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ECOS archive

This is where you can access individual ECOS articles.  Members can access the ECOS archive for free, by logging in to the website and clicking on the dates, issues and individual articles of interest.  Articles are available as PDFs for downloading.

Non-members will be redirected to purchase articles from our partner, Payloadz. Please click on the green button to purchase these articles, or join BANC. Alternatively, please browse our growing collection of Open Access articles.

If you are in search of a particular ECOS article that is not yet available here, please get in touch via enquiries@banc.org.uk, and we’ll do our best to help you.

The archive is a work in progress: We hope to have it complete by the end of 2017.

Search for author names, key words or issue numbers (format: ECOS (volume)):

2017
Issue 38 (1)
Editorial: Knot the best logo. Geoffrey Wain
The role of BANC and ECOS: A space for views, or espousing a view? Gavin Saunders

ECOS 38 (1)

As BANC and ECOS move more fully to a web format, discussion continues on the distinct role of an organization which promotes debate and challenge rather than a particular party line.

 

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Gavin Saunders

Current chair of BANC and co-lead of Neroche Woodlanders, the social enterprise in the public forest in Somerset.  gavin@nerochewoodlanders.org

Hard Brexit - Soft Rewilding? Ideological spectrums of the wild. Peter Taylor

ECOS 38 (1)

Ideological challenges to nature conservation are nothing new, but now they can take different guises in the context of Brexit and in the (perhaps wilful) distortion of rewilding.

 

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Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor's most recent work The Spirit of Rewilding was published in 2017. His 2011 edited volume, Rewilding, is available from BANC publications.

ethos_uk@onetel.com

Rewilding – a process or a paradigm. Exploring the motives which drive rewilding’s complexity. Andrea Gammon

ECOS 38 (1)

Teasing out the definitions and meanings of rewilding may reveal the variety of ways the word is currently used, and the motivations behind these uses.

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Andrea Gammon

PhD researcher in environmental philosophy at Radboud University in the Netherlands.

A.Gammon@science.ru.nl

Wild boar in the Dean – welcome back? Kieran OMahony

ECOS 38 (1)

Unofficially released wild boar have been changing the physical and political landscape of the Forest of Dean for over 10 years. Changing local attitudes and policy developments during this time may have pointers for official reintroductions and rewilding projects.

           

 

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Kieran OMahony

PhD researcher at Cardiff University exploring the issues of living with and governing wild boar.

Twitter: @totheeast

omahonyk@cardiff.ac.uk 

 

Champions of grassroots conservation: A future for local authority countryside services? Ian D. Rotherham

ECOS 38 (1)

This article discusses key messages in the author’s 2015 book, The Rise and Fall of Countryside Management – a historical account.1 The book explores the challenges and achievements of local authority countryside services and considers the uncertain future they face in the midst of ongoing funding cuts.

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Ian D. Rotherham

Professor of Environmental Geography, and Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change, Sheffield Hallam University.

i.d.rotherham@shu.ac.uk

Planet Earth III? For nature’s sake, no thanks. Chris Rose

ECOS 38 (1)

With so much wildlife sliding into oblivion, we now need a rethink about BBC’s flagship nature series, and we should challenge the BBC’s caution on promoting a conservation message amidst wildlife broadcasting.  

Virtual reality?

BBC production genius, big budgets and the gentle charisma of David Attenborough were combined to take the BBCs hallmark nature spectaculars to new heights in Planet Earth II. It is more awe inspiring, more immersive, more cinematic than ever before. Yet for nature’s sake there should be no Planet Earth III on the same model.

Planet Earth II goes too far in supplying high-dose nature therapy at the sofa, without showing how nature needs help, how it can be helped, or helping viewers to help. Given his age, the BBC may fear Planet Earth III may be unimaginable without David Attenborough’s magic touch but the rest of the cast may soon anyway be unavailable: the natural world celebrated in these BBC statement movies is simply vanishing.

The success of Planet Earth II

When the BBC’s Planet Earth II aired in Britain before Christmas, it immediately became the UK’s most-watched natural history programme for 15 years.  It is being sold around the world, and a few days after it went online at Tencent in China, the first two episodes had been downloaded 61 million times.

The millions of viewers who watch TV nature mega-series such Planet Earth II presented by David Attenborough, probably assume they must help save nature. An academic study described them as Natures’ Saviours: Celebrity Conservationists in the Television Age.  Yet when conservation professionals and media analysts have tried to discern some sort of media-cause and conservation-effect, the answer has never been very clear.

BBC Executives were reportedly “thrilled by the huge audiences watching the programme”, especially as “more than 2 million of the 12 million total weekly UK audience are in the prized 16-34 age range, meaning the programme has attracted more young adult viewers than The X Factor”.

Martin Hughes-Games – off message, on the money

I imagine they were less than thrilled on New Years Day 2017 when Martin Hughes-Games, presenter of BBC programmes such as Springwatch, took aim at the new nature mega-series in  The Guardian with his article:  ‘The BBC’s Planet Earth II did not help the natural world’.

Hughes-Games, wrote:

“I fear this series, and others like it, have become a disaster for the world’s wildlife. These programmes are pure entertainment, brilliantly executed but ultimately a significant contributor to the planet-wide extinction of wildlife we’re presiding over.

The justification, say the programme makers, is that if people (the audience) become interested in the natural world they will start to care about the natural world, and will be more likely to want to get involved in trying to conserve it. Unfortunately the scientific evidence shows this is nonsense.

Yet these programmes are still made as if this worldwide mass extinction is simply not happening. The producers continue to go to the rapidly shrinking parks and reserves to make their films – creating a beautiful, beguiling fantasy world, a utopia where tigers still roam free and untroubled, where the natural world exists as if man had never been.

By fostering this lie they are lulling the huge worldwide audience into a false sense of security”.

Opinion amongst Guardian readers was divided:   many agreed with Martin Hugh-Games but some Attenborough devotees were outraged at such sacrilege. Over 1000 comments were posted within a few days, and letters followed. Several media friends of mine agreed with the argument but said ‘Attenborough was the wrong target’. No doubt they were thinking about how programming decisions get made. When I sampled opinion amongst long-standing environmentalists, I found almost universal agreement: Hughes-Games essentially has it right. Few doubt that the overall effect of decades of nature broadcasting on conservation has been positive but their view is that the nature spectaculars are now more of a hindrance than a help.  Reluctantly, I have to agree.

Earlier in my career when I worked for WWF International and similar groups struggling to protect ‘biodiversity’, I remember railing, like Martin Hughes-Games,  against the unintended consequences of wildlife-spectacle TV, of which Attenborough’s series were pre-eminent.  I met many people disappointed when their experience of visiting a nature reserve did not live up to the intense cornucopia of wildlife presented on TV but a greater frustration was that the big audiences were shown fantastic wildlife living in forests which seemed to go on forever but which off-screen, were fast vanishing. Now, unless conservation action is dramatically stepped up, the problem is vastly more acute: we are in the end game for nature.

Why it’s big business

Natural history programme making has become a big business because it gets ratings.  The relative ease with which films made in the ‘classic’ all-nature format can transfer across languages and cultures, has helped create a global market. Plus if we are shown only nature, with no signs of human activity, the programmes have a longer shelf-life, and viewer research tends to show that immersive, amazement-generating spectacle is what entertains and retains the biggest audiences.

The BBC has made itself a global leader in ‘blue chip’ nature TV, although as Morgan Richards has pointed out, the formula of spectacular nature in  “primeval wilderness” can be traced back to Disney’s True-Life Adventure films (1948-1960), which also “set the precedent for wildlife documentary’s persistent marginalisation of environmental issues”. Today Disney is looking again at the market, one which only organisations with big budgets can play in because of the time, travel, research and development, technology and marketing involved in making such wildlife epics.

Planet Earth I cost £8m to film and made £20m for the sales arm, BBC Enterprises. Planet Earth II, no doubt cost much more and may make even more. It was filmed in UHD and HDR formats (a first), made use of new 4K cameras, and involved filming for over 2000 days, more than 100 trips by six producers to 40 countries, and features countless sequences that could not have been achieved without new, ultra-lightweight cameras and drones.

Planet Earth II has a score by Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer (personally I thought it was great), stunning Hollywood style cinematography (the desert scenes recalled and bettered David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia I thought) and was hyped in advance just like Hollywood movie.

The ‘package’ of such programmes may say little or nothing about conservation or how to help but the film-makers are now routinely making themselves the story,  with features about how challenging and exciting it was to make, and celebrating the new technology. In 2012 The Natural History TV Report enthused:

“The blue chip still exists, and has pushed its production values further and further into the stratosphere with every new landmark show, making sure it’s at the forefront of each advance in production technology from HD, to 3D to 4K and from time lapse to slo-mo to low light”.

As in other globally competitive sectors from cars to pharmaceuticals and consumer IT, market success now depends on going-to-scale. Financing big-ticket productions, known in the BBC as ‘landmark series’, has led the Corporation into co-productions with competitors. ‘ BBC’s Frozen Planet and Blue Planet were made with Discovery Channel. Planet Earth I was made with Discovery and NHK, and Planet Earth II was made by three parts of the BBC including its new non-public service entity BBC Studios, plus ZDF, Tencent, and France Televisions.

Nature is the BBC’s second largest investment genre. Sales from BBC Worldwide a commercial part of the BBC, returned £222.2m to the coffers in 2015/6.  This helps the Corporation fend off demands from Conservative politicians to abolish the licence fee, a constant worry of BBC managers and the governing BBC Trust.

‘Almost like a drug’

Martin Hughes-Games has expressed similar concerns before. In October 2015 before the start of the programme Autumnwatch, he said big wildlife shows had created “a form of entertainment, a utopian world that bears no resemblance to the reality”.

 “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and we always used to say what Sir David [Attenborough] used to say, which was that by making people aware of wildlife and conservation issues – that’s the first step – they will get involved,” he said. “That’s been the plan but clearly that has not worked; we have failed.”

In May 2016 when Springwatch was back, Games said:

“I fear those beautiful seductive programmes are not balanced by a clearer idea of what is going on and the loss of habitat ... It’s almost like a drug. We love it and we come back and we lose ourselves in the beauty of these places, not realising that the habitats they are being filmed in are getting tinier and tinier. We don’t reflect that.”

This year Hughes-Game’s argument was reported and sharpened in an article by a Guardian journalist , and framed in terms of rivalry: “Planet Earth II 'a disaster for world's wildlife' says rival nature producer”,  It was then widely re-reported in other media.

As long ago as the 1980s, the BBC Natural History Unit was under similar public criticism for the way its compelling output portrayed nature without much reference to threats to nature.  For example from The Listener in 1983:

"Paradoxically, wildlife on TV may be piling up new problems for the conservationist lobby rather than helping it. After all if we see countless host of creatures, crammed into one Technicolor half hour through the unseen wonders of TV technology and editing, then they can't be that endangered can they?" (Listener, 3.11.83 quoted by Gail Davis).

In 1987,  ‘environmental issues’ were climbing high on the social agenda and the then Head of the Natural History Unit John Sparks made the case for the BBC’s approach in ‘Broadcasting and the Conservation Challenge’, in ECOS. Sparks  acknowledged that: “for many years the BBC concentrated mostly – but not exclusively – on an Arcadian wild world interpreted with in a framework of sciences” and he sometimes got letters complaining about the lack of reference to destruction of nature in the BBC’s output. But surveys, he argued, showed TV nature programming did lead some people towards more engagement with nature, and figures suggested nearly a million people might have been made more available to join conservation projects as a result.

An “Ooh, Ah, Yuck or Click” film ?

In 1989, conservation-minded film-maker Stephen Mills authored another article in ECOS: ‘The Entertainment Imperative: Wildlife Films and Conservation’ (here) subtitled ‘Why wildlife films don't always please conservationists’.  BBC commissioners he said, used this ‘unwritten convention’ to categorize programme ideas:

“An "ooh" film is about pandas or koala bears, and it shows how they spend their whole lives cuddling their young without the interference of social workers.  An "aah" film makes you gasp with wonder.  It describes how the peculiar fly orchid is pollinated by just one species of insect - and shows you the process from inside the flower. The "yuck" film shows in sticky detail the slimy sex-life of the large yellow slug Limax pseudoflavus, and it lasts for half an hour. The "click" film is the slimy sex-life of Limax pseudoflavus part 2, including a treatise on the need to conserve the species in Stow-on the-Wold: the click is everyone turning off their televisions”.

A mission to amaze

Few people, observed Mills, watched natural history TV “to exercise their brains. At least 80 percent said they watched simply for the photography”.    TV natural history, noted Mills “enhances reality ... it shows you things you really wouldn’t see”.

“Every year the amazement factor is jacked up a notch or two. A kingfisher diving into the river is no longer good enough. Now you must deliver it hurtling into the champagne ice bucket at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party”.

This increased costs which raised the stakes in terms of required ratings.  The BBC was embarking on its mission to amaze, impress and stupefy natural history audiences. TV natural history was progressively pulled away from real life nature. By accident rather than design, audiences were primed to consume nature through screens. The small screens of 1980s TV sets meant close-ups were important. Viewers expected them and real outdoor nature very rarely offered the same experience.

A moral bind

In 1997 Mills, who contributed films such as Tiger Crisis to the BBC, published a far more despondent article in the Times Literary Supplement'Pocket Tigers: The sad unseen reality behind the wildlife film'. ‘Pockets’ referred to pockets of surviving tiger habitat. He described capturing footage of a beautiful and terrifying encounter with a tiger which ended as it left the track he was on and disappeared into the forest. What the film did not show was that:

“when the tiger left the track, it was because he did not wish to cross the railway line that chops in half this particular relic of forest, and that he turned away to avoid the raucous tinny radios stabbling out from the village up the line”.

For a journalist, the answer might be to report the reality but what are nature film makers ?  Documentary makers (and if so of what type ?), entertainers, advocates, or something else ?

The wildlife film-maker, wrote Mills, is “in a moral bind.  Put simply, he makes his living out of nature; nature is disappearing.  If he says too much about that he loses his audience.  If he does not, he loses his subject.”  Mills ended:

“The loss of wilderness is a truth so sad, so overwhelming that to reflect reality, it would be the subject of every wildlife film. That, of course, would neither be entertaining nor ultimately dramatic. So it seems that as film makers we are doomed either to fail our audience or fail our cause”.

