Author Archives: Miles King

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.

A Net Loss for Nature

An extremely unpleasant new craze is sweeping the nation: It involves wrapping up lengths of hedgerow or even mature trees in netting. The idea is that once a hedge or tree has been netted, birds are unable to nest there. … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, hedge netting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why EU laws to stop pets chasing wildlife (and livestock) are not comical.

  It’s always tempting, when writing a weekly column, to return over and over again to a well chewed bone called Brexit. And despite Westminster having descended into full-blown Whitehall Farce territory last week, I am going to resist the temptation … Continue reading

Posted in dogs, Michael Gove, Natural England, Tony Juniper | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Time in Nature helps our children’s mental health & wellbeing

It’s fair to say that as a society we are only just waking up to the problems our children and young adults face. To what extent the mental health crisis facing children is linked to increasing social media use is … Continue reading

Posted in MENE, mental health, Natural England | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Squirrels, Pheasants and Beavers: the confusing world of animal releases

  Scotland is once again ahead of the game (or at least ahead of England) as far as legal protection for wildlife is concerned. Scottish Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, announced recently that Beavers would be given the strict protection afforded … Continue reading

Posted in Beavers, grey squirrel, pheasants, red squirrel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

School Strike for the Climate

It’s still February but already feeling warm (update: winter temperatures records smashed) Thirty or forty years ago, the middle of February would normally have been the depths of winter in England, but no more: Buds are breaking, the grass is … Continue reading

Posted in climate action, climate change, school strike 4 climate | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

40 days to a crash-out Brexit (well….35 now).

To me, forty days is a nice round number. It doesn’t fit in well with our time cycles of days, weeks and months, but it undoubtedly has great symbolic meaning, the  most famous of which, perhaps, is the 40 days … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Put a Beaver in your River

Summer, nearly six years ago, and I was doing a lot of walking. That day, Chesil beach, with the long thin lake of the Fleet behind, was sunny and I found myself thoughtlessly kicking a large lump of peat. Peat? … Continue reading

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Natural England uses its legal powers to protect our best grasslands

  This Natural England press release has just been published:  Some of the country’s rarest and most threatened fungi will be better protected after Natural England announced the notification of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). 2019 marks the … Continue reading

Posted in grasslands, Natural England, SSSis, waxcap grasslands | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

further thoughts on the Net Gain consultation

Following on from my general critique of the Net Gain proposals, here are a few specific comments in case anyone is thinking about responding to the consultation before the deadline of the 10th February. 1. On page 6 of the … Continue reading

Posted in biodiversity offsetting, housing, Natural Capital, net gain, NPPF, planning | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Accountancy will not save nature: the problems with “Net Gain”

It’s difficult to believe that while we watch – ok, there are probably only a few of us now hanging on to the bitter end, as most will have given up and gone off to do something more sensible – … Continue reading

Posted in biodiversity offsetting, housing, Natural Capital, net gain | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments