This blog heading in to 2018

Happy New Year!

This blog had a quieter year in 2017 compared with 2016 – 880k pageviews compared with 1.2m pageviews – but that was to be expected.  It does represent over 2000 pageviews/day every day of the year and I know that the readership includes politicians, journalists, conservation professionals and some normal people too. And it includes people who agree with my views and quite a few who don’t  – all are welcome.

This blog has been running since spring 2011.

Why does it exist? Because I like writing it, and publishing the cartoons, images and articles of others.

What’s it for? Well, it’s for me, and it’s for you!  You’ll notice it is free!

This blog does a variety of things – it is a source of news and it is a source of comment. There’s quite a lot of news that you might not have noticed elsewhere but it is in terms of comment that I think that this blog scores particularly highly. I have spent most of my working life in nature conservation and environmental policy and that is mostly what I write about. Whether or not you agree with my views (and that is entirely up to you) this blog is written by someone who is experienced in nature conservation, knows a fair amount about the politics of the subject, is a scientist by training, is a naturalist, has a large network of contacts in the environment movement and who knows a bit about how the world works.  I’m not saying that any of that makes me right about things, but this isn’t the ranting of some bloke in the pub and its author has a pretty solid track record.

Here are some things that I’d like to think this blog does:

  • inform you
  • interest you
  • make you think
  • persuade you to think about the natural world in a similar way to me, at least in some areas
  • provide a forum for others to air their views – through guest blogs but also through the comments on blog posts
  • give you ideas on how you can act to protect the natural world yourself

So that’s what I will continue to do.

I wonder whether we will see another Westminster Hall debate on driven grouse shooting in 2018?

I’d like to thank all of the people who comment on this blog – there are many regulars but new people join all the time. I moderate all the comments and that’s because I want to know what they say and to consider replying to them at the time that they appear here.  The comments are an important part of this blog and I feel privileged by the quality of the on-line community that has grown up around it.

I welcome different views on this blog – conflicting views makes this blog a lot more interesting than would unanimity of views.  However, just a word of advice to those who want to disagree either with me or with others on this blog – keep it polite.  If you don’t, then I’ll enjoy giving you a hard time here.

Happy New Year!


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19 Replies to “This blog heading in to 2018”

  1. Thank you for sharing your expertise and providing leadership in the fight to bring driven grouse shooting to an end. I hope you have the strength to do it all again - and more - in 2018. #WeWillWin

  2. And Happy New year to you and yours, Mark.
    For me , this blog, and a few others, are vital sources of correct, true, honest information! A big hope for 2018 is that at least some of our politicians, ( well, the ones that matter) will really sit down and Think! They'll look at the evidence, read the proof, and realise the damage this generation is doing, and the terrible legacy we will pass on to our grandchildren.
    It started when we were kids, and politicians ( and their advisors) encouraged growth/ productivity/ profit without any thought to the consequences. Now we know better, but the powers that be have to make far more effort to turn things around. We're none of us doing this for ourselves, it will be future generations who will admire or curse us!

  3. Happy new year and keep up the good work. Your blog is an interesting read and provides a vital voice of the natural world.
    One thing I say to the game shooting/hunt followers when they say "it's tradition, been done for hundreds of years" is "just because it has been done for a long time doesn't make it right".

  4. Happy New Year Mark, thank you for your efforts at keeping our natural world safe from those who cherish it less.

  5. Hi Mark
    Your blog is one of the first sites I look at every time I put my computer on. Great work and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

  6. Thanks for your work and the blog Mark. You have inspired me to do a lot more. It's hard work trying to hold NE accountable for what goes on around here but there will be 3 emails and an FOI waiting for them when they get back to work tomorrow.

  7. Thanks Mark, at times knowing there is some one out there who sees through the smoke and mirrors and has the courage to put himself in the firing line,gives us all encouragement.

  8. Happy new year consider myself lucky to have met you and Rosemary and received a nice welcome from you both.
    Think your blog does everything you hope it does and more.
    Guess RSPB feels it does not want to upset the royal family who have killing birds interest and I think Prince Philip is president of World Wildlife Fund which if that is correct then there seems a big contradiction that the family have.
    My wish for the new year is that you have the energy to keep up the good work.Good luck and good health.

  9. I know you don’t need my encouragement to keep on keeping on, but you have it nevertheless, and I am really hopeful that we will see accelerating change of attitudes amongst those who can make changes happen.

  10. I only come here for the thumbs downs. I'm collecting them lol.

    Seriously though, it's a great blog, Mark. Here's to many more. Happy new year.

  11. Happy New Year Mark, to you and yours... Shall look forward to upcoming posts, both by yourself and guest bloggers, this year... Your content is informed and fair, giving people concrete facts on particular issues, and often offering specific ways they can act to make a difference. I really appreciate that approach, as the negative news regarding so many nature-related issues can be overwhelming if there is not tangible way for individuals/groups to have input and present a positive alternative. I think this is especially key for younger people... Wishing you all best in the year ahead... and I DO hope we see yet another debate regarding DGS.


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