Helping viewers feel better

 In 2016 David Attenborough himself described such ‘blue chip’ wildlife programmes as a ‘form of therapy’ for viewers craving a respite from their concerns about the future of the planet.  Where once the rationale was to prime the audience do good by supporting conservation, now it has morphed into making the audience feel good. He pointed out that when in 2001 his programme Blue Planet first aired on the day after 9/11, it dramatically exceeded expected ratings as it was broadcast at a moment when “as a nation we craved refuge from the horror and uncertainty”. The motivation, he argues is that audiences are “reconnecting with a planet whose beauty is unblemished”. How this helps conservation is harder to see.

This new rationale is maybe the natural end state for the TV nature blockbuster. It accepts that blue-chip nature programmes are not just escapism but more like an anaesthetic which leaves the audience ‘stunned’, and no longer having to worry about what is happening to nature.

Ironically, over the years in which the Attenborough team brought nature spectaculars to their current potency, a growing body of evidence has shown that exposure to nature is indeed ‘good for’ people, psychologically and physiologically. Author Richard Mabey wrote about how it helped him fight depression in Nature Cure.  Richard Louv has led a popular movement to recognize nature deficit disorder and ‘Vitamin N’, the importance of first-hand experience of nature in child development. Doctors such as William Bird who has worked with the RSPB and Natural England and the NHS, have demonstrated how just being in or seeing ‘greenery’ and even more so ‘becoming lost’ in nature, reduces stress and improves health.

All that is a reason to ‘prescribe nature’ and design buildings, places and lifestyles to include it but unless it is converted into real-world experiences, it helps people not nature. Moreover, the research that Louv and others are acting upon shows that physical real-life immersion in nature, and being able to read and recognize, relate to and understand it (ecoliteracy if you like or in old fashioned terms, actual natural history), is necessary for it to have a profound and lasting effect on young people so they grow up ‘hard wired’ to love it and want to protect it.  That makes engaging with real nature more like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, something which empowers people rather than a liquid cosh of synthetic nature-fentanyl to temporarily suppress anxiety.

Campaigners, marketers, advertisers, fundraisers and motivational trainers also know that first sedating your audience is not a great way to get them to contemplate action. If natural history TV programming is to lead to action that makes a difference, the visual content needs to be designed accordingly, and that could be done.

There is a market for TV-nature as therapy.  As E O Wilson pointed out, all human beings start out ‘biophilic’. We need nature. After watching James Cameron's  Avatar with its utopian planet Pandora, some movie-goers got withdrawal symptoms and were depressed because they could not live in tune with nature along with the fictional Na’vi. If real nature continues to vanish, this could be the future of BBC Natural History programming.

Some nature film producers already complain about the sums they are charged for filming in National Parks and Nature Reserves in developing countries, even though that can obviously help conservation (a point the BBC could make a virtue of by explaining it).  Maybe the BBC, Disney and the like will end up running their own parks to film in? Or possibly just resort to CGI and reworking old material.

The BBC itself has experimented. It has had moments when it even ‘nature’ programmes tackled environment head on, such as David Attenborough’s The State of the Planet (2000),  ‘a smaller three-part series ... the first wildlife documentary to deal comprehensively with environmental issues on a global scale’ (Morgan Richards, ‘Greening Wildlife Documentary’).

On the 50th anniversary of the Natural History Unit in 2007 it broadcast Saving Planet Earth, comprising nine celebrity-presented documentaries on conservation struggles to save animals.  At the same time it launched its own charity, ‘the BBC Wildlife Fund’ and raised £1m with a BBC telethon fronted by Alan Titchmarsh.  A second live telethon Wild Night In followed in in 2010 presented by Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games featuring conservation projects which had benefited from the support of the BBC Wildlife Fund, raising another £1 million.

In the UK the BBC can also point to the achievements of the Springwatch stable of programmes fronted by the same team. There is not enough space to discuss them in detail here but they have done a lot to engage audiences with real-world nature, and get big audiences. Similarly, working with Natural England from 2005 – 2010 it backed Breathing Places, a mix of programming and outdoor nature activities, which aimed to move TV nature audiences out of the ‘BBC bubble’ and into real world projects.

The BBC dilemma

I do not know what the current thinking is inside the BBC.  A 2013 analysis by IBT (International Broadcasting Trust) heard from Matt Walker, editor of the BBC’s online Nature site ‘that those dealing with natural history’  were ‘having a discussion internally about what role the BBC should play – are they neutral observers or should the BBC act as a vocal supporter of nature?’  “From a public service point of view”, he said, “the BBC is naturally supportive of the natural world and therefore not agnostic about habitat loss”.  Fine enough although it doesn’t seem to have led to any noticeable change if the latest iteration of its halo-brand, Planet Earth II, is anything to go by.

In November 2016 the new head of the BBC’s Natural History Unit, Julian Hector, said of Planet Earth II:

 “Audiences love Sir David’s authenticity and the craft of the programme-makers that give us a window on the motivations of the animals. When so much is going on in the human world, that the natural world has an agenda all of its own, regardless, gives us a place to escape.”

The problem which conservationists are increasingly left with, is that nature no longer has a place to escape to.

‘No Planet Earth III’, not yet

Martin Hughes-Games proposes a ‘conservation tax’ to fund 20% of ‘natural history’ commissions ‘across all channels’ as conservation oriented TV showing ‘the reality of what’s happening to wildlife worldwide’, including through drama and other formats. It’s a reasonable option. The first step is for the BBC to recognize that there is a problem, and the second to talk to people about it from outside the BBC.

The single biggest thing the BBC could now do for conservation would be if it were to announce that the corporation is no longer making ‘blue chip’ nature spectaculars because it is concerned that they mislead people about the real state of the planet. If David Attenborough announced there would be no Planet Earth III until the tide was turned on destruction of the environments it showed, that would send an unequivocal signal and provoke a global social and political conversation. If that's ‎not possible, then running a bigger, better nature-celebrating telethon alongside the next blockbuster, such as Blue Planet 2, would be a positive contribution.

Chris Rose

Communications consultant, co-founder of BANC and ECOS, former Greenpeace UK Campaigns Director.  

chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk

threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1396 

Book Review: Wild Kingdom

ECOS 38 (1)

Wild Kingdom

Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife

Stephen Moss

Square Peg

2016

304 pages,

ISBN 13: 9780224095655

Hardback RRP: £16.99

 

 

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Book review: The Eurasian Beaver Handbook

ECOS 38 (1)

THE EURASIAN BEAVER HANDBOOK

Ecology and Management of Castor fiber

Róisín Campbell-Palmer, Derek Gow, Gerhard Schwab, Duncan Halley, John Gurnell, Simon Girling, Skip Lisle, Ruairidh Campbell, Helen Dickinson, Simon Jones

Pelagic Publishing

2016

214 pages

ISBN: 97817 84271138

Paperback RRP: £34.99  

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Book review: The Wood For The Trees and The Hidden Life Of Trees

ECOS 38 (1)

THE WOOD FOR THE TREES

The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood

Richard Fortey

William Collins

2016

306 pages

ISBN 978-0-00-810466-5

Hardback RRP: £22  

 

 THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES

What they feel, How they communicate, Discoveries from a secret world  

Peter Wohlleben

Greystone Books

2016

271 pages

ISBN 978-1-77164-248-4

Hardback RRP: £16.99

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2016
Issue 37(3/4) Winter
Whole issue
Editorial: Chilling in the swamp. Geoffrey Wain, p.1

ECOS 37 (3/4) Editorial: Chilling in the swamp. Geoffrey Wain

Feeling stressed? Too many conservationists seem to be. Stress is an occupational hazard in our frantic lives helping wildlife, and recent political events have upped the angst. Yet the Brexit authors in this edition are broadly hopeful. Farm support will be re-cast and agricultural output will be downplayed, they suggest. In its place, ‘benefits’ might well be the focus for public funds. We’ve been harping on about ecosystem services (or benefits) for years – maybe their time has come. Abstract debate about benefits could now become reality, with pollination, flood resilience, soil maintenance, wildlife enhancement and other such goodies being part of the case for attracting funds.

Exiting the EU provides the excuse to dampen down the effects of agricultural support, but it provides the excuse to unleash dark forces, including against nature. Our contributor Peter Shirley notes that legal protection of bats and great-crested newts is already being questioned by business lobbies. Will the Government continue to squeeze funds for the environment and push more deregulation, despite wanting to sound green and caring? This is what we must be alert to. It might be gradual and insidious in Britain, but it is blatant in the US, as a new President boasts about slashing public funds across most sectors, dubbed as ‘draining the swamp’. But like public services, swamps are complex. A crude interference with them could be counterproductive and bring unforeseen trouble.

Okay, so these are unsettling times, but we work alongside nature. We should commune with it, love it, let it work its spells on us. We must find time to de-stress at our swamps and our equivalent bits of paradise amongst the natural world. We promote nature as a health-cure, so let’s take our own advice, and aim for less stress in 2017 as we face new challenges.

Finally, this is the end of an era for ECOS. We become web-based, fully, in 2017. Some readers cherish the volumes on their shelves, and there are regrets, as we leave the book form for good. There will be six issues coming to your inbox from 2017. Like now, some will be themed, some more of a mix. The content should feel similar, with an independent spirit, so the ECOS brand will live on. The format will allow reader comments on articles, and debate to unfold. Harnessing readers’ ideas will bring fresh voices to ECOS, and new vibes as we pursue BANC’s aim of ‘challenging conservation’ together, and watch over our swamps.

Brexit blues for greens? Tony Whitbread, p.2

ECOS 37 (3/4) Brexit blues for Greens? Tony Whitbread

Abstract: After decades of seeing the EU as a bit of an ally in trying to get a reluctant UK government to live up to reasonable environmental standards, it might seem a stretch to try to suck opportunity out of the Brexit vote. This article looks at signs of hope for  nature in Britain’s future outside the European Union.

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Brexit and nature – looking for silver linings. Mike Townsend p.5

ECOS 37 (3/4) Brexit and nature – looking for silver linings. Mike Townsend

Abstract: Leaving the European Union is likely to have significant repercussions for nature and land use in the UK. With the uncertainty comes the risk that changes will be accompanied by a weakening of protection for wildlife conservation. However there are also opportunities, especially surrounding the loss of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the chance to reframe farming and land-use policy to deliver genuine public benefits at a landscape scale.

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Brexit’s impact on nature conservation: a delight, disaster or diversion? Peter Shirley, p.10

ECOS 37 (3/4) Brexit’s impact on nature conservation: a delight, disaster or diversion? Peter Shirley

Abstract: The implications of Brexit are complex even just for terrestrial wildlife conservation. This article discusses some of the strategic issues facing nature conservation as the reality of leaving the EU sinks in.

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Brexit’s countryside – giving nature the edge? Bill Grayson, p.16

ECOS 37 (3/4) Brexit’s countryside – giving nature the edge? Bill Grayson

Abstract: The best characteristics of agri-environment measures need to be taken forward and honed in the UK’s new farm support, following Brexit. This an amended version of the author’s recent submission to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on the Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum.

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At your service? The limits of enterprise with nature at stake. Chris Gibson, p.21

ECOS 37 (3/4) At your service? The limits of enterprise with nature at stake. Chris Gibson

Abstract: This article discusses the pros and cons of Natural England’s cost recovery approach in responding to planning applications. Can a cultural shift amongst the agency’s staff protect nature’s bottom line whilst also promoting wildlife-friendly development?

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Stasis and the State of Nature in Wales. Mick Green, p.24

ECOS 37 (3/4) Stasis and the State of Nature in Wales. Mick Green

Abstract: The grim decline of nature in the UK continues. 56% of UK species studied have declined over the past 50 years according to the latest State of Nature report from RSPB et al. This article looks at some particular issues in Wales, as corporate managers oversee a continued period of inaction.

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The challenge of wild nature conserving itself. Mark Fisher & Alison Parfitt, p.27

ECOS 37 (3/4) The challenge of wild nature conserving itself. Mark Fisher and Alison Parfitt

Abstract: The last edition of ECOS had a lot to say about rewilding in its many guises, a spectrum of less wild and more wild. This article looks at how nature conservation is currently seen, and rewilding in particular, as a way towards outlining the wildest end of this continuum. Without this most wild part of the overall picture, humans will never face or even relish the challenges of wild nature while learning as a species to live with it, within it.

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Rewilding and ecosystem health: parallels with human health care. Andrew Blewett, p.35

ECOS 37 (3/4) Rewilding and ecosystem health: parallels with human health care. Andrew Blewett

Abstract: There are instructive parallels between ecosystem health management and human health care. Evidence based practice with its emphasis on a systematic approach to what we know and what we don’t know can help develop a more informed inclusive approach in both cases. Rewilding is a complex idea which needs attention to definitions and clear objectives. Assumptions about how actions should or can be applied in Britain need to be questioned objectively and openly before they are incorporated into public rewilding advocacy.

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Technobiophilia: Coming to terms with cyber-nature. Sue Thomas p.39

ECOS 37 (3/4) Technobiophilia – Coming to terms with cyber-nature. Sue Thomas

Abstract: Some features of the ‘natural world’ that we greatly value are also found online; technology can make things that confuse ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’, real and virtual. Cyberspace is now a daily destination for very many people: should we admit it as a part of the natural world?

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A lesson from an old Oak. Martin Spray, p.44

ECOS 37 (3/4) Lessons from an old oak. Martin Spray

Abstract: Are humans part of Nature?… A walk in the forest; a threat to the trees; values and services; seeing different things… Can I really be part of what isn’t there?

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Family ties: Human views of Nature – time to see
goodness before wildness? Gavin Saunders, p.49

ECOS 37 (3/4) Family ties. Human views of Nature – time to see goodness before wildness? Gavin Saunders

Abstract: To be human is to be part of Nature. And yet to be human is to be different from the rest of Nature. We define ourselves by both, despite the contradiction. Like every teenager, the adolescent human species wrestles with the dilemma of wanting to belong, yet wanting to be different.

