December 2019 – a record month in a strong year.

And so 2019 draws to an end. How was it for you?

Here on this blog, December 2019 was a record December. Previous Decembers had never got into the 80,000s in pageviews, with December 2015 (at 79,000 pageviews) being the best December on record until this year when, as of yesterday, the pageviews already surpassed 93,000.

And that record December contributed to this blog’s second most-read year since it started in 2011, and only the second year when the yearly pageviews of posts topped a million;

Here are the previous four years (1 Jan – 31 Dec) and this year (1 Jan – 30 December):

2019, 1,136k pageviews.

2018, 898k pageviews

2017, 876k pageviews

2016, 1,254k pageviews

2015, 808k pageviews

And here is a week-by-week comparison of 2019 with 2018; just for interest (well, I found it interesting);

The peak in April was the period of Wild Justice’s general licence success but that was followed by a period of maintenance for the blog in May. Maybe the strong finish to the year was helped by there being a general election (which I wrote about quite a lot) although I thought that everyone was supposed to be bored by politics these days.

I’ve already posted a series of posts which gives you some highlights from this blog this year; Jan-March, April-July, August-October and November-December but I’ll leave you with ten blog posts from 2019 which exemplify the range of content that I hope to provide you with in 2020 and beyond;

  1. An amazingly powerful guest blog by Derek Gow – Winds of Change, 4 February
  2. My account and explanation of the long-awaited paper which analysed the Natural England Hen Harrier satellite-tracking data (Long awaited paper nails grouse moor crimes, 19 March), of which I am quite proud because not only did it bring readers of this blog the news but it interpreted a piece of clever but somewhat complex science in, I believe, an accurate and undertandable way for an interested but busy and less technical audience.
  3. Tim Melling has produced scores of images for this blog for years and now he has left the RSPB I feel he may have even more time for photography. But this blog (Striated Cracara, 14 September) not only has a strong image of a bird I’ve never seen but tells us something about the bird and where it lives (where I’ll never go), its genetics in a wider context and a little about its name.
  4. I sometimes carry out polls on this blog and find out what you think. This year’s survey had 2300 responses and showed that the readership of this blog is made up to quite a large extent of people a bit like me who think a bit like me – not surprising eh? But much more striking was the finding that those who were polls apart on the issue of the future of driven grouse shooting were also polls apart on many other much broader environmental issues too. Maybe that isn’t surprising either, but where else have you seen any data which examine that issue? You saw it here not only first, but probably only, too!
  5. Paul Leyland contributes images of insects with fascinating accounts of their biology, and this post , Beauty and the Beast from 24 March, is one of my favourites. Would anyone out there like to take on a similar role on this blog featuring plant images with short accounts of the species?
  6. Here’s a small rant about the use of the word vermin by Countryfile from 21 January.
  7. Ralph Underhill’s cartoons are right up my street – and this one from 6 April received more ‘likes’ than any other and is actually one of my favourites too.
  8. Whatever you think about general elections – I hope we get another one soon – this blog has covered elections from an environmental perspective and so, just as an example, and as a reminder of what you aren’t getting, here is my run through the Labour manifesto (from 25 November). And I provided similar quotes and top-level analysis of the manifestos of other political parties.
  9. Diogenes has arrived on this blog this year with examples of Fake News that are often very close to the truth. Here was his (or her?) first offering from 24 August which set the tone.
  10. This blog in early September (The RSPB has a problem over its position over driven grouse shooting) was written just after Chris Packham’s Wild Justice e-petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting passed 100,000 signatures on Day 20 and featured some feedback from RSPB group leaders on the issue. At the RSPB’s AGM in October the society announced it would review its position on game shooting (see here and here) but we haven’t yet heard how that will happen nor how we members will have our say.

I’m looking forward to 2020 with great enthusiam.

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3 Replies to “December 2019 – a record month in a strong year.”

  1. I also like the book reviews so am hoping you Mark, received a lot as presents. The occasional pointers to other blogs used to be useful also.
    Pretty well rounded and varied blog I’d say. Apart from the obvious blip in 2016, the views have a nice upward trend which hopefully indicates that more people are getting the message.
    Many thanks for the many hours of work that go into this and may 2020 be another record year.

    A very happy New Year to you.

  2. I have to echo Paul's comments, this blog just goes from strength to strength and the amount of time you put into it must be phenomenal. Many, many thanks for your efforts and have a wonderful New Year and All the Best for you and your family in 2020!!!

  3. Congratulations Mark and here’s to 2020. Your blog is a pleasure to read and always has important news on the wildlife and environmental front.
    Really keep the pressure up on banning driven grouse shooting in 2020 because I think public opinion is increasingly seeing the sense of doing this both from wildlife destruction and the gross environmental harm that it does.
    So while I don’t think the Tories will ever see the sense of banning the slaughter, before too long they may be force to accept public opinion. Keep up the publicity and the campaigning and you never know what might happen.
    The dead fox left at Chris Packham’s house over Christmas is a good example of the type of people we are campaigning against, a proportion of thugs and cruelty, but in a way this wins another small battle when they have to resort to this type of revolting behaviour.


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