There is even more in the latest issue of Birdwatch than I let on earlier. There’s an excellent article by Dominic Mitchell on revisiting a former local patch of his which is strong evidence for my contention (oft broken, I admit) that one should never go back to a place where one loved the wildlife – because there will probably be less of it around now.
Bill Oddie’s column was a good read, as always, and then I turned to the letters page and found someone slagging him off and someone else slagging me off for my column. I’d guess that we won’t get the push for a few more issues but you never know, do you?
My column, and the whole magazine, was criticised for being too political. Have a look at what the column is called, and has been called since 2011;
Yep, the clue is in the name; The Political Birder.
If you don’t think that nature conservation is a political issue then you just haven’t been thinking very hard. Now it has been possible to agree that nature conservation is a political issue without agreeing that it is a party political one but those days are surely long gone too. The choices of whether and how to conserve nature are made differently, according to different world views, by different parties.
Anyway, this month’s Political Birder column is a paean of praise for Roseanna Cunningham, the equivalent of the Scottish Environment Secretary, but it is also a nudge for her to grasp the nettle and go for licensing of grouse shooting.
Tackling wildlife crime is a conservation issue (no doubt about that), and it’s a political issue (politicians have decisions to make about funding, priorities , policies and new legislation), so there can’t be much doubt that this area of nature conservation is a political one.
Will Roseanna Cunningham be as bold in her actions as she has often been in her words? We will find out over the next few months, for sure.