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Book reviews, p.55

ECOS 37 (3/4) Book reviews

Books reviewed in this issue:

Common Ground. Rob Cowen
The Ash Tree. Oliver Rackham
Carnivorous plants of Britain and Ireland. Tim Bailey & Stewart McPherson
The hunt for the golden mole: All Creatures Great and Small and Why They Matter. Richard Girling
Bloom. Edward Chell, Tim Corum, Anna Ricciardi & Hugh Warwick
Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life. Edward O. Wilson
Foxes unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain. Lucy Jones

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Issue 37(2) Summer
Whole issue
Editorial: Losing control. Geoffrey Wain, p.1

ECOS 37 (2) Editorial: Losing Control. Geoffrey Wain

Download editorial as PDF: ECOS 37-2-1 Editorial

‘Don’t be pushy’ is the message from Rob Yorke in these pages. He reports views on rewilding from a Cambridge conference hall, from Hay Festival goers, and from a community hall in deepest Monmouthshire. Ecologists at the Cambridge event liked the idea, each with their own conditions. But wanting rewilding on your own terms is a category mistake. Natural processes are just that: natural, unadulterated, uncontrolled. Setting your conditions or tight parameters cannot be rewilding. It was the Monmouthshire locals who sprang the greatest surprise to Rob Yorke. These farmers called a bluff, suggesting they might be open to variants of rewilding, if was brokered, not imposed. We need to take note.

Cue the BBC documentary, Predators in Your backyard. Available on the web at Top Documentary Films, it highlights a prime case of conservationists getting it wrong. It shows examples of bringing back predators in different parts of the globe. Included is a north Italian village where brown bears have been re-established. Numbers have risen from 3 to 60 in recent years, but there’s a snag. Nobody considered the apiarists. Brown bears ravage local people’s honey collections. Livelihoods are affected and the apiarists have to lump it. No support, advice or compensation was offered to these bee keepers and honey producers. This is a black mark for the brown bear advocates. People will shun wildlife projects, especially with the radical edge of rewilding, if the consequences are unreasonable, or support measures for adapting to a new situation are lacking. Yes, people exaggerate impacts of change, or of wildlife they don’t welcome, but rewilding will need collaboration to happen. Vincent Wildlife Trust’s re-establishment of mid-Wales pine martens, shown in these pages, is a smart case of engaging people to feel ownership of a project.

After years of slow emergence, and much scrutiny in ECOS, rewilding has set roots in the UK and Europe. In fact it may be transforming the fabric of its host organism – nature conservation. Rewildling questions the accountability of longheld views on the states of nature and the ecological succession that we value. Is it an existential debate for our subject? In this ECOS package we hear from rewilding’s friends and its challengers, and we look at rewilding’s gradations and definitions. There is agreement that rewilding brings excitement – but how far we dare upset the cultural landscape is a main sticking point. Some authors see rewilding as a spectrum of approaches, regardless of whether one feels ‘wildness’ is the ultimate state of nature and human experience.

‘Losing control’ is a metaphor for these turbulent political times. And as with Brexit, some people are scared, some excited, and others confused by rewilding. Perhaps the only risk is not to embrace the opportunities, but let’s do so with humility.

Geoffrey Wain

Rewilding... Conservation and conflict. Steve Carver, p2

ECOS 37 (2) Rewilding… Conservation and conflict. Steve Carver

Abstract: Those with an eye to the ecological potential of the UK will probably like rewilding. Those rooted in targets and condition statements or those with purist views of cultural landscapes may find rewilding awkward. This article discusses the themes and barriers to rewilding thrown up by current conservation practice and in doing so, hopefully identifies some solutions and compromises across different conservation mindsets.

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The red tape of rewilding. Jennifer Gooden, p.11

ECOS 37 (2) The red tape of rewilding. Jennifer Gooden

Abstract: As rewilding gains traction in conservation, a host of regulations and policies makes implementation more difficult. This article summarises results of a study of regulatory barriers to rewilding in the UK and the Netherlands.

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Wilder visions, wilder lives, wilder nature? Challenges for a new rewilding charity. Helen Meech, p.19

ECOS 37 (2) Wilder visions, wilder lives, wilder nature? Challenges for a new rewilding charity. Helen Meech

Abstract: As the new charity Rewilding Britain moves into its second year of operation, this article explores some of the challenges faced by the rewilding movement in Britain, and considers how they might be overcome.

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Implications of rewilding for nature conservation. Chris Sandom, p.24

ECOS 37 (2) Rewilding: implications for nature conservation. Chris Sandom

Abstract: Rewilding has fired the imaginations of many, but much misunderstanding remains around what rewilding is and how it could be put into practice. Is it being put forward as a panacea, or can it be integrated with more traditional conservation measures to create a more comprehensive approach to conservation? Might traditional nature conservationists and ‘rewilders’ meet in the middle to forge a more ecosystems focused approach to wildlife conservation?

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Rewilding - keeping the brand integrity. Mike Townsend, p.29

ECOS 37 (2) Rewilding – keeping brand integrity. Mike Townsend

Abstract: Rewilding offers an exciting opportunity to reconsider our attitudes and approach to nature. Embracing the idea of self-willed nature offers a challenge to agriculture and forestry, as well to mainstream nature conservation.

But there is a risk that as rewilding gains prominence the core ideals are dissipated as the lexicon of rewilding practice is absorbed into the mainstream. The language of the wild and rewilding seems to have more intuitive public appeal than biodiversity and habitat action plans, and it won’t be long before it is purloined by others, but without the essence of what it once was.

The fascination for tracts of wilderness and the reintroduction of large carnivores should be part of a wider examination of our relationship with nature, not just in distant hills, but near to where most of us live.

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Purbeck - a place for future rewilding? Alison Turnock, p. 35

ECOS 37 (2) Purbeck: A place for rewilding? Alison Turnock

Abstract: Is the approach of rewilding helpful or achievable in a place like Purbeck in Dorset, with a plethora of designations and a resident population of around 47,000? This article explains current conservation schemes in the area and explores if and how they could take a step toward rewilding.

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Nature and the call of the wild. James Robertson, p.42

ECOS 37 (2) Nature and the call of the wild. James Robertson

Abstract: When ECOS first appeared as a radical voice for nature conservation in winter 1980, farming subsidies were driving habitat destruction, tax incentives were luring the rich to plant Scottish peatlands with conifers, and there was little protection for and less understanding of the needs of wildlife on land and at sea. Much has changed. The agriculture and forestry regimes are less hostile to nature, some extinct wildlife has been reintroduced and rewilding offers excitement. This article considers if all this is enough to ensure a place for nature in our crowded island, and to allow BANC to leave the field of battle.

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Rewilding versus re-creating and re-homing. Lessons from a PAWS woodland. Simon Leadbeater, p.47

ECOS 37 (2) Rewilding versus re-creating and re-homing: Lessons from a PAWS woodland. Simon Leadbeater

Abstract: This article discusses lessons for rewilding from pursuing complementary management objectives to halt and reverse species’ declines in a PAWS woodland.

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Rewilding in the UK: hidden meanings, real emotions. Rob Yorke, p.53

ECOS 37 (2) Rewilding in the UK – hidden meanings, real emotions. Rob Yorke

Abstract: The word rewilding has become common currency in nature conservation narratives, but it rarely features in wider discussions on land use. The very mention of the word – especially without context or meaning – stirs up reactions that can equally engage or enrage people. This article reflects on discussions about rewilding at some events in Spring 2016.

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Reintroductions and releases on the Isle of Man. Lessons from recent retreats. Nick Pinder, p.60

ECOS 37 (2) Reintroductions and releases on the Isle of Man – lessons from recent retreats. Nick Pinder

Abstract: Recent proposals for the release of white-tailed sea eagles and red squirrels on the Isle of Man received very different treatment, perhaps reflecting public perception of the animals and the public profile of the proponents, but also the political landscape of the island.

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The wilderness delusion: A defense of self-willed land. Gavin Saunders, p.68

ECOS 37 (2) The wildness delusion: in defense of shared-willed land. Gavin Saunders

Abstract: Many conservationists need shaking out of lazy assumptions. But we should beware replacing those assumptions with another overconfident creed – particularly one that risks creating more divisions than connections.

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Issue 37(1) Spring
Whole issue
Editorial: Blob on the landscape. Geoffrey Wain, p.1 Open Access and available for free!
Mind the gap - reflections on revitalising conservation. Peter Shirley, p.2

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016 Mind the gap – Reflections on revitalising conservation. Peter Shirley

Abstract: We need different groups of people to act in a variety of ways to help achieve successful nature conservation. What counts as success will always be the subject of debate, and will remain a moving target, an aspiration rather than a destination.

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Nature conservation in Britain - turning the tide? Alistair Crowle, p.6
What would Brexit mean for nature? Mike Townsend, p.12

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. What would Brexit mean for nature? Mike Townsend

Abstract: Very little of the debate around the EU referendum has considered the impacts on policy towards wildlife and the natural environment. Yet this is a critical area of EU competency with the potential for wide-ranging consequences. Much of our wildlife and environmental legislation enacts EU Directives and this link would be broken by a UK exit from Europe. However, regardless of whether we stay in or leave, does the fact of the referendum and the debate about the degree of influence of the EU in UK policy represent a turning point? Might there be a weakening of environmental protection regardless of the outcome? And in any event, can we say that current policies are fit for purpose whether in or out?

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Flight of the Swans, p.16
Ecodemocracy - helping wildlife's right to survive. Joe Gray and Patrick Curry, p.18

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. Ecodemocracy: helping wildlife’s right to survive. Joe Gray and Patrick Curry

Abstract: Concepts such as ecosystem services and natural capital illustrate the benefits that people gain from preserving ecosystems, but they overlook wildlife’s ethical right to thrive independent of any benefit to humans. Many nature conservation bodies have changed their mission to give more emphasis to human benefits. The intrinsic value of non-human nature has all but disappeared from their arguments for conservation. This article examines the pitfalls of the shift to this anthropocentric mindset. It argues that non-human nature’s right to survive can be accounted for in decision-making, namely “ecodemocracy”.

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Population growth - a taboo topic for nature conservation? Holly Alsop and Nicola Matthews, p.28

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. Population growth – a taboo topic for nature conservation? Holly Alsop and Nicola Matthews

Abstract: In the latest of our Revitalising Conservation series of BANC Twitter debates we put the focus on population growth. Here we summarise the key issues facing conservationists on the topic of population and take a look at the issue as a whole.

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Flood management and nature - can rewilding help? Steve Carver, p.32

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. Flood management and nature – can rewilding help? Steve Carver

Abstract: Can fewer sheep, more trees, restoring rivers to their floodplains and reintroducing beavers help reduce flood risk? This article looks at the baggage in policy making when planning for flood-resilience and considering the rewilding options.

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Rewilding national parks - moor than meets the eye. Merial Harrison, p.43

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. Rewilding national parks – moor than meets the eye. Meriel Harrison

Abstract: Wildlife conservation in England’s National Parks comes under scrutiny from many different camps. The most recent challenge is from advocates of rewilding, but are the landscapes and ecosystems across the National Parks actually lacking what prominent voices in the rewilding lobby claim?

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Nature conservation - a nudge towards rewilding. Harry Barton, p.48 Open Access and available for free!

ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. Nature conservation – a nudge towards rewilding. Harry Barton

Abstract: As nature conservation looks for renewed purpose it may be time to consider rewilding in the mix. This article considers the issues facing wildlife bodies as they consider embracing aspects of rewilding.

This is an Open Access article

Download article as PDF: ECOS 37-1-48 Nature conservation

Book reviews, p.52

EOCS 37 (1) Spring 2016. Book reviews

Titles reviewed:

Britain’s Habitats: A guide to the wildlife habitats of Britain and Ireland. Sophie Lake, Durwyn Liley, Robert Still, Andy Swash
The Life of Buzzards. Peter Dare
Whose Land is Our Land? The Use and Abuse of Britain’s Forgotten Acres. Peter Hetherington
The Once and Future World. JB MacKinnon
The Garden Awakening: Designs to Nurture our Land and Ourselves. Mary Reynolds
The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and outside) a bird’s egg. Tim Birkhead

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2015
Issue 36(1) Spring
Whole issue

ECOS 36 (1) Whole issue

Editorial: Bob, badgers and business. Geoffrey Wain
Feature Articles
– Refreshing Conservation – cries from the heart. BANC Council
– The expensive education of the nature conservation sector. Alistair Crowle
– A Forest Charter
– Answers for the future from lessons of the past. Frances Winder
– Community conservation at Neroche – surviving adolescence. Gavin Saunders
– Wildlife and conservation in community woods: Business as usual? Alexander Van Der Jagt et al
– Community management of public land: Keeping green assets viable. Mark Walton
– Consultancy collectives – a broader approach to wildlife research and survey. Mick Green
– Hearts and minds in managing the Cairngorms. Nick Moreau
Book Reviews
Eco-History: An introduction to biodiversity and conservation. Ian Rotherham, 2014
The Eagle’s Way. Jim Crumley, colour plates by Laurie Campbell, 2014.
The Moor: Lives, landscape and literature. William Atkins, 2014
Story-telling for a greener world: Environment, Community and Story-based learning. Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson and Edward Schieffelin, 2014
Ecocultures: Blueprints for sustainable communities. Steffan Bohm, Zareen Pervez and Jules Pretty (eds), 2015

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Editorial: Bob, badgers and business. Geoffrey Wain, p.1 Open Access and available for free!
Refreshing conservation: cries from the heart. p2 Open Access and available for free!

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Re-freshing conservation: Cries from the heart

Abstract: Is conservation in a new crisis? Is the influence of the wildlife sector on the wane and are those who work in nature conservation becoming too demoralised to be effective? These have been perennial concerns much discussed in ECOS, but recent austerity measures limiting conservation activity have added to the woes. To gauge some grassroots views on the matter, ECOS sought comments from some close friends and allies. The resulting quotes, set out below, reveal a healthy fighting spirit…

Free for non-members!

