Blog

Simon H King Future of Global Trade Delegate – Expert Forum

The Future of Global Trade – Expert Forum, Whitehall Suite, Royal Horseguards, Wednesday 27th June 2018 Event Overview The Future of Global Trade – Expert Forum (27th June 2018) was a small, senior-level roundtable, which was hosted by the Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt. Hon. Dr Liam Fox at the Royal Horseguards Hotel, Westminster. … Continue reading Simon H King Future of Global Trade Delegate – Expert Forum

David Attenborough calls for advertisers who feature animals to contribute to their welfare

Around one in five ads we see feature animals because animals in adverts capture viewers' attention. But what's in it for the animals? Little, or most likely, nothing. In the meantime, many of the world's animals are under threat and habitat loss and degradation of habitat are key reasons for declines. If only these animals … Continue reading David Attenborough calls for advertisers who feature animals to contribute to their welfare

Stop garden bird feeders from spreading disease

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) issues guidelines for disease prevention at bird feeders and recommends bird food is purchased from accredited resources - but what on earth do they mean by 'accredited resources'? The BTO is “calling on everyone who feeds wild birds to be aware of their responsibilities for preventing disease. Simple steps … Continue reading Stop garden bird feeders from spreading disease

Bon Voyage? 250 Years Exploring the Natural World

The Society for the History of Natural History's (SHNH) summer meeting and AGM in association with the BOC, World Museum Liverpool is set for Thursday 14th and Friday 15th June 2018 (Optional visit to Knowsley Hall, Wednesday 13th June). The event marks the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific. A … Continue reading Bon Voyage? 250 Years Exploring the Natural World

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

How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans: “The Devil in the deep blue sea”

"Oceans are fundamental to the health of our planet - the very lifeblood of Earth's ecosystem. To survive and prosper, mankind needs a harmonious relationship with our planet's oceans."

Trump administration’s stance on the environment is ‘willful ignorance’ says DiCaprio

According to The Independent, actor and environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio didn't mince his words during an encounter with Donald Trump. In an attempt to encourage Mr Trump to see the opportunity to make nature great again, DiCaprio tried to sway him to take another look at the Paris Climate Agreement. Reverting to type, Trump claimed that the Paris … Continue reading Trump administration’s stance on the environment is ‘willful ignorance’ says DiCaprio

It’s World Rhino Day today, who feels like celebrating?

If there is something to celebrate it's the dedicated people who commit their life to the protection of wildlife and make every day a World Rhino Day. These wonderful (underpaid) individuals deserve all the cake and tea in China; however, I've a feeling they don't have much of an appetite to party after spending 364.25 … Continue reading It’s World Rhino Day today, who feels like celebrating?

We need more naturalists, more 21st Century Nature Detectives

Maxwell Knight was amongst the first - if not the first - to coin the phrase 'nature detective' before the Second World War; however, he would have been the first to admit that his natural history forefathers had literally risked life and limb detecting fauna and flora as skilfully recorded in Richard Conniff's book The Species … Continue reading We need more naturalists, more 21st Century Nature Detectives

Smiley is back

John Le Carre's master spy is making what the author says will be his last appearance in a novel in A Legacy of Spies. If you missed James Naughtie's moving interview with John le Carré on the Today Programme at 07:40 this morning, it's available here. He referred to his colleagues "Max Knight and John Bingham". … Continue reading Smiley is back