The RSPB cohort

I was listening to Today this morning to hear John Humphrys’s last programme (and rather moving it was too) and so i caught an interview between JH and the new Woodland Trust CEO, my former colleague Darren Moorcroft. Congratulations to Darren – I wish him every success.

But it got me thinking about all the others of my former colleagues, naturally the younger ones, some of whom worked for me, who are now in top positions in environmental and wildlife NGOS. There are quite a few but it’s difficult, as a scientist by training, to know what the null hypothesis would be for their numbers so it’s difficul;t to know whether there are more, or fewer than expected, or maybe about the right number. And I am conscious of the possibility of confirmation bias.

But there is Richard Benwell (becoming CEO of Wildlife Link), Matt Shardlow (well-established at Buglife), Michael Krause (acting CEO at Plantlife), Jonathan Barnard (World Land Trust), and Bob Elliot at OneKind (who took over from Harry Huyton, another former RSPB person). Add in Sue Armstrong-Brown at Adoption UK and this cohort has done pretty well. Should we include Sarah Fowler at Peak District NP (who replaced former RSPB employee Jim Dixon in that role)? There are probably others.

And you don’t have to be a CEO to have an important role in nature conservation – there are plenty of former RSPB folk working as senior managers elsewhere and others as trustees of similar organisations.

It is entirely possible that a former employee of the BTo feels that ex-BTO staff are running the conservation world (though I doubt it) or that a former Wildlife Trust staffer looks at the world and sees their colleagues in senior positions everywhere (more likely, but not how it looks to me). I’m not sure how you would analyse the data but I wonder what the answer would be. This is all about connectedness, of course.

Anyway, I enjoyed John Humphrys’s interviews with Tony Blair (who reminded me how smooth an operator he was) and of David Cameron but I was glad to hear Darren on Today today. And of course, Darrengets the Woodland Trust job because its former occupant, Beccy Speight, has moved to the RSPB.

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4 Replies to “The RSPB cohort”

  1. I think it works for none colleagues too Mark. I knew Bob Elliot as a schoolboy in Knaresborough, Rod Leslie, Nigel and Jacqui Clark as a fellow wader ringers on the Wash in the seventies ( when we were all young!) Dave Braithwaite recently retired RSPB manager at Saltholme I used to see at Spurn and occasionally in Nidderdale and there are many others that don't immediately spring to mind. These folk may not be CEOs but they demonstrate the connectedness we have with people with similar interests and how we all develop or in some cases just get older!

  2. you should draw up the kind of flow chart that people used to do for membership of rock bands, and how they split and merged. what was that called?

  3. Going off at a tangent, but the Woodland Trust are very poor at managing their reserves (often choosing no management at all) whilst the RSPB are excellent as we all know, so I find this appointment a little worrying. It is hard to believe that there was no one within the RSPB that was suitable for this position.


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