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36-1-2 Re-freshing conservation

The expensive education of the nature conservation sector. Alistair Crowle, p.9

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. The expensive education of Britain’s nature conservation community. Alistair Crowle

Abstract: There seems little unified thinking amongst UK wildlife groups, resulting in a lack of direction and shared vision. Where is the anger within the nature conservation community at the losses of species and habitats? Where is the challenge to the current approach which has delivered so little? This article suggests causes for the loss of direction along with some of the actions that are required to turn the situation around.

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A Forest Charter: Answers for the future from lessons of the past. Frances Winder, p.20

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. A Forest Charter: Pointers to the future from lessons of the past. Frances Winder

Abstract: This article reviews the challenge of making progress on wildlife protection amidst governments fixated by growth at all costs. It argues that a new Forest Charter would help care for woodlands and recognise the public’s desire for closer connections with woods and forests.

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Community conservation at Neroche - surviving adolescence. Gavin Saunders, p.26

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Community conservation at Neroche – surviving adolescence. Gavin Saunders

Abstract: The Neroche Scheme in the Blackdown Hills AONB started life as an agency-led Lottery partnership, but its legacy has been the establishment of four distinct community groups, including one social enterprise, each pursuing different aspects of the conservation agenda in this part of the South West. The continuing evolution of these groups illustrates the complexity and dividends of trying to embed conservation into civil society, rather than tacking it on from the outside.

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Wildlife and conservation in community woods: Business as usual? Alexander van der Jagt, Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Anna Lawrence, p.36

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Wildlife and conservation in community woods: Business as usual? Alexander van der Jagt, Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Anna Lawrence

Abstract: Social and community enterprise projects in woodland management are on the rise in Britain. In this article scientists from Forest Research reflect upon the conservation and wildlife impacts of such ventures, looking at a range of business models.

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Community management of public land: keeping green assets available. Mark Walton, p.44

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Community management of public land: Keeping green assets available. Mark Walton

Abstract: At a time of austerity and a shrinking state we need to create new approaches to managing public land that can deliver shared public benefits. We need new relationships between public landowners and communities, based on creativity, openness and innovation rather then exclusion and control, if we are to continue to manage public land for the common good.

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Consultancy collectives: a broader approach to wildlife research and survey. Mick Green, p.52

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Consultancy collectives – a broader approach to wildlife research and survey. Mick Green

Abstract: This article reviews the trends in non-for profit consultancy and in the ecological consultancy sector’s role in applied research and survey. How are these strands of consultancy work evolving and what are the issues for the practitioners involved?

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Hearts and minds in managing the Cairgorms. Nick Moreau, p.57

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Hearts and minds – stakeholder management in the Cairngorms. Nicholas Moreau

Abstract: Conservation can emerge from collaborative management processes. This story focuses on CRAGG – an informal partnership of community members and stakeholders in Scotland’s Cairngorms. CRAGG‘s collaborative process helped reduce decades of environmental conflict and create a balanced land management approach in its area.

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Book reviews

ECOS 36 (1) Spring 2015. Book Reviews

Reviewed in this issue:
Eco-History: An introduction to biodiversity and conservation. Ian Rotherham, 2014
The Eagle’s Way. Jim Crumley, colour plates by Laurie Campbell, 2014.
The Moor: Lives, landscape and literature. William Atkins, 2014
Story-telling for a greener world: Environment, Community and Story-based learning. Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson and Edward Schieffelin, 2014
Ecocultures: Blueprints for sustainable communities. Steffan Bohm, Zareen Pervez and Jules Pretty (eds), 2015

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Issue 36(2) Summer
Full issue

ECOS 36 (2) Whole issue

Editorial: Towards infinity. Geoffrey Wain
Feature articles
– Freeing up nature – from ourselves and from market forces. Peter Shirley
– Austerity politics – any place for nature? Mike Townsend
– Conservation advocacy: can NGOs retain their voice? George Bangham
– Finding funds for nature – muddling through in middle England. Pete Johnstone
– Conservation on its last legs – the prospect for rejuvenation. Peter Taylor
– Does conservation need an exit strategy? The case for minimal management. Joe Gray and Patrick Curry
– Compassionate conservation – making the case. Simon Leadbeater
– Return of the beaver – lessons from the River Otter. Mark Elliot
– Electric energy: BANC nature tweets. Emily Adams
Book Reviewss
The New Wild: Why Invasive Species will be Nature’s Salvation. Fred Pearce
Back from the Brink: A Breath of Fresh Air. Malcolm Smith
Marine Biodiversity Conservation: A Practical Approach. Keith Hiscock
Governing Marine Protected Areas: Resilience through diversity. Peter S. Jones
H is for Hawk. Helen Macdonald
Rainbow Dust: Three Centuries of Delight in British Butterflies. Peter Marren
In Pursuit of Butterflies: A Fifty Year Affair. Matthew Oates
The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy Review. Michael McCarthy

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Editorial: Towards Infinity. Geoffrey Wain, p.1
Freeing up nature - from ourselves and from market forces. Peter Shirley, p.2 OPEN ACCESS

ECOS 36 (2) Summer 2015. Freeing up nature – from ourselves and from market forces. Peter Shirley, p.2

This article is Open Access

Abstract: Economic forces in the UK are increasingly ranged against the natural world. Given the current era of tight resources and hostile politics, conservation groups should rethink some of their own values and act strategically to make progress.

Download article as PDF:  ECOS 36-2-2 Freeing up nature

Austerity politics - any place for nature? Mike Townsend, p.8

ECOS 36 (2) Austerity politics – any place for nature? Mike Townsend

Abstract: The result of the election may have been a surprise, but it is not clear that the outlook for the natural environment would have been much different under any outcome, given the focus on the economy. All main parties had supported the role of the Natural Capital Committee, and the Conservatives specifically backed the role of the NCC in the development of a 25 year plan to rebuild biodiversity. Can natural capital accounting be inculcated into the workings of government in a way that will deliver for wildlife, or will squeezed budgets and political dogma continue to undermine the natural environment?

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Conservation advocacy: can NGOs retain their voice? George Bangham, p.14

ECOS 36 (2) Conservation advocacy: can NGOs retain their voice? George Bangham

Abstract: NGOs and charities have perhaps never been more influential in UK policy formulation, but their ability to campaign and lobby is under pressure from politicians, regulators and the media. Besides advising government, nature conservation would benefit from its practitioners publicly defending their right to ‘speak truth to power’.

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Finding funds for nature - muddling through in middle England. Pete Johnstone, p.18

ECOS 36 (2) Finding funds for nature – muddling through in middle England. Pete Johnstone

Abstract: This article calls for a Royal Commission investigation into funding for nationally important heritage assets, including woodlands and nature reserves.

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Conservation on its last legs - the prospect for rejuvenation. Peter Taylor, p.22

ECOS 36 (2) Conservation on its last legs – the prospect for rejuvenation. Peter Taylor

Abstract: As a provocative on ‘refreshing conservation’ this article argues for a change of paradigm – to let die what no longer is vital in the world of nature conservation, and look to the seeds of new life.

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Does conservation need an exit strategy? Thecase for minimal management. Joe Gray and Patrick Curry, p.28

ECOS 36 (2) Does conservation need an exit strategy? The case for minimal management. Joe Gray and Patrick Curry

Abstract: The spectrum of potential conservation philosophies contains the ideals of preservationists towards one end and rewilding at the other. A long-term antagonism between these two schools will almost certainly be to the detriment of non-human nature. This article suggests conservation management ‘exit strategies’ that would separate the impacts of active conservation from ecological process such as evolution, without undermining the short-term focus on preserving threatened species. It also explores the case for a more dynamic natural world, in particular by looking at what the field of ecological ethics can tell us.

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Compassionate conservation - making the case. Simon Leadbeater, p.33

ECOS 36 (2) Compassionate conservation – making the case. Simon Leadbeater

Abstract: This article reviews Marc Bekoff’s book Ignoring Nature No More, and discusses the various human priorities which influence cruelty, harm and compassion towards wild nature and the animal kingdom.

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Return of the beaver - lessons from the River Otter. Mark Elliot, p.42

ECOS 36 (2) Return of the beaver – lessons from the River Otter. Mark Elliot

Abstract: In ECOS 35 (2) 2014,¹ Derek Gow outlined the proposals by Defra officials to trap and remove the wild-living beavers on the River Otter in East Devon. Since then a great deal has happened, culminating in the licenced release of beavers back into the English countryside in March 2015. This article discusses recent progress with the return of beavers to Britain and draws lessons from events linked to the River Otter saga.

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Electric energy: BANC nature tweets. Emily Adams, p.49

ECOS 36 (2) Electric energy: BANC nature tweets. Emily Adams

Abstract: BANC has begun a series of Twitter debates, opportunities for people to swap views
on hot topics facing conservation. This article summarises some of the main exchanges from the first sessions on politics and on land rights.

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Book reviews, p.53

ECOS 36 (2) Book reviews

Books reviewed in this issue:
The New Wild: Why Invasive Species will be Nature’s Salvation. Fred Pearce
Back from the Brink: A Breath of Fresh Air. Malcolm Smith
Marine Biodiversity Conservation: A Practical Approach. Keith Hiscock
Governing Marine Protected Areas: Resilience through diversity. Peter S. Jones
H is for Hawk. Helen Macdonald
Rainbow Dust: Three Centuries of Delight in British Butterflies. Peter Marren
In Pursuit of Butterflies: A Fifty Year Affair. Matthew Oates
The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy Review. Michael McCarthy

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Revitalising conservation: ECOS next issue and beyond, p.64

ECOS 36 (2) Revitalising conservation: ECOS next issue and beyond

Revitalising conservation is a major new theme being investigated by ECOS and BANC. How can the spirit of nature conservation be re-energised in coming years, and what’s needed to bring more direction and more clout to conservation…?

Losing ground?
Nature conservation is more challenged in 2015, as an idea and as a profession, than ever before. Despite general public support for wildlife, and strong membership of wildlife and heritage charities, nature conservation is politically downtrodden and wildlife losses continue.

BANC and ECOS have held watch over the conservation movement for 35 years, and the need to revitalise conservation activity is greatly apparent. Over coming months we will be talking with friends and allies to consider how and why conservation has lost ground, and to generate ideas for refreshing the conceptual cause of nature conservation.

Key questions

We want to understand where the conservation movement has come from, what its roots and values are, and what it really now means. What has it achieved so far? At its high points, what have been the ingredients of success? Right now, what is going right, and wrong? And finally, what does conservation activity most need now as a shot in the arm?

Coming activities and your input
Early thoughts in ECOS and through BANC twitter discussions have already emerged, and the BANC field day and AGM on 26 September is scoping ideas for further work. See www.banc.org.uk for updates.

The next ECOS, 36 (3-4) will major on the topic: a range of different practitioners will offer thoughts on the questions above, and we will have highlights from the 26 September event, Plotting in the Woods. There will be more coverage for revitalising conservation across some of the following editions in 2016, and in a BANC event. There is of course much energy and experience amongst our members and readers, so if you have views on the key questions above, or ideas for ECOS coverage on this topic, please contribute via BANC’s Facebook or twitter pages or get in touch… ecos@easynet.co.uk

Issue 36(3/4) Autumn / Winter - OPEN ACCESS ISSUE (until June 2016)
Whole issue

ECOS 36 (3/4) Whole issue

Editorial: Loving the Greenwood. Geoffrey Wain
Feature articles
– In search of Nature’s renaissance people. Gavin Saunders
– Grounded thinking to grounded action – Steps to revitalising conservation. Sophie Lake & Members of VINE
– Conservation wisdom. Looking back to look forward. David Blake
– Nature Conservation: barking up the wrong tree? Miles King
– Revitalising conservation – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Simon Ayres
– Evidence-based or evidence-blind? Priorities for revitalising conservation. Clive Hambler
– 26. Managing for nature. A farmer’s view on wildlife schemes. Martin Hole
– 30. Where next for landscape-scale conservation in England? Lisa Schneidau
– Rewilding gathers pace in the conservation mind fields. Peter Taylor, Alison Parfitt
– Revitalising conservation: the fountain of youth. Hendrikus Van Hensbergen & Kate Huggett
– Iran’s greenest government ever. Janet Mackinnon
– Nature and two legs. Martin Spray
– Plotting in the Woods. Emily Adams
Book Reviews
Inglorious: Conflict in the uplands. Mark Avery
Counting Sheep: A celebration of the pastoral heritage of Britain. Philip Walling
A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our threatened wildlife. Norman Maclean
Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities. Marina Robb, Victoria Mew and Anna Richardson

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Editorial: Loving the Greenwood. Geoffrey Wain, p.1

ECOS 36 (3/4) Editorial: Loving the Greenwood. Geoffrey Wain

‘It’s not about the money’ says David Blake in this issue, as he considers conservation’s glum situation. This is a risky, inflammatory statement, not least given the Chancellor’s 2015 Autumn Statement which announced further deep bites into the budgets of Defra and its agencies. Environment and wildlife activity is falling further down government’s priority list. The chips are down. In this edition we begin our look at Revitalising Conservation, exploring the dip in conservation’s fortunes, and suggesting how to regain confidence, purpose and influence. Our contributors form an eclectic mix, including a farmer, storyteller, wildlife photographer, shaman, blogger, youth workers, and founder of a rewilding charity. We also welcome friends from the e-networking group Values in Nature
and the Environment. VINE are keen to communicate the love of nature which is apparent amongst the conservation workforce, but is too often overlooked. The touchy-feely side of our subject isn’t easy for some of us to embrace. And VINE go further. They recognise a sense of pantheism in the way some people relate to the natural world. Perhaps it is these deep roots and this elemental strength that we need to call upon while nature conservation finds itself downtrodden.

