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

Please support the World Land Trust appeal

I’ll be in London tomorrow for a workshop of World Land Trust trustees and supporters so I thought I ought to urge you to support this appeal please. World Land Trust does a great job (I am slightly biased as a trustee, but also well-informed) and occupies a unique niche in raising money for land […]

Dear Petitions Committee

Dear Petitions Committee ( I am a great supporter of the petitions process set up by the Westminster Parliament – at least I am in principle, but in practice my enthusiasm is waning a little. I’d like to suggest some changes to the system that, I believe, would improve its ability to command the confidence […]

Hen Harrier champion goes independent

One of the MPs departing the Labour Party today is Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, and the Hen Harrier champion in Westminster. I know Angela to speak to, and she attended the Hen Harrier Day rally in the Goyt Valley in 2015, and so I sent her a quick message of support today. […]

Government response: not so much poor as awful.

Les Wallace’s epetition, having secured over 10,000 signatures, was entitled to an honest, serious and lucid response from Defra but it failed to get one. We know that these responses are signed off by government ministers and we assume that this one was signed off by the minister responsible for the areas covered by the […]

Paul Leyland – Great Pied Hoverfly

Paul writes: the Great Pied Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) is pretty easy to identify. It is one of the largest flies in the UK with a body length of 13-17mm and wing length of up to 15mm. The size, combined with the black and white body, a protruding yellow face and a beautiful dark wing patch […]