Posts Tagged ‘Conservation


What do you do?

Those of you that know me will already know I work with four wildlife charities. I think it’s important to give back; to always take and not return something back into the ‘kitty’ seems wrong. Wildlife provides me with a living, one I enjoy; so, it’s important to me to be able to help out wherever and whenever I can to sustain that wildlife.

My daughter, who is in Leeds studying music, contacted me the other day about the rubbish that was left by people in a park close by to where she is living. She was disgusted that people could be so selfish and non-caring about their environment. Indeed, the pictures were eyebrow raising, not just for the environmental damage, but for the poor guys that had to clean up the whole bloody mess.

It occurred to me some time ago that those that care have to do more to make up for those that don’t. So I wanted to go a step further than the time and effort I currently give. I thought I should give and support conservation groups that can do more than I can in the little corner of Norfolk where I live. I don’t mean join the RSPB or the Wildlife Trusts or the National Trust that we all support so we can park in their car parks or get free entry into reserves. I mean international organisations that can make a difference. So, last week I joined two. I paid out my dollars to three conservation organisations that in my view were doing something to better the environment where i didn’t get any direct benefit myself. I feel the ones I chose do something that needs doing to better this Ark we call earth.

Not caring comes in various guises. I have just read an article on Skipjack Tuna. Of the 15 or so commercially fished tuna species in the world Skipjack is the smallest. They are about the size of a bulldog. If you have any tuna in the cupboard it’s probably Skipjack Tuna that’s in the can. The can maybe says ‘caught by pole and line’ which is the most sustainable way of catching tuna. Netting, which still goes on, is not sustainable. Only around 20% is apparently caught that way. All interesting, but the fact that caught my attention was that if you laid end to end all of the Skipjack Tuna caught in the North Pacific in 2018 they would circle the earth nearly a dozen times…. W.T.F.That’s an awful lot of biomass to take out of the ocean in one year … isn’t it?

I wonder if those fishermen catching those tuna put something back into sustaining the ocean or whether they ‘take for free’, without even caring.

OK, Skipjack are prolific breeders and they have been deemed by several authorities that the populations are sustainable buy hey! … let’s get real here. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that something is sustainable until it’s not. You don’t need an IQ of 180 to know that we need to stop doing things that are akin to raping our planet. We have to learn from past mistakes or species after species are going to go the way of the Passenger Pigeon. We need to start building systems and processes that bear the cost of using ‘resources’ that presently are taken for granted. Resources that are taken for free. Even talking about wildlife as a resource seems wrong. In the words of ‘Seaspiracy’ for the time being at least, ‘leave the oceans alone’.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying I do everything right. I’m not pontificating. I’m still learning about how I can help the planet during my stay here. What are you doing? Let me know so we all can learn.

In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with a photo of a Blue fin Tuna seen in the Bay of Biscay a few years ago. Wonderful, fascinating creatures.



Wouldn’t it be good if the politicians sat down and talked properly with the CEO’s of the wildlife organisations in the UK? Wouldn’t it be good if the CEO’s talked among themselves and they all sang from the same hymn sheet when lobbying the politicians? Just think what could be achieved if this happened.

The only way of making this happen is to bring these people together at an early stage. AFON (A Focus On Nature) probably has the future leaders of the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Natural England, The Forestry Commission etc, etc, already within their ranks. These people know one another. They know one another NOW as they are developing their skills as individuals within a group. They are experiencing their early years TOGETHER. There are probably future wildlife law makers among their number too.

I am a mentor for AFON and have been in there from the start. I realised then, and I maintain now, that we must rear a new breed of wildlife enthusiast to protect our future.

I went out again with Catherine Bullen the other week. I am one of her AFON coaches guiding her on the next steps within her career as a wildlife photographer. Note her name. She’s good. You will be seeing more of her work in the future I’m sure. Take a look at some of her photos on her website and by friending her on facebook.

To reach people; to touch people’s hearts and minds, sometimes words are not enough – you need a good image to make them sit up and listen. Catherine is one of the people that will help to do that in future.

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Mar 2023


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