2019…what a year.

The south winterbourne ©Miles King

This will be my last blog of 2019 as I intend to take a bit of a break from social media. But we’ll see how well that works out!

I’m not going to go into any great depth about the political shennanigans that we’ve seen this past year – as we are all far too familiar, perhaps even tired of hearing about it – and I have written about them ad nauseam.

I thought instead I’d just give a quick update on what has been going on here.

The year started with me continuing to write a weekly column for Lush Times, which I was really enjoying. Yes it was quite hard work coming up with a story every week and I had to keep a close eye on all the emerging environmental stories and also try and find interesting ones that weren’t already out there in the public domain. I was also continuing my work with People Need Nature, albeit this was a bit on the back burner, partly because it has been very difficult to find funding to support it.

Once again Lush had come up trumps supporting my report on farmland tax “Where there’s muck there’s brass“, which was the follow up to the Pebble in the Pond, the first report I produced for PNN looking at opportunities for UK agriculture after Brexit.  I worked on this through the Spring and it was published in late June. I’m running a session on farmland tax at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in a couple of weeks time, so please come along if you’re there.

Lush then decided to shift away from social media in April and I could see the writing was on the wall for its digital output including Lush Times. The last piece I did was on their amazing carbon negative packaging made of Cork at the end of July. This was picked up by the Telegraph and went a bit viral from there, which was nice. Also a bit ironic considering how difficult I had found it to get the press interested in my tax report. I was very sad that the Lush writing had come to an end after two years but it also gave me a big nudge to return my focus to People Need Nature again. It was also very sad to see the excellent team of writers, editors, photographers, film makers and podcasters ,that had built up around Lush’s digital work (with Si Constantine at its heart), disbanded.

Away from Lush and PNN, I continue to be involved with the Floodplain Meadows Partnership, which is an excellent project and I feel very lucky to play a very small part in its work. I’ve also joined the advisory board of a new group called Unchecked, created to campaign for the enforcement of environmental regulations. I think this is going to be very significant in 2020, with all the deregulatory pressures that Brexit brings.

There’s also a long running story of family illness which I won’t go into, but it’s thankfully much improved.

What do I hope for in 2020? Well it looks like there might be some very interesting arts/nature projects developing, which I think could be just what PNN needs, to take it forward. We  also have some good urban nature/nature connection projects on the go, which I will write more about in the new year. As for politics I think I might take a step back from policy work, aside from one small project looking at the perils of this mad tree planting craze we are in the midst of. I will keep blogging on here as and when I think there’s something interesting to write about.

So it just leaves me to thank everyone who has read this blog (or my never-ending stream of tweets), and especially those who find the time to leave comments.

Happy Christmas and New Year.


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 2019 review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 2019…what a year.

  1. David Dunlop says:

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Miles; and here’s hoping for a happy 2020: time, as ever, will tell.


  2. Sue Redshaw says:

    I’ve always enjoyed your articles, Miles. Thank you. Good luck in 2020 and have a restful Christmas. Sue

  3. Gail says:

    Thank you for all your blogs and tweets, under the various guises. I enjoy them, get angry along with them and have learned a lot. I hope you enjoy your rest and look forward to reading you again in 2020. Very best wishes to you. Gail

  4. robseago says:

    I may have lost my earlier draft, so apologies if you have just read similar to this.

    Thanks for your regular and referenced blogs for 2019. I wish you a successful and prosperous 2020.

  5. Jane Pursey says:

    I can always learn something from your articles Miles, thankyou. Wishing you and yours A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – Good luck in 2020

  6. Thanks, I’ve enjoyed your posts this year. I’ll be interested in your views on the current tree planting craze when you have time next year.
    Hope you can relax and enjoy the break!
    Happy Christmas

  7. I love your blog and always stop to read it when it pops into my inbox. You have kept me both well-informed and entertained. Who needs the BBC. Enjoy a break over Christmas Miles for as long as you can keep away.

    • Miles King says:

      thanks very much Della – yes I agree about the BBC! It means a lot to me to know the blogs provide information and entertainment, that’s all I ever hope to do. Happy Christmas to you too.

  8. Nimby says:

    Like so many, I too enjoy your posts in their various forms. As others have noted they are balanced and well referenced and they inspire and motivate when needed.

    The environment is under threat from deregulation and this will almost certainly increase so I look forward (sadly) to conservation rising to the opportunity of championing challenge of those who should be working in the public interest not private profit paymasters.

    Enjoy a well deserved festive break and here’s to a happy and healthy and successful 2020. Thank you Miles.

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