It is no surprise, maybe, to see connections with wellbeing so strongly pushed by wildlife groups at present, including the desire for a Nature and Wellbeing Bill. The Bill has been sidestepped by government in favour of a 25 year plan for nature’s recovery, but the new era of policy must have a quality of life dimension, to press the point that we ourselves need nature for all its different worth, whether or not we see ourselves as pantheists. Back to David Blake’s provocation: is he too brutal, or should we look beyond the resource problem as we try to revitalise? Austerity makes conservation bodies poorly equipped, whether for topical concerns like flood management, the routine matters of habitat care, visitor facilities and people engagement, or the more foundation work of research and monitoring. A beleaguered and cash-strapped workforce will feel ineffective. There’s no escaping the need to generate funds, both creatively and through nudging government, especially to stage a 25 year nature recovery plan. But David Blake is not alone amongst our authors in bemoaning conservation’s formulaic and lofty procedures. This is beyond the bureaucracy and contrived monitoring that farmer Martin Hole complains of in this issue. Revitalising conservation may need a change of mindsets, avoiding an elitist culture and a preoccupation with process at the expense of product. A greater focus on human-scale conservation, celebrated by Gavin Saunders, VINE and others in the following pages, may be a liberating force.

Download Editorial as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-1 Editorial

In search of Nature’s renaissance people. Gavin Saunders, p.2 OPEN ACCESS

ECOS 36 (3/4) Winter 2015. In search of Nature’s renaissance people. Gavin Saunders

Abstract: Some voices say conservation needs to pull itself together and become a rigorous scientific, evidence-based discipline once again, ridding itself of its woolly, people-centred distractions. Others are turned off a coldly scientific approach and want a warmer, more human approach which delves deeper into wider culture. The modern challenge for conservationists is to span these extremes, and become cultural polymaths – and real people.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-2 In search of Nature’s renaissance people

Grounded thinking to grounded action – Steps to revitalising conservation. Sophie Lake & Members of VINE, p.7

ECOS 36 (3/4) Grounded thinking to grounded action – Steps to revitalising conservation. Sophie Lake and members of VINE

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: This article reflects some views and discussion amongst members of VINE (Values in Nature and the Environment) on the challenges of revitalising nature conservation. Messages include the need to promote positive news, broaden the appeal of nature, link with other disciplines, and recognise a common love of the natural world.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-7 Grounded thinking to grounded action

Conservation wisdom. Looking back to look forward. David Blake, p.11

ECOS 36 (3/4) Conservation wisdom: Looking back to look forward. David Blake

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: People helping wildlife have worked the land for generations with commitment, passion and wisdom. State conservation action has been well intentioned but its formulaic processes have stifled initiative and endeavour. The best of the old needs to combine with what we trust in the new.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-11 Conservation wisdom

Nature Conservation: barking up the wrong tree? Miles King, p.15

ECOS 36 (3/4) Nature conservation: barking up the wrong tree? Miles King

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: Caring for nature is a message widely embraced by people and by businesses, yet much UK wildlife continues to decline. This article considers the contrast between the words and the action, and looks at some key choices for revitalising nature conservation.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-15 Nature Conservation

Revitalising conservation – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Simon Ayres, p.18

ECOS36 (3/4) Revitalising conservation – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Simon Ayres

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: Nature conservation aims are not ambitious enough, nature reserves are too small, and the wider countryside is too inhospitable for wildlife to thrive. This article promotes land purchase, rewilding, and closer links with farming bodies as part of the answer to revitalising conservation in Britain.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-18 Revitalising conservation-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Evidence-based or evidence-blind? Priorities for revitalising conservation. Clive Hambler, p.22

ECOS 36 (3/4) Evidence-based or evidence-blind? Priorities for revitalising conservation. Clive Hambler

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: As conservationists pursue their goals of defending and managing the natural world, too often they stick to their prejudices. This article asks for greater realisation of the types of bias which can influence decisions and attitudes of conservation managers.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-22 Evidence-based or evidence-blind_

Managing for nature. A farmer’s view on wildlife schemes. Martin Hole, p.26

ECOS 36 (3/4) Managing for nature A farmer’s view on wildlife schemes. Martin Hole

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: This article gives a farmer’s perspective of working with agri-environment schemes. Experience to date has been positive, with a track record of helping wildlife flourish on the farm. But farmers are wary of cumbersome processes, hence the jury is out on the new Countryside Stewardship scheme.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-26 Managing for nature

Where next for landscape-scale conservation in England? Lisa Schneidau, p.30

ECOS 36 (3/4) Where next for landscapescale conservation in England? Lisa Schneidau

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: It’s been over three years since Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) started, as a first step towards putting the Lawton vision of ‘bigger, better, more and joined’ landscapes for nature into practice. Here’s a perspective on the highs and lows of landscape-scale conservation in England since that time – and some ideas on how to keep the vision active.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-30 Where next for landscape

Rewilding gathers pace in the conservation mind fields. Peter Taylor and Alison Parfitt, p.34
Revitalising conservation: the fountain of youth. Hendrikus Van Hensbergen & Kate Huggett, p.38

ECOS 36 (3/4) Revitalising conservation: the fountain of youth. Hendrikus van Hensbergen and Kate Huggett

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: This article explores how we can engage young people in conservation. Drawing on their work with Action for Conservation, the authors explore lessons from other disciplines which highlight the importance of collaboration across organisations, sectors and communities. They suggest that, above all, we must recognise young people as the revitalising tonic that they are and that conservation so desperately needs.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-38 Revitalising conservation- the fountain of youth

Iran’s greenest government ever. Janet Mackinnon, p.44

ECOS 36 (3/4) Iran’s greenest government ever. Janet MacKinnon

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Abstract: On 17 November 2015, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a 15 point list of policy directives to address the country’s wide ranging environmental challenges. This article looks at the secular and religious background to this unprecedented announcement.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-44 Iran’s greenest government ever-

 

Nature and two legs. Martin Spray, p.48
Plotting in the Woods. Emily Adams, p.53
Book reviews, p.56

ECOS 36 (3/4) Book reviews

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE

Inglorious: Conflict in the uplands. Mark Avery
Counting Sheep: A celebration of the pastoral heritage of Britain. Philip Walling
A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our threatened wildlife. Norman Maclean
Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities. Marina Robb, Victoria Mew and Anna Richardson

Download reviews as PDF: ECOS 36 3-4-56 Book Reviews

 

2014
Issue 35(1) Spring
Editorial: Hedging our bets. Gavin Saunders. p.1
Why don't environmental payments still work? John Bowers. p.2

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Why don’t environmental payments work? John Bowers

Abstract: The origins of agri-environment schemes (AES) lie with safeguarding SSSIs in the late 1960s and there have been comprehensive schemes since the late 1980s. Despite this the quality of the agricultural environment and the diversity of its wildlife have continued to decline. The reason is that all systems of agricultural subsidy and protection reduce risk, thereby increasing the return on investment in intensification and specialisation. AES will not work in the broad unless and until agricultural support is removed. The latest proposed modifications of AES recognise this.

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Does traditional farming still meet nature conservation needs? Robert Deane. p.7

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Does traditional farming still meet nature conservation needs? Robert Deane

Abstract: Are traditional farming and conservation aims really as compatible as we suppose, or is there now such a divergence between farming opportunity and environmental need that we require a different approach to delivering conservation objectives across the wider countryside?

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Agricultural reform in England - towards a greener farm policy? Lisa Schneidau. p.14

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Agricultural reform in England – Towards a greener farm policy? Lisa Schneidau

Abstract: The current round of farm policy negotiations will shape the next seven years. Why is positive change in this crucial area so agonisingly slow? This article looks at the context for greening agricultural reform measures and considers what progress we should be looking for.

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Scratching the surface - let's love our soils. David Hogan. p.19 Open Access and available for free

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Scratching the surface: let’s love our soils. David Hogan

Abstract: Acknowledging the importance of soils and threats to their quality are vital in land-use
policy for food production, flood protection, water quality, nature conservation and carbon storage. This article promotes a greater understanding of soils in the conservation sector and looks at some key examples of wise soil management.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 35-1-19 Scratching the surface – lets love our soils

Drowning out nature on the Levels? Mark Robbins. p.27

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Drowning out nature on the Levels? Mark Robins

Abstract: This article offers a personal view from the heart of the response process to Somerset’s
2014 winter floods. What are the lessons from a situation where the political message
was emphatically ‘we cannot let this happen again’?

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Wildlife on the level? Peter Taylor. p.31

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Wildlife on the level? Peter Taylor

Abstract: Political and personal opportunists use the flooding of the Somerset Levels to advance their agendas – and the rational middle ground disappears amid the mists of a changing climate.

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The Call of the Wild. Ian Rotherham. p.35

ECOS 35 (1) The Call of the Wild: perceptions, history, people and ecology in the emerging paradigms of wilding. Ian Rotherham

Abstract: This article introduces some key issues of nature conservation and future landscapes
in the context of achieving a more wild state of nature. The lessons are drawn from a programme of Sheffield-based research, seminars, conferences and debates extending over 20 years in Britain and linking across Europe. In terms of British and European ecology and biodiversity these are some of the most resonant contemporary debates.

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What future for bears in Western Europe? Charles J. Wilson. p.44

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 What future for Bears in Western Europe? Charles J. Wilson

Abstract: The brown bear has been pushed to the remotest forests and mountains in western Europe and a small number of critically endangered populations teeter on the brink of extinction. But recent experience suggests that recovery may be achievable and that reintroduction can play a part in this.

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The Somerset badger cull - the theory and the practice. Angela Barrett. p.52

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 The Somerset badger cull – the theory and the practice. Amanda Barrett

Abstract: This article describes events at close quarters, as the author followed some of the night
time shooting of badgers during the 2013 pilot cull in Somerset. Watching the cull activity for real allowed a comparison between official guidelines and actual practice on the ground.

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Speaking for myself. Martin Spray. p.55
Book Reviews

ECOS 35 (1) Spring 2014 Book reviews

Books:
Brede High Woods: The history and wildlife of a High Weald woodland. Patrick Roper, 2013.
The Little Green Book of Eco-fascism: The plan to frighten your kids, drive up energy costs and hike your taxes!. James Delingpole, 2014.
Why National Parks?. Ian Brodie, 2013.
The Coming of Age of the Green Community: My Neighbourhood, My Planet. Erik Bichard, 2014.
Nature’s Saviours: Celebrity Conservationists in the Television Age. Duncan Huggan, 2013.

Download book reviews as PDF: ECOS 35-1-61 Book Reviews

Issue 35(2) Summer
Editorial: Finding our way back to nature. Geoffrey Wain. p.1
Navigating nature: How to heal our blurred vision of wildlife. Chris Rose. p.2

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 Navigating nature: how to heal our blurred vision of wildlife

Abstract: Parents, grandparents, and even teachers, are no longer able to ‘introduce young children to nature’ because they can’t really see nature themselves. This article calls for a national campaign of remedial action to motivate a population which has become ‘nature blind’. Such a drive needs to learn the lessons of marketing and large-scale campaigns that have influenced public priorities.

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The rise of citizen science: How can community research help nature? Kirsty Haw. p.12

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 The rise of citizen science: How can community research help nature? Kay Haw

Abstract: Citizen science is a popular way of gathering data and involving the public in science projects; from bird counts to spotting solar storms. But what are the benefits: is it a fad or here to stay, does it contribute to scientific progress and what makes a good citizen science project?

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The benefits of engaging with nature through learning in natural environments. Justin Dillon. p.22

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 The benefits of engaging with nature through learning in natural environments. Justin Dillon

Abstract: Learning in the natural environment has a number of direct and indirect benefits. So
why are so many children denied opportunities to engage with nature?

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Closer to the natural world? The achievements of Access to Nature grants. Helen Bovey. p.31

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 Closer to the natural world? The achievements of Access to Nature grants. Helen Bovey

Abstract: The Access to Nature programme helped nearly 950,000 people experience nature, many for the first time. This article looks at the degree to which the grants helped to create positive outcomes for those who became involved.

15) Below this, add the following computer code, which controls access for non-members

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The digital (conservation) age. Gina Maffey, Koen Arts, Annie Robinson, Rene van der Wal. p.37

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 The digital (conservation) age. Gina Maffey, Koen Arts, Annie Robinson, Rene van der Wal

Abstract: More than 70 scholars, policymakers and practitioners from around the world came together this May at the University of Aberdeen for the Digital Conservation 2014 conference. The event discussed developments at the interface of digital technology and nature conservation. The meeting was convened in recognition that digital technology increasingly shapes human interaction with nature, and that there is an urgent need to better understand this phenomenon.

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BioBlitz: A growing movement in wildlife recording. Matt Postles. p.43

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 BioBlitz: a growing movement in wildlife recording. Matt Postles

Abstract: BioBlitz events are local wildlife surveys often engaging public audiences to identify and
record as many different species as possible in a given timeframe. This article explains how the BioBlitz concept has been deployed by wildlife bodies in the UK, and reports on the achievements of BioBlitz events, based on the first formal assessments.

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Green and pleasant heritage. Martin Spray. p.48

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 Green and pleasant heritage. Martin Spray

Abstract: Ian Rotherham’s article ‘The call of the wild’ in ECOS 35(1) 2014 prompted some tangential thoughts: Why do we tinker ad nauseam with the status quo, while leaving more fundamental questions below the horizon? Must we continue to sell nature conservation via florid wildflower meadows and the iconic face of the tiger? Should the aesthetics of landscape have priority over the ecology of the land?

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A stormy idea: responding to rapid change in coastal ecosystems. Thomas Pryke. p.55

ECOS35 (2) Summer 2014 A stormy idea: responding to rapid change in coastal ecosystems. Thomas Pryke

Abstract: The management of protected areas in coastal environments requires an appreciation of
ecological, climatic, socio-political, and economic influences on conservation, and often balancing these factors is problematic. This article looks at the storm surge of 2013, and asks what lessons might be learned from such an event, and how this might be of benefit to coastal conservationists in the future.

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Devon waterways: beavers stake their claim. Derek Gow. p.62

ECOS 35 (2) Summer 2014 Devon waterways: beavers stake their claim. Derek Gow

Abstract: In 2014 the River Otter in Devon became better know for beavers. This article discusses
the future for the River Otter beavers which have arrived on the scene.

