Leaving Footprint, starting something new

Today is my last day at Footprint Ecology.

I’ve had a very interesting 18 months here, working on a number of management plans, a variety of Habitat Regulations Assessments, the protection of Lodge Hill and Rampisham Down, researching and writing a book about nature and people in churchyards; and running a large vegetation survey of Vegetated Coastal Shingle in and around the Solent.

It’s in the nature of most of these contracts that they fall into the “grey” literature, so I can’t show you what I’ve done, which is a pity. Some are obviously confidential, but others, such as the Solent work for Natural England, really ought to be in the public domain, but aren’t. Having said that, after we had done a comprehensive survey of the shingle plants, most of them – and the shingle – was washed away in last winter’s storms. The one that will see the light of day soon is the book “The Nature of God’s Acre”, more on this soon.

Footprint are an excellent small consultancy specialising in the ecological impacts of visitors (and their dogs) to nature sites; and Habitat Regulations Assessments. In both these areas they are leading experts in the UK. They also do more typical consultancy work like management plans. They do not do any commercial work for developers, and this makes them highly unusual.

In 2015 I am starting a new project, something I have been thinking about for quite a few years now. It will focus on the importance of nature to people, the way people need nature for spiritual health, for inspiration, for contemplation, even solace. I hope it will act as a counterbalance to the “Natural Capitalism” approach that is gaining ascendancy, particularly through things like Biodiversity Offsetting. It will also work to highlight how important public land is for nature (and other values), and how political actions and policies can help, or hinder, nature protection.

If you are interested in working with me on this new endeavour, please let me know.


About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and not my employers. I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
This entry was posted in Footprint, public goods, public land, spiritual value and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Leaving Footprint, starting something new

  1. Steve Alton says:

    Hi Miles,

    Very best wishes for your future endeavours. Not sure if (or how) I could help, but the relationship between people and nature is something that interests my wife and I with our FlowerScapes hats on. Keep me in the loop!

    All the best,


  2. Joseph Broadway says:

    Hello Miles,

    I love your blog and read it regularly (your UKIP attacks are a personal favourite). I’m not sure how I can help and have only just started up my own little blog but as a user and lover of the natural world I would be more than happy to do anything I can to help you out.

    Kind Regards


  3. domhall says:

    Hi Miles, similar to the other comments – I follow your blog and think you may have seen mine (you kindly tweeted etc about a project I was doing on land use in the Lakes http://domhall.com/) Anyway, fully agree that a more values based approach to the inherent value of nature is really important – so keep me posted.


  4. That sounds very interesting and hope my project in Spain might offer that approach along with an understanding of biodiversity. Increasing knowledge of so many species has inspired me..

  5. Good luck with your new venture, I’d certainly like to know more about it and, if it includes public access, perhaps the Open Spaces Society can collaborate too.

  6. Miles, most interested in your work but found you on the Net for other reasons. I am a Bourblaige Stuart. As I have not found a way of contacting you directly, would you be so kind as to contact me at owen @ hughes.qc.ca and perhaps remove this post afterwards. Cheers, Owen Stuart Hughes, Val-Morin, Québec

  7. Mark Fisher says:

    I grew up on the Solent, near what is now Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve – although why it is called Titchfield when it is in Hill Head! My mum knew where the horned poppy and sea kale grew, and of greatest excitement – the one place that had sea holly. I hope they didn’t mind my mum’s ashes!

    Miles – your demon.co.uk email address doesn’t appear to be working? Have I been left out of the address update?

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