What happens when humans ‘turn off’ for a moment.

Written by Chris Middleton FLS. What a great idea Armchair Naturalism is. A perfect time to make some observations, and to encourage others to do the same. I like to think people might also use the time constructively to perhaps learn a new study discipline or new language, or just further their general knowledge. On … Continue reading What happens when humans ‘turn off’ for a moment.

London in lock-down? Not as far as nature is concerned.

By Helen Jeffries As a key worker in central London I’ve seen a very different side to my city since the partial lock-down. Walking to work at 6.30am for the morning shift the birds are so much louder than before – whether that’s real or my impression now the traffic noise has reduced I don’t … Continue reading London in lock-down? Not as far as nature is concerned.

Charming Snakes by Dr Valerie Jeffries

A Seminar on Reptiles, Institute of Primate Research (IPR), Kenya Seminar at IPR: photos courtesy of John and Margaret Cooper. Valerie and others viewing snakes with Geofrey Kephah. A seminar on “Reptiles and Snakebite” was held at the Kenya Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre (KSRIC) near Nairobi on March 11th 2020, organised by Mrs Margaret … Continue reading Charming Snakes by Dr Valerie Jeffries

Notes from the ‘armchair naturalists’ – connecting through nature to beat coronavirus isolation

There is so much that the “armchair naturalist” can observe if s/he takes a few minutes' break from working on the computer or reading the newspaper and books, through the window, at the world outside. This morning, for example, I noticed a wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) on the wooden fence at the back of our tiny … Continue reading Notes from the ‘armchair naturalists’ – connecting through nature to beat coronavirus isolation

New Podcast Trailer

Launching soon: The ‘Armchair Naturalists’ Podcast A new podcast, from the co-founders of popular natural history blog The Frightened Face of Nature (FFON). https://thefrightenedfaceofnature.com/ Join Simon H King FLS plus one of the world’s leading veterinary experts, Prof. John E Cooper, and wildlife lawyer, Margaret E Cooper and occasional special guests. Together, we’ll help you … Continue reading New Podcast Trailer

Welcome to spring

If you’re in self isolation due to coronavirus, here’s how the great outdoors looks today - welcome to spring. I’ll be taking lots of photos, recording a few videos and considering launching a podcast to help all you ‘armchair naturalists’ dig deep and come healthily through being confined to barracks. Stay fit and well. Simon … Continue reading Welcome to spring

Feeding the birds can help the nation’s ‘armchair naturalists’ beat the coronavirus isolation

Haith’s Bird Food and vet John Cooper Feeding the birds can help the nation’s ‘armchair naturalists’ beat the coronavirus isolation and stay connected through nature claims Haith’s bird food and leading veterinary expert. Haith’s bird food has launched a Helpline (0800 298 7054) and its team is preparing to help Britain’s birders stay connected with … Continue reading Feeding the birds can help the nation’s ‘armchair naturalists’ beat the coronavirus isolation

Introducing Haith’s Helpline

https://youtu.be/-5TEjq3eyJk Visit https://www.haiths.com/haiths-helpline/ to find out more. Stay well. Simon

Take note of nature

Rachel Carson"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

From John and Margaret Cooper in Kenya

When we visited El Karama Ranch in Laikipia we expected to be shown a lot of large farm livestock and to see impressive wildlife, such as elephants. We experienced both but we were also consulted about a young white-browed sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser mahali) that had been found by Mrs Lavinia Grant (a long-term Kenya resident, renowned … Continue reading From John and Margaret Cooper in Kenya

All aboard the Madaraka Express – Kenya with the Coopers

John and Margaret Cooper are currently in Kenya. Here is an account of their experience of catching Kenya's "Chinese Train" the modern replacement of the British narrow-guage railway (of man-eating lions fame) built at the turn of the 19th century, in its day a memorable, well-recorded experience in itself. The only certainty in life is … Continue reading All aboard the Madaraka Express – Kenya with the Coopers

‘The Dynamics of Humankind’ – a new book exploring the comparative analysis between the natural world and the unnatural human world

Recently, I had the pleasure to meet British scientist Chris Middleton at Burlington House, Piccadilly prior to the two of us being formally admitted as Fellows of The Linnean Society of London (FLS). Chris and I were equally thrilled to have been elected a FLS and there we were, ready for the formal admission and poised … Continue reading ‘The Dynamics of Humankind’ – a new book exploring the comparative analysis between the natural world and the unnatural human world

FFON Co-founder, John Cooper presented with the BFC Silver Falcon Award

Prof John E Cooper and Margaret E Cooper FLS FFON co-founders, John and Margaret Cooper recently attended the BFC (British Falconers’ Club) meeting in Hungerford, held at "The Bear Hotel". At the dinner in the evening John was presented with the BFC Silver Falcon Award for his work on the diseases and veterinary care of raptors over … Continue reading FFON Co-founder, John Cooper presented with the BFC Silver Falcon Award

Admission of Simon H King as a Fellow of The Linnean Society of London (FLS)

It seemed like an age had passed since Margaret E Cooper FLS informed me that she intended to recommend me for election to Fellowship of The Linnean Society of London and emailed over the formal certificate of recommendation - listing my qualifications along with a lengthy reference dated 9 September 2019. Margaret wrote that it … Continue reading Admission of Simon H King as a Fellow of The Linnean Society of London (FLS)

Maxwell Knight – Memorial to a herpetologist, naturalist, conservationist and much more

Published in The Herpetological Bulletin - Issue Number 150 - Winter 2019. The Herpetological Bulletin is a quarterly publication in English. It includes full-length papers, natural history notes, book reviews, and other items of general herpetological interest. Emphasis is placed on natural history and conservation as well as captive care that includes breeding, husbandry, veterinary, and behavioural … Continue reading Maxwell Knight – Memorial to a herpetologist, naturalist, conservationist and much more

As the sun sets on 2019

As the sun sets on 2019, we're going to reflect on an exciting year for The Frightened Face of Nature (FFON) project and wish all our readers the very best for 2020. Hope to see you next year. Simon King, John and Margaret Cooper

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