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Book reviews
Issue 35(3/4) Autumn / Winter
Editorial: Who's wild now? Ian Rotherham
Making real space for nature: a continuum approach to UK conservation. Steve Carver. Open Access

ECOS 35 (3/4) Winter 2014. Making real space for nature: a continuum approach to UK conservation. Steve Carver

Abstract: Traditional conservation concerns over wildlife loss, cherished habitats and landscape heritage are holding back more adventurous thinking on rewilding, species reintroductions and landscape-scale natural processes. A bolder vision for the UK countryside, with a range of ambitions for wildlife and landscape conservation could allow nature to flourish to its full potential.

Download as a PDF here: Ecos 35-3-4 Making real space for nature

Upland farming and wilding. Lois Mansfield

ECOS 35 (3/4) Upland farming and wilding. Lois Mansfield

Abstract: This article explores the relationship between upland farming in Cumbria and wilding. It outlines the Cumbrian upland farming system and its value to wilding processes, and explains the importance of farming upland areas in terms of wider agendas. Finally the article outlines a few of the concerns the farming population have in the development of conservation strategies involving wilding.

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Cambrian wildwood - new ventures in a wilder landscape. Simon Ayres and Sophie Wynne-Jones

ECOS 35 (3/4) Cambrian Wildwood – new ventures in a wilder landscape. Simon Ayres and Sophie Wynne-Jones

Abstract: Cambrian Wildwood is an ambitious project to rewild an area in the uplands of Mid-Wales. This article reflects on progress to date and the challenges of advocating rewilding in the Welsh context.

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Rewilding in Britain - lessons from the past 15 years. Peter Taylor

ECOS 35 (3/4) Rewilding in Britain: lessons from the past 15 years. Peter Taylor

Abstract: The profile of rewilding is rising and the old and struggling order of conservation naturally seeks to incorporate its methods. Here, I draw attention to a disturbing tendency of wilful blindness toward the community-base and cooperative endeavours of the British rewilding movement and argue for a more socially responsible approach to the intractable problems of securing large-scale reserves dominated by ecological processes.

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Heathland conservation grazing: it's not all good. Jonty Denton

ECOS 35 (3/4) Heathland conservation grazing: it’s not all good. Jonty Denton

Abstract: This article discusses the efficacy of heathland grazing, and questions the cost effectiveness, lack of scientific evidence, and points out the need for a more balanced
approach and proper research and monitoring.

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Experiments with the wild at the Oostvaardersplassen. Jamie Lorimer and Clemens Driessen Open access and available for free

ECOS 35 (3/4) Winter 2014. Experiments with the wild at the Oostvaardersplassen. Jamie Lorimer & Clemens Driessen

Abstract:This article draws on a discussion of the differences between laboratory and field experiments to examine the practices and politics of rewilding. The analysis focuses on
the Oostvaardersplassen, a flagship example that figures centrally in discussions about rewilding in Europe. The article reflects on the wider significance and potential of this wild experiment for conservation practice.

Download this article as a PDF: Ecos 35-3-44 Experiments with the wild at the Oostvaardersplassen

Studying past landscape change to inform future conservation. Nicholas Macgregor, Kevin Watts, Kirsty Park, Elisa Fuents-Montemayor, Simon Duffield

ECOS 35 (3/4) Studying past landscape change to inform future conservation. Nicholas Macgregor, Kevin Watts, Kirsty Park, Elisa Fuents-Montemayor, Simon Duffield

Abstract: The WrEN project, led by the University of Stirling, Forest Research and Natural England, is taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Britain’s landscapes to study the ecological networks concept. The results will improve our understanding of how different species respond to different characteristics of habitat patches and the wider
landscape, and so inform the design of future conservation landscapes.

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Reintroductions in Scotland - an update on beaver, boar and lynx. Alan Featherstone Watson

ECOS 35 (3/4) Reintroductions in Scotland – an update on beaver, boar and lynx. Alan Featherstone Watson

Abstract: This article provides an overview of the policy debates on the potential for returning wild boar, beaver and Eurasian lynx to Scotland. It concludes with a review of an inspiring book showing vivid pictures of the secretive lynx in the Jura mountains from Swiss-based photographer Laurent Geslin.

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Book reviews
2013
Issue 34(1) Spring
Editorial: Crisis or opportunity? Geoffrey Wain. p.1
Ecosystem services - are we flogging a dead horse? David West. p.2 Open Access and available for free

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Ecosystem Services – are we flogging a dead horse? David West

Abstract: Different parts of the natural world may well have inherent value to society but they also need to pay their way in a meaningful sense to ensure their existence. The economic value of such places needs to be tangible and not based on contrived economic exercises.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 34-1-2 Ecosystem Services

New entrepreneurs in conservation - lessons from South Yorkshire's Dearne Valley. Ian Rotherham. p.5

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. New entrepreneurs in conservation – lessons from South Yorkshire’s Dearne Valley. Ian Rotherham

Abstract: The separation of nature from economy leads to ‘cultural severance’ and loss of species. This article discusses the potential links between ecology, nature conservation and tourism, and presents an example of how a created conservation site has become a hub for economic regeneration.

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Heathland futures - a role for wood-fuel lots? Ian Rotherham and Paul Titterton

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Heathland futures – a role for wood-fuel lots? Ian Rotherham and Paul Titterton

Abstract: Management of heathlands has been problematic for some decades and the situation is now acute. These areas have mostly lost the economic drivers that once sustained them. Now, with eutrophication, successional change, and difficulties in getting reliable conservation grazing, many sites are under threat. This article suggests that the approach applied to North American and continental European wood-fuel lots could offer a local economic function for heathlands.

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Greening the funeral business. Ruth Boogert. p.20

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Greening the funeral business. Ruth Boogert

Abstract: Natural burials claim to offer cheaper and more environmentally friendly end-of-life choices. This article discusses the main options for green burials and looks at some of the livelihoods created from this strand of the funeral business.

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The future of England's green agencies: with writing from Peter Shirley and Simon Leadbeater. p.26

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. The future of England’s green agencies: with writing from Peter Shirley and Simon Leadbeater

Abstract: Should we welcome the current review of Natural England and the Environment Agency or should we be worried if government is tempted to meddle with these bodies?

Peter Shirley: Tidying up or dumbing down?
Simon Leadbeater: The dangers of agency merger

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Welsh nature - riches to be protected or resources to be plundered? James Robertson. p.31

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Welsh nature – riches to be protected or resources to be plundered? James Robertson

Abstract: This article considers the background to the creation of Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Do the economy, society and environment generally and in Wales really form a mutually supportive ‘three-legged stool’?

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Wales' new officialdom - Nature's wealth or wrath? Mick Green. p.39

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Wales’ new officialdom – Nature’s wealth or wrath? Mick Green

Abstract: Conservation reforms in Wales have reached a milestone with the dissolution of conservation agencies and a new body focused on natural resources. This article considers the implications of this untried approach.

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Fighting the green token - Mid-Wales revolts against turbines. Alison Davies. p.42

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Fighting the green token – mid Wales revolts against turbines. Alison Davies

Abstract: 815 industrial scale wind turbines, plus 50 supposedly ‘domestic’ (100+ foot high) wind turbines are proposed across one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes as identified in the 1947 Hobhouse report. This article looks at the likely environmental impacts of this proposed infrastructure and discusses the concerns of people directly affected.

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Trump's golf course - Society's nature. Koen Arts and Gina Maffrey. p.49

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Trump’s golf course – Society’s nature. The death and resurrection of nature conservation. Koen Arts and Gina Maffrey

Abstract: The story of Trump’s golf resort development in Scotland, part of which falls on a protected natural area, is more than just another example of nature succumbing to economics. It symbolises the death of traditional nature conservation as a stand-alone exercise. The new green phoenix that arises from the ashes will need to integrate current, place-based conservation with a (local) green economy and sustainable living.

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Forest policy resolved? The future's hunky-dory... Martin Spray. p.59

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Forest policy resolved? The future’s hunky-dory… Martin Spray

Abstract: The Government’s response to the 2012 Future of the Forests report from the Forestry Panel gets a wry smile

15) Below this, add the following computer code, which controls access for non-members

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Conservation: A fading label? Peter Taylor. p.61

ECOS 34 (1) Spring 2013. Conservation: a fading label? Peter Taylor

Abstract: Is ‘conservation’ an outdated label in today’s era of managing nature? This article presents some thoughts on the state of UK conservation as viewed by the author, returning to Britain late in 2012 after a year away, and recognising the times are changing…

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Book reviews

ECOS 34(1) Spring 2013. Book Reviews

Books reviewed in this issue:
Fauna Scotica: Animals and people in Scotland. Polly Pullar and Mary Low
Gossip from the Forest: The tangled roots of our forests and fairytales. Sarah Maitland
Bear Witness: A captivating journey to the wild side. Mandy Haggith
Woodlanders: New life in Britain’s forests. Ian Edwards and Sarah Hunt
Deep Country: Five years in the Welsh hills. Neil Ansell
Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles of the North East. Ian Bond

Download book reviews as PDF: ECOS 34-1-66 Book Reviews

Issue 34(2) Summer
Editorial: Nature's fury or ours? Geoffrey Wain. p.1
We can be heroes. Gavin Saunders p.2

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. We can still be heroes. Gavin Saunders

Abstract: Where is the critical independent debate taking place in the conservation sector these days? Where do we turn for intellectual and moral leadership? How should ECOS and BANC continue to play a pivotal role, especially for the newer generation of conservation thinkers who are faced with many choices across a complex digital world? This article is offered by Gavin Saunders on behalf of BANC Council, to air questions with which Council has to wrestle on behalf of BANC’s membership and ECOS’s wider readership.

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Still a purpose for ECOS? Martin Spray. p.7

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Still a purpose for ECOS? Martin Spray

Abstract: At a time when BANC and ECOS are regrouping, and assessing how best to serve the current generations of conservation thinkers, this article takes a personal look at the evolutionary path of ECOS and raises queries about how BANC can take ECOS forward.

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Learning from Max Nicholson. From managing population growth to tackling ecocide. Simon Leadbeater. p.10

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Learning from Max Nicholson. From managing population growth to tackling ecocide. Simon Leadbeater

Abstract: 10 years after the conservation visionary Max Nicholson died, this article discusses how we can sustain species and co-exist with a rich array of wildlife as relentless development pressures take their toll. How can the achievements of Max Nicholson inform the environmental actions needed now?

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Why a badger cull won't work. Chris Cheeseman. p.20

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Why a badger cull won’t work. Chris Cheeseman

Abstract: In October 2012, over 30 eminent scientists with considerable knowledge of wildlife and disease wrote to The Observer newspaper to explain why the Government’s proposed badger cull is unlikely to work and risks making things worse. In this article one of those scientists offers a personal perspective on the long-running bovine TB saga.

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Saving Britain's trees: countering the growing threat from invasive plants and diseases. Clive Potter. p.25 Open access and available for free

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Saving Britain’s trees: countering the growing threat from invasive pests and disease. Clive Potter

Abstract: With the onset of ash die back, this article reviews the threats to tree health from invasive pests and diseases and considers how plant biosecurity might be improved, including through more effective regulation of the horticultural trade.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 34-2-25 Saving Britains trees

Resilient and adaptive wooded landscapes. Mike Townsend. p.31

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Resilient and adaptive wooded landscapes. Mike Townsend

Abstract: The emergence or threat of a number of aggressive woodland pests and diseases, in addition to the already present jeopardy of climate change and long term changes to woodland, has highlighted the possible vulnerability of woodland systems. This article reiterates some of these issues and suggests responses to develop a more resilient and adaptive landscape.

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Ennerdale - celebrating the wild and the exceptional. Alison Parfitt. p.37

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Ennerdale – celebrating the wild and the exceptional. Alison Parfitt

Abstract: In June 2013, 70 people gathered in Ennerdale. We walked in this Lake District valley to mark 10 years of the Wild Ennerdale partnership, which oversees one of England’s most significant wilding sites. The observations and discussion soon revealed that grazing is a contentious issue in a project that promotes natural processes…

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The feral book - reintroducing rewilding. Simon Ayres. p.41

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. The feral book – reintroducing rewilding. Simon Ayres

Abstract: George Monbiot’s new book Feral is akin to an unofficial release into the rewilding movement. This article reflects on the main ideas in Feral and how it fits into the rewilding landscape. When you let go of control of the land and let nature run its course it is unpredictable, often with surprising and positive outcomes. The publication of Feral has revealed a groundswell of support that invites us to be bolder about promoting rewilding.

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Wild nature reclaiming man-made landscapes. Mark Fisher. p.50

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Wild nature reclaiming man-made landscapes. Mark Fisher

Abstract: This article critiques the recent publication, Trees, Forested Landscapes and Grazing Animals: A European Perspective on Woodlands and Grazed Treescapes, edited by Ian Rotherham. The book focuses on the effects of grazing on vegetation cover and openness, and looks at examples relating to Frans Vera’s theory on grazing and original naturalness. Additional case studies presented in this article broaden the view of factors
influencing grazing dynamics and woodland structure.

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Helping the State of Nature - public duty and political evasion. Writings from: Adrian Phillips, Michael Jeeves, Ian Bond, Peter Shirley. p.59

ECOS 34 (2) Summer 2013. Helping the State of Nature – public duty and political evasion. Writing from: Adrian Phillips, Michael Jeeves, Ian Bond, Peter Shirley

Abstract: Following the May 2013 launch of the State of Nature report, ECOS asked around for reflections on the publication and the mainly negative trend it confirmed for Britain’s wildlife species. A consistent message is apparent amongst our commentators: how to keep engaging people with wildlife while reporting bad news? Alas RSPB, which led the Report, had nothing to say on the matter after our requests, but here are the forthright views of four authors…

Adrian Phillips: False choices and political blind spots
Michael Jeeves: The limit of shock tactics
Ian Bond: Living in hope
Peter Shirley: Earnestness or delight?

