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

Biomass – dirtier than coal?

Last week I pointed out that every form of energy production has snags – and suggested that we should give a higher priority to reducing our energy needs. Here’s another example, and it’s rather similar to the situation regarding biofuels (described in Chapter 13 of Fighting for Birds). Using biomass to fuel power stations looks […]

Fighting for Birds – ho! ho! ho!

If you are really struggling to think of a Christmas present for that wildlife-friendly friend or relative – then how about a signed copy of Fighting for Birds? You’d make my Christmas too! Signed copies are available at £15 (inc P&P).  Email me at and we’ll get it all organised.  Don’t delay as Christmas […]

Ralph Underhill cartoon

    Buglife’s Matt Shardlow gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Wednesday and said: “The economic case for neonicotinoids is marginal at best the environmental cost is a price too high to pay. The use of these indiscriminate pesticides must be suspended before it is too late to halt the alarming decline in […]

An underwater bounty

On Wednesday evening I was in the Royal Society building in Carlton House Terrace (allegedly where Hitler would have lived if his plan to invade the UK had been more successful) waving at a bunch of kids on Pitcairn Island.  Really, I was. Not alone of course, but in a room full of people. Through […]

Support the National Trust please

This blog has touched on the performance of the National Trust as a nature conservation organisation a few times (including yesterday) and hasn’t always been gushing in its praise for that immensely successful organisation – immensely successful in selling itself, nice cakes and a day out, that is. But fair’s fair and here is an […]