    (24 Mar 2017. Chaffinch song notable for its near absence over the last six weeks.
    A somnolent observer, the weather or what?)

  2. Yes, I'm intrigued by the National Trust announcements. For most conservation policy makers the NT has probably been the missing giant of the past 30 years. It's relationship with farming - and in fact land management generally has been interesting in the extreme, with an unwillingness to rock the boat and, for a period, going further in becoming a fellow traveller of the most extreme intensification on its investment estate. More recently, DG Helen Ghosh mused about whether NT wasn't really just a visitor attraction, as so many members joined solely for free visits to wonderful places.

    It is exciting and hugely important if the Trust is setting a new direction - from my perspective, it has an absolute duty to be a leader in developing the future of this country - it holds a hugely important cultural position.

    I'd like to see NT do three things:

    1. make a clear statement that its whole estate has conservation value - which it should do, even for, perhaps especially for, the intensive farmland there as an investment rather than because it is special. There is still a powerful lobby out there which would like a small part - 10% perhaps - carved off as 'special' so that they can get on with unconstrained 'production' (ie food, timber, development) in the rest.
    2. I'd like to see the NT developing its myriad of excellent little projects to become exemplars and leaders - for example, the NT has done very well with wood-fired biomass fore its own buildings - but has not grasped the opportunity to extend its expertise outwards where there is far more wood supply than it can use itself.
    3. Recognise and embrace the reality that in thinking about and directing its own land management it should be both an exemplar and advocate for better public funding for farming, eco-system services and rural land management generally post CAP.

  3. What hope when folk are so badly brain washed. Channal 4 had Tony Robinson saying that the only way to control Grey Squirrels was by man killing them! {forgot to say that was costing £millions and giving people the wrong idea about nature!]but if you watched 'Wild Ireland' on BBC 2 Pine Martens were the saviors. [Not many Goshawks in Ireland!] The National Trust must start by 'working out the potential ' value of wildlife tourism on their holdings and what needs to be done to increase that value. Then you can start with management.

    1. Both programmes of "Wild Ireland" were absolute gems. But asked the question why the golden eagle re-introduction wasn't prospering. Is persecution a problem there too?

      1. It is a problem, Carole, but there may be something more ecological at work limiting their numbers:



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