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Book reviews. p.70

ECOS 34 (2) Book reviews

Book reviews:

The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland: A Traveller’s Guide. Clifton Bain, 2013
Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary. Esther Woolfson, 2013
Bird Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effect of Interventions. Synopsis of conservation evidence series – Volume 2. David Williams, Robet Pople, David Sowler, Lynn Dicks, Mathew Child. Erasmus zu Ermgassen and William Sutherland, 2013.
The Management of Insects in Recreation and Tourism. Raynald Harvey Lemelin (ed). 2012.
A Saga of Sea Eagles. John A. Love, 2013
The Glacial Whales. Brian Day, 2013

Download book reviews as PDF: ECOS 34-2-70 Book Reviews

Issue 34(3) Autumn / Winter
Editorial: Offsetting or upsetting? Geoffrey Wain. p.1
Biodiversity offsets' use in the UK: How, where and when? Joseph Bull. p.2

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Biodiversity offsets’ use in the UK: How, where and when? Joseph Bull

Abstract: Leaping to rash conclusions about biodiversity offsets based on a limited outlook on their use could cause missed opportunities for UK nature conservation

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Biodiversity offsets - an unnecessary evil? Mike Townsend. p.8

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Biodiversity offsets – an unnecessary evil? (Mike Townsend)

Abstract: The Government is consulting on biodiversity offsets to spede the planning process. The notion of biodiversity offsets might offer a reasonable solution to the vexed questions of how to compensate adequately for environmental harm resulting from development. But there are some fundamental flaws both in the concept itself and in the philosophy and accepted assumptions which underpin it.

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Local Nature Partnerships - the experience in Sussex. Tony Whitbread. p.13

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Local Nature Partnerships – the experience in Sussex. Tony Whitbread

Abstract: Nearly 50 Local Nature Partnerships now operate throughout England. Can these new bodies bring a collective effort to help change the fortunes of our wildlife, and will they embed nature conservation in the actions of their members? Reflecting on experience in Sussex, this article considers the early challenges facing LNPs and considers the tools required to make them a lasting force.

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Bad(ger)lands. Martin Spray. p.17

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Bad(ger)lands. Martin Spray

Abstract: It is not Broc who is enigmatic, it is the process by which we try to make a complex situation simple, and cull a species we’ve given full protection in law.

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The road to Salamanca. Little heart at the 2013 World Wilderness Congress. Peter Taylor. p.21

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013. The road to Salamanca. little heart at the 2013 World Wilderness Congress. Peter Taylor

Abstract: The 10th World Wilderness Congress, WILD10, was held in October 2013 in Salamanca, Spain. ECOS was given press status to observe the struggles reported by indigenous cultures to hold on to their remaining wild land and their consciousness. The event also revealed a new brand of conservation imperialism from the opportunistic proposals on rewilding across parts of Europe.

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Nature blogging: a personal perspective. Miles King. p.28

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Nature blogging – a personal perspective. Miles King

Abstract: What role can blogs plan in debate on nature conservation and how influential might they be in affecting change, both directly and through longer-term diffusion of ideas? This article takes a personal look at the motivations for blogging and the experience of grappling with nature’s expanding blogosphere.

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Climate change: A rational debate. Views from: Clive Hambler and Jenny Hawley. p.33

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Rationale debate: Climate change. Views from: Clive Hambler and Jenny Hawley

Abstract:
Two view points:
1) British conservation and climate change: the habitats matter (Clive Hambler)
2) Climate change – a nature conservation commitment (Jenny Hawley)

Climate models have not predicted recent years’ static temperature trends but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports with 95% confidence that humans are the main cause of current global warming. Meanwhile across blogs and the media debate rages on the evidence for climate change and the implications of related policies and expenditure. Is action in response to climate change a severe environmental impact in itself, creating direct harm to nature and human wellbeing in the name of the precautionary principle, or is mitigation and adaptation to climate change an essential and urgent priority, to aid people and wildlife amidst an all pervading global threat? ECOS sought two contrasting views amongst conservation practitioners in response to the IPCC 5th assessment report (www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5).

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Integrating nature and agriculture - towards a new vision. Gavin Saunders and Simon Brenman. p.38

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013. Integrating nature and agriculture – towards a new vision. Gavin Saunders and Simon Brenman

Abstract: The conservation sector in the UK needs to engage more fully with the debate over the future of agriculture in Britain, and to recognise – despite the enormity of the subject – the need for our approach to nature, farming and society to become more integrated.

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Assessing the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphin SACs. Mark Peter Simmonds, Mick Green, Vicki James, Sonja Eisfeld, Rob Lott. p.46 Open Access and available for free

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013 Assessing the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphin SACs. Mark Peter Simmonds, Mick Green, Vicki James, Sonja Eisfeld, Rob Lott

Abstract: Cardigan Bay in Wales and adjacent waters are important for marine wildlife and have various areas designated as special areas of conservation (SACs). Here we consider the extent to which bottlenose dolphin SACs can be said to be effective.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 34-3-46 Assessing the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphin SACs

Whither Natural England? Mark July. p.56

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013. Whither Natural England? Mark July

Abstract: With Natural England’s role endorsed by the Triennial Review, what can now be expected from the agency? Does Defra’s intention to draw all its component bodies closer under ‘one business’ and apply further systematic cuts, mean NE’s scope and independence is fast-eroding?

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Book reviews. p.62

ECOS 34 (3/4) Winter 2013. Book reviews

A Sting in the Tale. Dave Goulson, 2013
Words of Re-Enchantment: Storytelling, Myth and Ecological Desire. Anthony Nanson, 2011
Conservation. Clive Hambler and Susan Canney, 2013 (2nd Edition)
Eyes of the Wild: Journeys of transformation with the animal powers. Eleanor O’Hanlon, 2013

Download book reviews as PDF: ECOS 34-3 Book Reviews

2012
Issue 33 (1) Spring
Editorial: Back to Basics. Geoffrey Wain, p.1
Cometh the hour? Peter Shirley, p.2

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Cometh the hour? Peter Shirley

Abstract: This article discusses the current forces affecting the role and the influence of wildlife bodies, and considers why providing leadership in the conservation movement is such a challenge in present circumstances.

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For Nature's sake. Mark Avery, p.6

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. For Nature’s sake. Mark Avery

Abstract: British nature needs a strong campaigning voice. Public bodies charged with defending wildlife are becoming more timid and constrained as government responds to the age of austerity. Wildlife needs defending in its own right, on its terms…

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Wildlife fallback - are we prepared? David West, p.9

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Wildlife fallback – are we prepared? David West

Abstract: Despite the recent advances in nature conservation are we about to see a rapid return to habitat fragmentation following CAP reform (post 2013) and increased food demand?

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A lifeless living Wales? Mick Green, p.12

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. A lifeless living Wales? Mick Green

Abstract: Consultations on green reforms in Wales, including a single environmental delivery body, have set alarm bells ringing amongst conservationists. Policy making for wildlife looks set to become diluted and led by an economic imperative. This article assesses the task of salvaging something worthwhile from the drastic proposals.

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Heartlands and wildwoods. Sophie Wynne-Jones, p.15

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Heartlands and wildwoods. Sophie Wynne Jones

Abstract: This article considers the potential for native woodland restoration in the Welsh Uplands. It reflects on the cultural tensions surrounding rewilding in Wales in the late 1990s and discusses the progress of the fledgling Cambrian Wildwood, and wildwoods across Wales in the context of impending CAP reform.

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Scottish land reform - a lost opportunity for community environmental development? Alexandra Henderson, p.21

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Scottish and reform: A lost opportunity for community landownership? Alexandra Henderson

Abstract: Land reform in Scotland raises huge opportunities for remote areas of the Highlands and Islands to improve the local environment and gain associated livelihoods. This article assesses the scale of the challenge in harnessing the legislation.

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Letting the cat out of the bag: Eurasian lynx reintroduction in Scotland. James Thomson, p.27

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Letting the cat out of the bag: Eurasian lynx reintroduction in Scotland. James Thomson

Abstract: Conservation, game and land owning bodies have recently been discussing the conditions for any future reintroduction of lynx to Scotland. This article considers the debate amongst organisations who would be central to the possible return of the lynx.

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Tolerating the Tay beavers. Derek Gow, p.35

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Tolerating the Tay beavers. Derek Gow

Abstract: The Tay beavers will be monitored between now and the end of the Knapdale beaver trial in 2015, when a decision will be made about the future re-introduction of beavers to Scotland as a whole. This article assesses the implications of the decision for beavers to be monitored, not captured or culled.

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Ups and downs for the Badger. Ian Rotherham, p.37

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Ups and downs for the Badger. Ian Rotherham

Abstract: Two six-week badger cull trials are scheduled to take place from August 2012 and may lead to wider culls countrywide. This article considers the unintended consequences which may result from the Government’s trial badger control exercise.

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Bee conservation: A call for coherence, cohesion and co-operation. Emily Adams, Philip Donkersley and Alistair Campbell, p.41

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Bee conservation: A call for coherence, cohesion and co-operation. Emily Adams, Philip Donkersley and Alistair Campbell

Abstract: Conservation actions for different groups of bees would be improved if a more coherent, scale-aware approach is taken amongst organisations concerned with bees.

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Today we live without them: the erasure of animals and plants in the language of ecosystem assessment. Arran Stibbe, p.47 Open access and available for free

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Today we live without them: the erasure of animals and plants in the language of ecosystem assessment. Arran Stibe

Abstract: This article examines the representation of animals and plants in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, showing how they are systematically erased from consciousness through a variety of linguistic devices. The consequences for engaging and motiving people in the UK who care about the wellbeing, welfare, and lives of animals and plants are discussed, and the conclusion calls for more balanced ways of representing the natural world.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 33-1-47 Today we live without them

When the going gets touch... Jonathan Somper, p.54

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. When the going gets tough… Jonathan Somper

Abstract: Evidence suggests that around one half of NGOs are coping with the challenging financial times to varying degrees, but the rest may not be. Which category does your organisation fall into and are there any actions that you can take to tough it out? This article takes a detailed look at the evidence and identifies a number of opportunities for enhancing income.

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Peak Panthers. David Siddon, p.66

ECOS 33 (1) Spring 2012. Peak Panthers. David Siddon

Abstract: This article provides an account of big cat sightings in north-east Derbyshire and the eastern Peak District. All instances are based on first hand testimonies.

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Book reviews

ECOS 33 (1) Book Reviews

Books reviewed in this issue:
Wildlife Crime: The makings of an Investigations Officer. Dave Dick, 2012
Anticipatory History. Caitlin DeSilvey, Simon Naylor and Colin Sacketts (eds), 2011
Edgelands: Journeys into England’s true wilderness. Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, 2011
Ecological Ethics: An introduction. Patrick Curry, 2011
Towards an new paradigm for the ecology of Northern and Western Scotland: A synthesis of issues. James Fenton, 2011

Issue 33 (2) Summer
Editorial: What White Paper? Geoffrey Wain, p.1
Forest politics - the battle for the status quo. Roger Bodgitt, p.2

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Forest politics – the battle for the status quo. Roger Bodgitt

Abstract: So the Public Forest looks set to remain in public ownership. That may feel like a victory, but to quote from the blogger Mark Avery: “The great radical campaigning victory over forestry, so far, has been to maintain the status quo”.

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Stasis in the forest? Martin Spray, p.6
From Rio to Devizes: a leap too far? Jenny Hawley, p.9

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. From Rio to Devizes: a leap too far? Jenny Hawley

Abstract: It is easy to take the natural environment for granted in my own county of Wiltshire, but the State of the Environment report 2012 presents worrying evidence of environment decline and the unsustainable impact of our lifestyles. This year’s Rio+20 Conference felt far removed, yet the issues raised and the actions required to address them are often the same at the local level. We must keep an eye on the international stage and remember that we are part of it.

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Paying our way - affording nature in hard times. Tony Whitbread, p.13

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Paying our way: affording nature in hard times. Tony Whitbread

Abstract: Is looking after the environment an act of charity, to be funded by those with the desire to do so, or is it an act of social responsibility to be funded by all? This article considers the dilemmas for conservation in linking its interests to the political priority for economic growth.

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Conservation in a time of austerity - why fund nature? Mike Townsend, p.17

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Conservation in a time of austerity – why fund nature? Mike Townsend

Abstract: Why has an appealing subject like wildlife protection and the environment become an easy target for cuts? We should capitalise on recent measures designed to demonstrate the full and wider benefits of nature.

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Councils in adversity - why less isn't more for nature. Mike Oxford, p.21

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Councils in adversity – why less isn’t more for nature. Mike Oxford

Abstract: This article reviews the feedback provided by wildlife staff across local councils in England, when they were asked to indicate the effects of cuts on the ability of local authorities to fulfil their work on nature conservation. The results suggest that councils will be severely constrained in their advisory role on wildlife and in their pursuit of the White Paper’s initiatives.

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Planning and site safeguard - time to step up for nature. Andre Farrar, p.26

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Planning and site safeguard – time to step up for nature. Andre Farrar

Abstract: How can prime wildlife sites be safeguarded amidst current forces which threaten to undermine stringent policies to help nature? This article looks at the background politics and examples of some areas under pressure.

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Unplanning the countryside. Richard Bates, p.31

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Unplanning the Countryside. Richard Bate

Abstract: Governments often consider softening up the planning system at times of economic strain, and the present Government is now implementing more measures to this effect than others have dared to. This article looks at the background forces which are trying to dilute planning policy and considers the implications for the natural environment.

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Neighbourhood planning - fresh powers for local conservation. Jeremy Owen, p.39 Open access and available for free

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Neighbourhood planning – fresh powers for local conservation? Jeremy Owen

Abstract: Reforms to the planning system could bring major change to directing development and managing the environment at the local level. This article looks at the emerging issues for wildlife and the natural environment as the reforms begin to bite and the first generation of neighbourhood plans take hold.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 33-2-39 Neighbourhood planning

Rat Island - Lessons from ancient Aotearoa for middle England today. Simon Leadbeater, p.46

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Rat Island – lessons from ancient Aotearoa for middle England today. Simon Leadbeater

Abstract: This article began as a book review of William Stolzenburg’s Rat Island (Bloomsbury 2011). However, the narrative of past misdeeds as the backdrop to the current extinction crisis juxtaposed with my own experience of trying to conserve habitats as a local councillor, inevitably pitted the culpability of the present generation of middle England against that of ancient peoples exploring untrammelled lands; it asks whether lessons will ever be learnt and what if anything can be done to turn extinction’s tide.

