A cloudless sky is something to celebrate even in supposedly sun-soaked Cornwall. An even rarer event here is a beaver release, and for many of us involved, we played witness to the event with a sense of euphoric, almost dream-like disbelief. This was actually happening.
With exams over, the first year of my degree completed, naturally I wanted to do something fun to celebrate. Whilst many of my friends had tickets to glamorous end-of-term May Balls, I had tickets to a very different event – the Mammal Society 6th Student Conference. A true nerd, I had decided to celebrate the end of my biology exams with…more biology!
These infamous words were expressed by Sam Cooke, in my opinion one of the finest singers to ever live. Although the purpose of this song was to support the civil rights movement, the words are easily transferable.
I watched Michelle Obama’s last speech as First Lady of the United States, where she was elegant, powerful and poised as she always is. She spoke of believing in ourselves and our abilities as we move into a world full of uncertainty.
UK Freshwater Fish: Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Jack Perks
Fish have always taken somewhat of a back seat in UK conservation, with the exception of a few characters like Atlantic salmon and, recently, eels, due to the huge decline in numbers. For me, it’s the underdogs that really take my interest: the mini species like spined loach, which use their gut as a primitive lung; and bitterling which lay their eggs inside a living swan mussel (not entirely sure what the mussel gets out of this arrangement but it has little choice!).
September took an unexpected turn this year as a small piece I had written on the subject of ‘hope for the future of UK wildlife’ for an AFON competition was selected and rewarded with complimentary tickets to the Nature Mattersconference in Cambridge, organised by New Networks for Nature.
I joined my first AFON meeting when we went to the wonderful Knepp, located in West Sussex. This is a site that used to be farmland, but field-by-field has been given over to a rewilding project. We were all staying in tents in the summery meadow though didn’t get much sleep as there was too much to do!
Post EU ref roundup – what’s next? – Charlie Hewitt
With everything that has been going on in politics recently and with so many sources of information, sometimes it is difficult to get a comprehensive and concise understanding of what is actually going on. This blog post will hopefully clarify recent events and how we, nature and conservation will be affected by the upcoming changes and most importantly, what we can do to help protect our natural resources, habitats and biodiversity.
Now, before I start I am going to be honest and let you know that blogging is not something I do with much frequency or aptitude so bear with me! However, when I was asked to write a blog about the project I am working on and therefore one of the many awesome marine habitats we have here in the UK I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you all about how amazing our marine life really is. So here it goes……
The Field Skills Crisis; How To Avoid Killing Your Passion and Become a Better Naturalist – Liam Curson
One of the most talked about topics in conservation today is the lack of really good field skills. It is something I’ve noticed, and really frustrates me! There are so many bright, talented young people in conservation, but it often seems like you’re more likely to find us at a conference than in a meadow, woodland or estuary.