A Focus On Nature

Articles from June 2017

Books and Reviews

Book Review: Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, Third Edition

When it first appeared on our natural history bookshelves back in 2003, this fantastic book transformed moth recording and the identification of Britain’s moths. No longer was it necessary to trawl through museum photographs in hefty guides depicting pinned specimens in faded and contorted positions. Identification suddenly became so much easier and accessible to the general public, and no doubt facilitated the rapid take-off of moth recording as a widespread past-time amongst the general public.

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Issues in conservation, Uncategorized

The Mammal Society 6th Student Conference

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!

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Nature Reserves, Uncategorized

The Urban Jungle

As someone interested in conservation, I am perhaps not alone in having a slight natural aversion to cities. Buses, commuters, sirens, the rat race – not really my cup of tea. Probably because I grew up far away from it in the picturesque countryside of Dumfries and Galloway. Having spent many enjoyable years exploring wild woods and ancient oaks, I suddenly found myself having to understand the urban jungle.

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A Vision For Nature

A Tropical Outlook

Since coming to the UK I’ve noticed a couple of things: firstly, that it is always cold here. Secondly, that, despite an overarching concern about the protection of the environment in general, it is taken care of better than many give credit for. I haven’t been around very much, but protected nature reserves, and various laws that protect the environment (admittedly pushed strongly by the EU and in danger following ‘Brexit’) are in place to ensure that anyone who appreciates nature and its importance (which should surely be all of us by now) can continue to do so, and take pride in the fact that the country they live in has taken steps to protect the environment – even if more can be done.

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General Election statement: politicians and the next Government need to act Now for Nature

On World Environment Day, and in the final days before the UK General Election, we’re proud to publish this statement from young people across the UK and from some of our friends further afield. It calls on the next Parliament of MPs and the next Government to take strong action Now for Nature.

We’re so grateful to everyone who has signed this statement for us calling for the urgent action that’s needed to help the UK’s wildlife.

We’ve sent this statement to the leaders of all the main political parties:

Young people across the UK, and the world, are calling on the UK’s politicians and next Government to ensure that ambitious action is taken for wildlife and nature.

The declines of nature in the UK and beyond have never been more worrying. It is young people and future generations, as well as the natural world itself, who will deal with the consequences of these declines. As young people who care passionately about wildlife, we’re ambitious about the kind of world we want to grow up and grow old in: we want to continue to hear turtle doves purring, we would love to see beavers reintroduced across the UK and we hope that one day soon we’ll see an end to wildlife persecution and crime.

We are calling on the UK’s next Government and its next Parliament to put in place strong protections for nature, particularly as the UK leaves the European Union. The EU has, to date, provided some of the strongest protections that wildlife has in this country, notably the Birds and Habitats Directives, and these should be at least maintained if not strengthened.

The UK has also achieved success in helping wildlife independent of its EU obligations, such as the return of iconic species like the bittern and large blue butterfly. These successes could not have happened without the work of Government, NGOs and public support. We would like such achievements to continue.

But despite these protections and successes, nature continues to decline in the UK and beyond at alarming rates. This puts species at risk, but also people through damage to services that ecosystems provide us with like clean water and air, flood protection and food.

The UK is responsible for a huge number of rare and endangered species on its mainland, and particularly in its crown dependencies and overseas territories. So young people from across the world are also calling on the UK to be a leader in living up to its commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Young people in the UK who care about wildlife would like to work with politicians of any party, and the next Government to ensure that the UK’s next Parliament takes action now for nature.


Organisational Signatories:

A Focus on Nature

Bristol Nature Network

Synchronicity Earth

New Nature magazine

Wilderness Foundation UK


Wren Zoological

Change in Nature

Aberystwyth Sustainability Society

Cambridge University Nature Society

Emerging Leaders for Biodiversity, Canada

Youth for Wildlife Conservation (UK members)


National Youth Agency


Individual Signatories:

Findlay Wilde, young nature campaigner

Georgia Locock, young nature campaigner

Mya-Rose Craig

Tiffany Francis

Jennifer Garrett

James Shooter

Josie Hewitt

Chris Calow

Nicola Boulton

Holly Hucknall

Sophie Barrell

Sian Jones

Robbie Phillips

Mya Bambrick

Alex Berryman

Lucy McRobert

Adam Canning

Matt Collis

Alysia Schuetzle

Lauren Hoops

James Common

Andrew Catherall

Connie Turton

Marcus Rhodes

Caroline Collingwood

Ellen Marshall

Leanne Tough

Bryony Yates

Georgie Bray

Lucia Watts

Max Hellicar

Martin Cooper

Eleanor Morrison

Alice Banahan

Sarah Woods

Dan Rouse

Genevieve Dally

Simon Phelps

Tom Mason

Peter Cooper

Chris Kirby-Lambert

Robyn Womack

Lucy Witter

Ben Eagle

Matt Williams

Imogen Lindsay

Emily Wood

Amy Robjohns

Alice Collier

A Vision For Nature

Beyond the Ballot Box

In the 2015 General Election, only 43% of 18-24 year olds turned out to vote, according to market research organisation Ipsos Mori. It’s easy to argue that young people have lost faith in our political system, feeling disconnected and unrepresented in a fragmented democracy. In schools, politics as a subject is not resonant in our education system, so for many the concept is alienating or too complex to engage with. Politics wasn’t taught at my school until A Level, when I had already developed passions for other subjects.

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