My favourite blogs from 2014

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I’ve been the RSPB’s Conservation Director since May 2011. As I settle into the job, I’ll be blogging on all the big conservation topics and providing an inside view of our conservation projects. I hope you enjoy reading it and feel inspired to join in t

My favourite blogs from 2014

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Today is my last working day of the year.  In a fit of indulgence, I have selected my favourite blogs from the year - one from each month. 

It's been quite a year. 

This time last year, we did not know that tidal surges and the worst winter rainfall on record would have such a dramatic impact on our natural landscapes and affect the policy landscape especially regarding farming in floodplains and the relative merits of dredging of rivers (see February).

This time last year, Sir Ian Botham was simply my childhood cricketing hero and grumpy commentator on telly .  We could not have predicted that he would join forces with the shooting community to launch a crude and aggressive attack on the RSPB (see October).

This time last year, we might have predicted that the new European Commission would have such a pro-growth and deregulatory agenda, but we perhaps were not expecting such a direct challenge to the EU Nature Directives which underpin action here and across Europe (see September).

But it is testimony to the extraordinary commitment to our staff, volunteers and supporters that in 2014 we have still managed to do so many great things (see November). 

So, here in chronological order are my favourite blogs of the year.

January: The CAP Deal across the UK: looking back and looking forward

February: Preventing future floods: the role of land management and the CAP

March: Are we fit to frack?

April: Migrants on my mind

May: Stories from Orkney

June: Why it's time to license driven grouse shooting

July: What the RSPB thinks about the proposed Defra Hen Harrier Action Plan

August: Why I am voting for Bob

September: Why European President Juncker has chosen the wrong path

October: Say it ain't so, Beefy

November: What a wonderful world

December: The recipe for success: the story of the Bittern's recovery

I expect more of the unexpected next year.  But amidst the economic, political and environmental uncertainty, I look forward to blogging about...

...more great science to help us find solutions to 21st century conservation problems

...more land under our management

...more advice that we shall be giving to landowners to manage their land with wildlife in mind and to businesses to clean up their supply chain

...more sites protected from stupid developments hopefully including Lodge Hill

...laws that have been protected to protect our nature ways for people that love nature to get involved

And most importantly...

...more wildlife

Thank you for reading!

Happy Christmas and here's to a successful 2015.


  • I am delighted to hear that, Vanellus.  I hope many more join you in 2015.

  • Thanks for re-awakening my inner activist. Next year I am determined to find out more about nature's problems then say more and do more to help solve them. Merry Christmas!