Author Archives: Mark

About Mark

Born Bristol, UK Educated: Cleeve House School Bristol, Bristol Grammar School and Downing College Cambridge Ph.D. University of Aberdeen, Winter activity of pipistrelle bats. NERC post-doctoral Research Fellow, Edward Grey Institute, Oxford University Former Conservation Director of the RSPB, 1989-2011

Birdwatch column

My column in the November Birdwatch magazine is on the subject of hen harriers and their persecution by grouse moor managers. Rather than tell you what it says I’d like to tell you that Birdwatch is asking your opinion on the subject.  Is it time for a change of tack by the wildlife conservation organisations […]


I wonder how the Campaign for the Farmed Environment is going? This is the Big Society alternative to regulating  farming to replace the environmental benefits of set-aside.  It’s difficult to tell how it is going from the Campaign website. Minister Jim Paice will have to decide how it is all going before Christmas in order […]


I’ve been thinking about the proposed CAP reform and chatting to a few people about it too. The attempt to move towards more equal payments across the EU cannot be other than fair – probably.  This is the agricultural equivalent of the idea of contraction and convergence.  If it were decided to do the same […]

Harriers in The Field

The November issue of The Field, that’s the one with a man in tweed with a gun and a couple of dogs (doesn’t necessarily narrow it down that much?) has some excellent articles in it.  You can get some tips on brushing up your ability to bring down high pheasants and then how to cook […]

A grain of truth

The dry spring weather in England (while I was driving through the rain in the USA) prompted fears about the grain harvest which, it is good to record here, have proved to be largely unfounded.  As in any year there have been winners and losers across the country but the UK wheat yield is estimated […]