FFON BLOG

Is this British agriculture’s chance to be more nature-friendly post-Brexit, or will the efforts of more than 100 farmers, with a new vision to ‘restore British wildlife, reverse declines in soil quality and help manage impacts of climate change’ fall on stony ground?

I've written numerous articles about farm birds declining by more than 50% since the 1970s. The problem is that we see this kind of figure brandished about so often that we eventually become immune to bad news, and then it becomes the norm - the new baseline data. In other words, birds can continue to … Continue reading Is this British agriculture’s chance to be more nature-friendly post-Brexit, or will the efforts of more than 100 farmers, with a new vision to ‘restore British wildlife, reverse declines in soil quality and help manage impacts of climate change’ fall on stony ground?

Happy New Year!

I'm wishing all readers of the Frightened Face of Nature (FFON) blog a wonderful 2018. Thank you for your support and kind messages. 2017 was a terrific year for the FFON team: John and Margaret Cooper announced that a commemorative symposium to celebrate Maxwell Knight, the original “nature detective” and Second World War MI5 agent would be … Continue reading Happy New Year!

Anti-pigeon spikes in Bristol trees

There's something sinister about seeing an anti-pigeon spike in a tree. If birds are unwelcome in trees, where exactly are they welcome? In the countryside? Our ancient woodlands? Amongst the UK's forests, woods and trees? (As long as no vehicles are parked nearby!). Or have changes in the wider countryside and intensive farming methods forced … Continue reading Anti-pigeon spikes in Bristol trees

Should there be a bottle deposit scheme in the UK?

Yes. We're way past all the other alternatives. Put a price on the head of plastic bottles, and guess what? Fewer bottles will find their way into our oceans. In an ideal world, manufacturers would use fewer single-use plastic formats. I can't see that happening without significant pressure - here's why: Delivering products through the … Continue reading Should there be a bottle deposit scheme in the UK?

MASTERCLASS: DR. JANE GOODALL TEACHES CONSERVATION

In 29 lessons, Dr Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism. Learn from the legendary naturalist Dr Jane Goodall in her first ever online class. Only available through MasterClass.  Take action “There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance.” In her first ever online class, Dr … Continue reading MASTERCLASS: DR. JANE GOODALL TEACHES CONSERVATION

‘Insecticides blamed for migratory birds’ setbacks’ reports CAB. Effects reportedly ‘severe enough’ to ‘reduce their chance of survival.’

Blue Planet II: we “dump eight million tonnes of plastic into the sea” every year, and it “entangles and drowns a vast number of creatures”. Think about that when you next shop.

I'm not a fan of the word compulsory. Rules can bring out the worst in people. Make them feel grumpy or rebellious or, make them switch off. But I'm going to say that Blue Planet II should be compulsory viewing. We should all sit and watch that pilot whale carry its dead calf. And we … Continue reading Blue Planet II: we “dump eight million tonnes of plastic into the sea” every year, and it “entangles and drowns a vast number of creatures”. Think about that when you next shop.

Maxwell Knight and The Frightened Face of Nature manuscript

“Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers”

The Guardian reported in October that "Three--quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say."   It's funny how scientists often confirm what we instinctively know. Anyone who's driven a car this summer will have noted how few insects there … Continue reading “Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers”

‘Wildlife Forensic Investigation: Principles and Practice’

This book by Professor John E. Cooper and his wife Mrs Margaret E. Cooper, with contribu­tions from many countries in the world and a Foreword by Dr Lee Durrell, was published in May 2013.   It is published by CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group. The book provides an in-depth introduction to the rapidly-evolving field of wildlife … Continue reading ‘Wildlife Forensic Investigation: Principles and Practice’

‘Be a Nature Detective’ by Maxwell Knight (1968) – natural history tradecraft from Britain’s greatest spymaster and the original ‘Nature Detective’ courtesy of the BBC

It certainly wasn't appropriate for Maxwell Knight to share his spy training during his Sunday afternoon BBC broadcasts, or was it? Surely not? Perish the thought. But, what if his broadcasts and books contained the same basic training (the same 'tradecraft') he was giving MI5 recruits? As far as Knight was concerned, the two were … Continue reading ‘Be a Nature Detective’ by Maxwell Knight (1968) – natural history tradecraft from Britain’s greatest spymaster and the original ‘Nature Detective’ courtesy of the BBC