True conservation is as impossible as…

...trying to produce a "balance of nature".  The best we can hope for, therefore, is our best attempt at nature conservation - to help the maximum number of desirable species reproduce and thrive in any given region.

Was Maxwell Knight Ian Fleming’s “M”?

To many, "M" might seem like a random letter plucked from thin air by Ian Fleming during a spell of writer's block; a fictional character. It was, of course, anything but, as the two men (Ian Fleming and Maxwell Knight) were in the security service at the same time, and "M's" talents as a spy [...]

Global wildlife populations have halved in just 40 years” – WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014.

"Wildlife's continued decline highlights the urgent need for sustainable solutions to humanity’s increasing demand on our natural resources," reports WWF and ZSL in the Living Planet Report. Professor Ken Norris, Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London said: “The scale of biodiversity loss and damage to the very ecosystems that are essential to [...]

Why didn’t Maxwell Knight publish The Frightened Face of Nature?

Maxwell Knight was aware of the furore and criticism from chemical companies and others when Rachel Carson published her book Silent Spring in 1962. Indeed, he credits her work in his unpublished manuscript. She wasn't the only one in those years who drew attention to environmental problems and was criticised for not being “proper scientists”; [...]


Knight the pioneer: How did 'bird gardening' become established in British life? Simon King reveals its origins in the ideas and writing of the famous WW2 spy catcher - none other than Maxwell Knight. The practice of putting out food for birds in gardens is more popular now than ever before, with more than half [...]

Camberley Natural History Society’s Exhibition at Surrey Heath Museum – Photo blog

Maxwell Knight was amongst the original founders of the Camberley Natural History Society in 1946. Source: Camberley Natural History Society's Exhibition at Surrey Heath Museum - Photo blog

Maxwell Knight’s cabinet featured in Cage & Aviary Birds publication:

Copyright: see acknowledgements

New Statesman: Cuckoos, le Carré, and conservation: the forgotten files of the real-life “M”

  Read Anoosh Chakelian's article on the New Statesman website Copyright: see acknowledgements