Return from a break

we had a walk up near Blandford yesterday to see how the Steam Fair was coming along (especially with all the rain we’ve had). There were already loads of people camping there and we could see a lot of traction engines already lined up (but not steaming).  The walk took us along a series of arable fields and I kept my eyes on the ground looking for interesting arable plants. This one caught my eye – not a particularly common plant in Dorset these days – Henbit Dead-nettle Lamium amplexicaule. You can check out recent records for it in your area on the excellent BSBI mapping tool. Henbit deadnettle has very curious “furry” flowers, almost like a cat’s paw when they first appear. And what appear to be leaves in the photo are actually bracts which form a cushion under the flowers. I think it’s quite a pretty plant!







I was also delighted to see the Red Data Book Dwarf spurge Euphorbia exigua growing in the corner of a field of beans. The land seemed to be being managed quite sympathetically for its arable plants (uncultivated margins), though it isnt in an agri-environment scheme.

I’ve had a bit of a break from writing this blog over the summer, as some of you might have noticed. This has been for a variety of reasons – we were away for a while and before that I was focussing all my (limited) intellectual capacity onto a rather complicated management planning process for a contract I have been working on over the past 18 months (on and off).

I also rather lost the will to write about environmental and political issues after the election.

Once the contract is out of the way, I am starting work properly on the new charity People Need Nature this month. There are still various administrative things to do which are all essential if not necessarily that interesting. I have also arranged a number of talks where I will be explaining what People Need Nature is all about. The first one is local in Dorset on 23rd September at Knoll Gardens in Ferndown. I’ll post a link for the Knoll Gardens Foundation website where you can book tickets. Later on in the autumn (November 3rd and 4th) I will be speaking at the CIEEM conference in Sheffield on Reconnecting People and Nature.

I will endeavour to write regularly through the autumn and keep you all up to date on progress with People Need Nature.


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 2015 election, People Need Nature and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Return from a break

  1. Mud-Lark says:

    Welcome back Miles

    Conservation and campaigning amidst a mire of politics is exceedingly draining.

    Perhaps the conservation movement should nominate and then submit the nominee to elevation in the second chamber? Then we would have a voice and to ensure success then we should call upon the combined network to create critical mass? Or would the ‘politics’ of conservation muddy the waters? It’s the process and selection criteria which need the risk assessment carefully thought through methinks?

    Challenge when we need to and champion continuously and PNN sounds like a good way to be positively proactive 🙂

    • Miles King says:

      thanks very much mudlark. Yes I think the politics of conservation might get in the way a bit.

      • Mud-Lark says:

        Oft I despair of the usual suspects who appear constrained by their reliance on statutory funds such that they are effectively ‘gagged’ when it comes to challenging the Westminster politicians and also those within the movement.

        It would be an interesting exercise for a conservation nomination to the Lords though, provided that it was an independently ‘organised’ process?

      • Miles King says:

        not just you. Did you see Chris Packham’s BBC wildlife mag piece reported in the Guardian today?

      • Mud-Lark says:

        Read the magazine article but not today’s Guardian.

        He’s done more to raise unsavoury issues along with an ex-RSPB ‘colleague’ than those who claim plenty through a slick media machine. It’s sad, very sad but that’s what happens when they become too big?

        OK the RSPB have taken up the Walshaw case and hats off to them after Natural England backed off but sadly it languishes still and will eventually become ammunition for those who want us out of Europe so they can chain saw more of the wildlife / environmental protection legislation which hinders development or private profit.

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