Editorials

Our scientific programmes bring together team members, students, volunteers and visiting researchers to provide the foundations needed for informed protection and management. Each year around 25,000 people take part in our environmental education programmes: workshops, wildlife clubs, summer camps, school visits, etc. Like everyone else, we work hard to enrol new supporters and struggle to raise sufficient funds…

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One Sunday last July I strolled down to the hide at RSPB Otmoor, one of my local birding patches in Oxfordshire. Five years ago I might have entered an empty hide. Not anymore. The place was packed with bird photographers, happily chatting as they waited patiently for the shot…

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Seventy-three years a birdwatcher, I am back at base camp: a landlocked farmland patch…

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June 23rd will always be a memorable date for me. No, not June 23rd 2016 and the EU Referendum. Far more significant (to me) was June 23rd 1987 and ‘my’ male Lesser Kestrel on Fair Isle. The 30th anniversary of that momentous day is later this month and I’ll be marking it with a fond smile and a raised glass because, as yet another June 23rd comes around, I have yet to find a better bird in Britain…

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Many of us will share Mark Holling’s frustration with frequent changes to the order in which bird families and species are placed in lists (Holling 2016). I agree that the changes come about because taxonomists want to use the ‘best’ list, so that the sequence is changed in the light of new opinions about the avian evolutionary tree. But the problem lies deeper than this…

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Many of the world’s most important locations for bird species diversity and abundance are included within a network of over 12,000 key conservation areas, defined by Birdlife International as being Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas…

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I believe that the future of the driven grouse shooting industry rests in its own hands. It either reforms, to improve the environmental conditions of the uplands, or public distrust and anger will grow, leading inevitably to government intervention to regulate its activities. Let me explain…

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Saturday 13th August 2016 was a special day for me: an e-petition bearing my name, aimed at the Westminster government and calling for driven grouse shooting to be banned, passed 100,000 signatures and was therefore heading for a debate in parliament…

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I’ve fairly recently moved in to live with my partner. An eyebrow was raised about the number of books I brought with me. In reality, it was only about a quarter of my entire book collection but that’s enough to have turned the small spare bedroom of our London flat into something that more closely resembles a library…

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Having made a recent, supposedly one-off, foray into the business of optical reviews, I felt I could hardly say no when the nice people at ZEISS wanted to send me their new telescope, the Gavia 85, to look at…

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