• Lessons from the 'Rainforest'

    If the number of nature books that have been published this spring correlates with a surge in action for nature, the planet should be just fine.  Tomorrow night I shall be attending the launch of 'Wildling' by Isabella Tree which tells the story of the transformation of the Knepp Estate, next month I shall be helping to promote Mary Colwell's book Curlew Moon at the Hay Literary Festival and I hope to have…

    • 30 Apr 2018
  • Good news for a Friday: Gola Forest National Park in Liberia declared open

    On behalf of the President... For the people of Liberia I officially launch the Grebo-Krahn and Gola Forest National Parks... These Parks are now officially open!

    With these words from Honourable Prince Tokpa, Chair of the Liberian Lower House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, two new national parks were launched yesterday. The second now connects to Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone protecting…

    • 27 Apr 2018
  • Good news for a Friday: UK Government promises action to tackle plastic pollution

    here are some things that only governments can do to help protect the environment. These include actions such as introducing taxes or laws to deter or stop people doing bad things.

    In recent years, voluntary approaches had become the preferred approach, yet I know of no environmental problem that has been resolved by voluntary means alone.

    So, yesterday’s announcement that the UK Government is consulting on banning…

    • 20 Apr 2018
  • An update on the RSPB's response to hen harrier brood management

    I wanted to give you a brief update you on what’s been happening with our response to Natural England’s decision to issue a license to pilot brood management for hen harriers.

    Since I last blogged on this thorny subject (see here) things have been progressing, albeit slowly, and I am now able to tell you that the RSPB have entered the next phase and have applied to the High Court for permission to judicially…

    • 17 Apr 2018
  • In praise of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative

    Last week, 50 experts from 20 countries gathered in Cambridge to examine the evidence required to drive a new global conservation strategy. This was part of a series of events (including a public panel discussion and communications workshop) convened by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative to shape debate about what needs to happen in the run up to 2020, when governments from around the world will meet in China, to adopt…

    • 16 Apr 2018
  • A world-leading environmental watchdog?

    Back in January, Theresa May launched Defra’s long-awaited 25 year environment plan. One of the many commitments made on that day was that Defra would consult on its plans for a “world-leading environmental watchdog” underpinned by environmental principles.

    With Brexit less than a year away, there is an urgent need to establish new arrangements that will replace those that will be lost once we leave…

    • 9 Apr 2018
  • The unknown

    Six weeks ago, I made a mistake.

    I was asked to take part in an event at RSPB Weekend – an adaptation of the TV quiz show, The Chase. The idea was that I would be the all-knowing Chaser up against contestants and the RSPB member audience.

    “It'll be fun, the members will love it, you’ll be great”, I was told.

    I had a nagging feeling that it might not be fun for me, that I might not be great…

    • 9 Apr 2018