Latest news: An elected Fellow of The Linnean Society of London

I'm thrilled to be an elected Fellow of The Linnean Society of London. "The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active biological society. Founded in 1788 by Sir James Edward Smith (1759–1828), who was its first President. The Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) whose botanical, zoological and … Continue reading Latest news: An elected Fellow of The Linnean Society of London

Presentation at Cambridge University Veterinary Zoological Society (CUVZS)

Thrilled to have given a talk to CUVZS students about feeding and nutrition of birds yesterday. It's always a pleasure to share the stage with John and Margaret Cooper. John discussed the 'importance of avian nutrition', and Margaret the 'legal and ethical considerations of feeding birds.' We were also joined by Rosie Haith who gave … Continue reading Presentation at Cambridge University Veterinary Zoological Society (CUVZS)

President Donald J. Trump’s masterclass: how not to engage with people who care about the planet

I imagine we've all now seen climate activist Greta Thunberg's impassioned speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit and the scowl she gave President Trump. It took significant guts to make that speech. The President's response to this courageous teen's talk and her palpable sense of loss was predictable and came in the shape of yet another throwaway tweet. I … Continue reading President Donald J. Trump’s masterclass: how not to engage with people who care about the planet

Butterflies, bees and buddleia – brilliant!

It's amazing how much life a buddleia bush can attract - butterflies, bees, moths, hoverflies and an assortment of other flying insects feasting on the purple offerings. Buddleia is so simple to grow. Plant it. Leave it. Watch it spring to life and live up to its name (the butterfly bush). Cut it hard back … Continue reading Butterflies, bees and buddleia – brilliant!

Challenges facing the planet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3p0YvKkqKA&feature=youtu.be This was one of my (Simon) favourite talks from the Maxwell Knight Symposium and we're very grateful to Paul Pearce-Kelly for allowing us to share his slides on the FFON website. The Frightened Face of Nature Paul Pearce-Kelly, ZSL Abstract If Maxwell Knight were writing his prescient Frightened Face of Nature today he would … Continue reading Challenges facing the planet

Mallard ducklings

In today’s wildlife adventures with an iPhone, I want to encourage you to use your smartphone camera (mine’s an iPhone) to reconnect with the natural world. We're constantly hearing how bad smartphones are so let's find a way to use them to help us reconnect with the natural world; technology can help focus our attention and … Continue reading Mallard ducklings

News: Letter to the Veterinary Record

Subsequently published, in a shortened form, in Vet Record - vets urged to promote sensible, safe, feeding of garden birds, using properly tested diets, by John E Cooper 1, Margaret E Cooper 2 and Simon King 3  Feeding bird food to wild birds has never been more popular, but its merits have often been challenged by … Continue reading News: Letter to the Veterinary Record

Hoverflies: the sheep in wolf’s clothing

Did you know that hoverflies mimic wasps and bees but don’t bite or sting? When it comes to mimicry, they’re a sheep in wolf’s and they’re fun to watch up close at this time of the year. I encourage you to have a closer look at these fascinating creatures. I've spent years watching people panic … Continue reading Hoverflies: the sheep in wolf’s clothing

Offshore wind farms – coming to a beach near you

Apologies for the unshaven me; however, I thought I'd record a vlog from my favourite beach (Sandilands) in Lincolnshire. What prompted me? An offshore wind farm and the moon landing anniversary. As humans, we face a massive challenge - we need to somehow contain global warming to prevent the kind of future coming to fruition … Continue reading Offshore wind farms – coming to a beach near you

My day job: standing up for nature and supporting British exports

My priority is reconnecting people with nature - we're all occupied with life's slings and arrows and need an occasional reminder to stop and enjoy what the natural world has to offer. I'm proud to say I work for Haith's - the most conscientious bird food company in Britain and we're an award winning exporter. … Continue reading My day job: standing up for nature and supporting British exports

Do the moon landings pose a moral conundrum?

We (John and Margaret Cooper) enjoyed reading Simon King’s post: “Maxwell Knight mentions the space race in his unpublished manuscript The Frightened Face of Nature and here’s a poignant quote from the same document: Knight’s point was that man should explore; however, why can’t we do these things without destroying”. We should like to add … Continue reading Do the moon landings pose a moral conundrum?

If only we could race for space for nature

Maxwell Knight mentions the space race in his unpublished manuscript The Frightened Face of Nature and here's a poignant quote from the same document: Knight's point was that man should explore; however, why can't we do these things without destroying natural capital? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnElf1O8gxI&feature=youtu.be   It's right to celebrate the Moon landing - 50 years ago, Apollo … Continue reading If only we could race for space for nature

Fledgling Chaffinch calls for parents

Continuing my wildlife adventures with my iPhone, I caught this charming Chaffinch calling for its parents yesterday. My gut feeling was that a parent would soon show up, which is exactly what happened; however, I'm frustrated to report that I didn't manage to film the parent (a male Chaffinch) appearing on the very same garden … Continue reading Fledgling Chaffinch calls for parents

Wildlife adventures with an iPhone

I filmed this at the weekend by attaching my iPhone to a sunflower heart bird feeder using an elastic band. Why didn't I think of this before? Within a few moments, our friendly neighbourhood Goldfinch was on the feeder and busy extracting some of Haith's bird foods finest. Isn't it super to get this close … Continue reading Wildlife adventures with an iPhone

Photos of the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace yesterday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgdlPIOE0qg I asked my wife to pinch me yesterday as we walked through the gates at Buckingham Palace on our way by foot to The Royal Garden Party. We’d panicked for weeks about the weather (we needn’t have). As we stepped onto the camomile infused lawn - it was certainly infused with tea after several … Continue reading Photos of the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace yesterday

World Pheasant Association cover the Maxwell Knight Symposium in WPA News

The World Pheasant Association's WPA News, Spring 2019, includes a lengthy report on the Maxwell Knight Symposium (MKS) and looks super. We'd like to thank http://www.pheasant.org.uk for including the three photos (credit Margaret E Cooper) and allowing FFON to share a snippet of their spring newsletter here. Administrators at the WPA have also been kind enough … Continue reading World Pheasant Association cover the Maxwell Knight Symposium in WPA News

Is the climate finally right for a change?

There are a few subjects best left off the table at dinner parties - Brexit is one, Climate Change is another. Both have the propensity to split the room equally and leave guests reaching for the after dinner mints before the main course is out of the oven. But are things about to change when … Continue reading Is the climate finally right for a change?

The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Her Majesty to invite me to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. (It turns out I’ll be walking in Maxwell Knight’s footsteps…).

I’ve received an invite to the Royal Garden Party (May 15th) and can’t wait to step through those imposing gates and join Her Majesty for tea and cake in her splendid garden. I wish I could take all readers of the FFON with me. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q4OWWMlvHrs&time_continue=29 The invite came via the Lord Chamberlain and was requested … Continue reading The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Her Majesty to invite me to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. (It turns out I’ll be walking in Maxwell Knight’s footsteps…).

Maxwell Knight Symposium coverage in the IAT Bulletin

Thanks for the generous coverage of the MaxwellKnight Symposium in the IAT Bulletin.