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Lapwing futures - a plea for evidence-based policy. Philip Merricks, p.53

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Lapwing futures – a plea for evidence-based policy. Philip Merricks

Abstract: Farmers and conservationists have a common cause in doing their utmost to halt and then reverse this seemingly relentless fall in farmland bird numbers. To do this conservation policy makers need to take a cool hard look at the real reasons for the decline.

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Book reviews, p.59

ECOS 33 (2) Summer 2012. Book reviews

Books reviewed in this issue:
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot. Robert Macfarlane, 2012
Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science and Evolution. David Rothenberg, 2011
Social Ecology: Applying ecological understanding to our lives and our planet. David Wright, Catherine Camden-Pratt and Stuart Hill (eds), 2011
Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and indigenous approaches. Lewis Williams, Rose Roberts and Alastair McIntosh, 2012
Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing damaged ecosystems. Stuart Allison, 2012
Animals Erased: Discourse, ecology and reconnection with the natural world. Arran Stibbe, 2012
Silent Spring Revisited. Conor Mark Jameson, 2012

Issue 33 (3/4) Autumn / Winter
Editorial: Connecting the connectivity? Geoffrey Wain. p.1
Lands-caped crusaders. Gavin Saunders, p.2

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Lands-caped crusaders. Gavin Saunders

Abstract: Right across the conservation sector we are beginning to talk about conserving wildlife in whole landscapes. Do we appreciate the intellectual Pandora’s Box we’re opening?

 

 

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Landscape-scale - towards an integrated approach. Kate Ahern and Lyndis Cole, p.6

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Large-scale conservation in Great Britain: taking stock. Nicholas Macgregor, William Adams, Chris Hill, Felix Eigenbrod and Patrick Osborne

Abstract: Natural England has compiled a database of Large-Scale Conservation Projects and interviewed many practitioners involved in these schemes. This article reviews the findings to date and considers how the achievements of current and previous schemes can be taken forward.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 33 3-4-13 Large-scale conservation in Great Britain

Large-scale conservation in Great Britain: taking stock. Nicholas Macgregor, William Adams, Chris Hill, Felix Eigenbrod and Patrick Osborne, p.13 Open access and available for free

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Large-scale conservation in Great Britain: taking stock. Nicholas Macgregor, William Adams, Chris Hill, Felix Eigenbrod and Patrick Osborne

Abstract: Natural England has compiled a database of Large-Scale Conservation Projects and interviewed many practitioners involved in these schemes. This article reviews the findings to date and considers how the achievements of current and previous schemes can be taken forward.

Download article as PDF: ECOS 33 3-4-13 Large-scale conservation in Great Britain

Private and networked: Large Conservation Areas in Scotland. William Adams, p.24

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Private and networked: Large Conservation Areas in Scotland. William Adams

Abstract: Scotland contains large conservation areas of many kinds. These range from estates managed as vast nature reserves or with conservation in mind, through collaborations between neighbouring properties to projects to create ecological networks or promote conservation over large tracts of country.

 

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Landscape-scale conservation for butterflies and moths: lessons from the UK. Nigel Bourn, Sam Ellis and Caroline Bulman, p.34

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Landscape-scale conservation for butterflies and moths: lessons from the UK. Nigel Bourn, Sam Ellis and Caroline Bulman

Abstract: In recent years Butterfly Conservation has shifted the majority of its conservation work from a focus on single sites to networks of sites across a landscape. This article describes the main lessons from this experience.

 

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Landscape-scale conservation: A progress report from the Weald. Henri Brocklebank, p.43

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Landscape-scale conservation: A progress report from the Weald. Henri Brocklebank

Abstract: The Wildlife Trusts have been talking about ‘bigger, better and more joined-up’ conservation for many years, primed by their Living Landscape programme launched in 2006. The Trusts recognise the importance of moving outside nature reserve boundaries and looking at connectivity in the wider countryside. Policies are now catching up with this thinking and the Lawton Review paved the way for the larger-scale aspirations of the 2011 Natural Environment White Paper. This article reflects on work by the West Weald Landscape Partnership. The activity began in 2004, building on research into wildlife connectivity of this landscape from 1998.

 

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Landscape-scale conservation in the South West: Notes from the frontline. Lisa Schneidau, p.50

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Landscape-scale conservation in the South West: Notes from the frontline. Lisa Schneidau

Abstract: Nature Improvement Areas are the current ‘big thing’ in landscape-scale conservation approaches. But how do they differ from all the other schemes? And what are the challenges ahead?

 

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Wyre's future forest: new ventures in a wooded landscape. John and Linda Iles, p.56

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Wyre’s future forest – new ventures in a wooded landscape. John and Linda Iles

Abstract: The Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve sits alongside tracts of extensive commercial forestry. This article looks at local ventures in the area’s environmental management from the authors’ experience based at a community land trust at Uncllys Farm within Wyre. The article also looks at how conservation and forestry experience are combining to create a new management plan for the whole Wyre Forest area.

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Reintroducing charismatic species to Scotland: the rhetoric and politics of a 21st century agenda. Koen Arts, Anke Fischer and René van der Wal, p.61

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Reintroducing charismatic species to Scotland: the rhetoric and politics of a 21st century agenda. Koen Arts, Anke Fischer, René van der Wal

Abstract: Little attention is generally paid to how experts involved in species reintroductions argue, and how this relates to political decision-making. On the basis of text analysis of expert documents and in-depths interviews with key players in the Scottish reintroduction scene, this article provides insight into these matters.

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The Wildwood - giving up its secrets? Rick Minter, p.68

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. The Wildwood – giving up its secrets? Rick Minter

Abstract: Two children, two landowners and two zoologists were amongst visitors to the big cats stand at the 2012 Stroud Festival of Nature. Their comments and questions, summarised here, reflect different views on the parallel universe presented by big cats in Britain’s landscape.

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Book reviews, p.73

ECOS 33 (3/4) Winter 2012. Book reviews

Book reviews in this issue:

Fighting for birds: 25 years in Nature Conservation.  Mark Avery, 2012
Hadrian’s Widlife.  John Miles, 2012- Wild Hope: One the Front Lines of Conservation Success.  Andrew Balmford, 2012
Ramble On: The Story of Walking Britain.  Sinclair McKay, 2012
High Nature Farming in Europe: 35 European Countries – Experiences and Perspectives.  Rainer Oppermann, Guy Beaufoy, Gwyn Jones (eds), 2012
Convergence with Nature: A Daoist Perspective.  David Cooper, 2012

Download book reviews as PDF: ECOS 33 3-4-73 Book Reviews

2011 - 1 of 3 complete
Issue 32 (1) Spring
Editorial: Partners in crime? Geoffrey Wain, p.1
All you need is love? Gavin Saunders, p.2

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. All you need is love? Gavin Saunders

Abstract: Mapping out a positive way ahead for conservation beyond the current period of austerity needs more than just Lawton-type reports and corporate resolutions. We need to ask ourselves some searching questions: do we give proper credence to our personal motivations as conservationists? Do we really understand how social institutions work? Are we hiding behind financial and legal instruments instead of truly engaging with people as individuals and communities? Where’s the heart?

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Forest sales - After the storm. Ian Hodge and William Adams, p.9

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 201. Forest Sales – after the storm. Ian Hodge and William Adams

Abstract: On 27 January 2011, the British Coalition Government launched a consultation on the future of the Public Forest Estate in England. Less than a month later, beset by protest, it changed its mind. What are the implications of this policy vortex for conservation? What are the prospects for England’s forests?

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After the revolt - a sideways look at the Forest. Martin Spray, p.15

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. After the revolt – a sideways look at the Forest. Martin Spray

Abstract: Voices raised during the public alarm over the proposed forest sell offs raise deeper issues about the meaning of our contemporary forests, as this discussion of the Forest of Dean illustrates.

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Public forests - the wildlife NGOs: broken-backed but dangerous. David Bangs, p.23

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Public forests – the wildlife NGOs: broken-backed but dangerous. Dave Bangs

Abstract: The strife over Forestry Commission privatisation has shone a spotlight on the wider political role of the major conservation NGOs. Do they resolutely act to defend the public sector, or do they provide a soft introduction for harsh measures of privatization?

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Big Society and the environment - empowerment or takeover? Diane Warburton, p.27

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Big Society and the environment – empowerment or takeover? Diana Warburton

Abstract: The Big Society is seen as offering exciting new opportunities for the voluntary and community sectors, especially at local levels, in providing services for local people. This article questions the positive gloss given to the proposed changes, and examines the potentially dangerous implications for the voluntary and community sectors.

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Funding trends - the implications for future nature conservation. Jonathan Somper, p.34

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Funding trends – the implications for future nature conservation. Jonathan Somper

Abstract: This article looks at a number of significant strands of funding that have supported nature conservation in the UK over the last decade and considers how funding streams might change in the future.

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Educated and willing... but unemployed! The state of the conservation job market. Rachel Kempson, p.43

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Educated and willing… but unemployed! The state of the conservation job market. Rachel Kempson

Abstract: Embarking on a career in the current environmental-conservation job market is not an easy feat. There are things that you can do to influence your chances. However, most of all unguarded determination, being optimistic and undertaking activities that are worthwhile to conservation and help to develop your skills are important in the current situation of intense competition.

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Biodiversity's special year - a flagship or a flop? Andrew Harby, p.48

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Biodiversity’s special year – a flagship or a flop? Andrew Harby

Abstract: Are UN labels worth the effort for conservation groups? Do they offer more bland marketing or can they galvanize people’s commitment? This article looks at the mixed picture of how conservation groups harnessed the International Year of Biodiversity, and asks if any of us noticed it.

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Food for thought: the real costs of intensive farming. Ruth Boogert, p.52

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Food for thought: the real costs of intensive farming. Ruth Boogert

Abstract: Intensive industrial agriculture is at a crossroads. Trends in intensification and super-scale livestock units seem in conflict with the needs of healthier lifestyles. This article discusses the trends and issues and the alternatives.

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Deer management and biodiversity in England: the efficacy and ethics of culling. Simon Leadbeater, p.59

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Deer management and biodiversity in England: the efficacy and ethics of culling. Simon Leadbeater

Abstract: This article examines the issues associated with controlling deer numbers in order to protect biodiversity. It concludes that culling is in danger of becoming increasingly indiscriminate and that a different perspective derived from ethology and philosophy demands a new approach. The impact of deer on other species is largely true for a narrow range of habitats upon which relatively few species depend, species whose habitat should nonetheless be safeguarded.

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Wild rights - campaigning for the Tay beavers. Louise Ramsay, p.69
Big Birds in the UK: the reintroduction of iconic species. Peter Taylor, p.74

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Big Birds in the UK: the reintroduction of iconic species. Peter Taylor

Abstract: There has been over three decades of success with reintroduction of large birds, some
with fierce reputations among farmers and game keepers, and some demanding of habitat restoration and undisturbed nesting grounds. Are there lessons here for mammalian reintroduction programmes?

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From understanding to action - the consequences of how we label nature. Clare O'Reilly, p.81

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. From understanding to action – the consequences of how we label nature. Clare O’Reilly

Abstract: A recent popular science book on the history of taxonomy (Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science by Carol Kaesuk Yoon) portrays modern evolutionary biology as the enemy of natural history.

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Book reviews, p.86

ECOS 32 (1) Spring 2011. Book reviews

Books and play reviewed in this issue:
Mangroves and man-eaters and other wildlife encounters. Dan Freeman, 2011
The Species Seekers: Heroes, fools and the mad pursuit of life on Earth. Richard Conniff, 2011
Sacred natural sites: Conserving nature and culture. Bas Vershuuren et al (eds), 2010
Weeds: How vagabond plants gatecrashed civilisation and changed the way we think about nature. Richard Mabey, 2010
Wildlife of a garden: A thirty-year study. Jennifer Owen, 2010
Outside. Chris McCully, 2011
The dance of air and sea: How oceans, weather and life link together. Arnold Taylor, 2011
Greenland. A Play by Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner and Jack Thorne at the National Theatre (25th Jan-2nd April 2011)
The World of wolves: New perspectives on ecology, behaviour and management. Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani and Paul Paquet, 2010

Download reviews as PDF: ECOS 32-1-86 Book reviews

Issue 32 (2) Summer
Issue 32 (3/4) Autumn / Winter

In progress:

2010
2009
Issue 30 (1) Spring
What makes a 'protected area'? The new context from IUCN. Nigel Dudley, p.51

ECOS 30 (1) Spring 2009. What makes a good protected area? The new context from IUCN. Nigel Dudley

Abstract: A new international definition of a protected area gives greater emphasis to its nature conservation values than in the past and also improves the framework for classifying protected areas according to management objectives. What are the implications for the
UK, if any? This article reviews the changes, discusses UK protected areas in this context and makes some recommendations for future initiatives.

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Issue 30 (3/4) Winter
Full issue

ECOS 30 (3/4) Whole issue

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Editorial: A house without foundations. Martin Spray

Feature articles
– Ecology: what next? Jill Sutcliffe
– Plants in peril. Clare O’Reilly
– Critical choices for early ecology education. Karen Devine
– Getting started in conservation – better late than never. Ruth Boogert
– Getting started in conservation – climbing the rungs of the green ladder. Andrea Gear
– Going wild – reconnecting children with the natural world. Fiona Danks & Jo Schofield
– Looking ahead in conservation. Andrew Harby
– An all-consuming passion. James Robertson
– Where now ‘Hell and High Water’? Alastair McIntosh
– Rewilding the political landscape. Peter Taylor

Book reviews
• Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo
• From Peat Bog to Conifer Forest
• The Carrifran Wildwood Story
• The Wind farm Scam
• Managing Scotland’s Environment
• Where the Wild Things Were
• Conservation Refugees
• The Norse Mills of Lewis
• Shetland’s Crofting Culture
• The Handbook of Sustainable Literacy
• The Dark Mountain Manifesto
• Heaven and Earth – Global Warming, the Missing Science
• The Climate Caper
• A New Climate for Theology
• Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse
• Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air.

2008
2007
2006 - 2 articles available
Issue 27(2) Summer
A new vision for marine spatial planning. David Tyldesley, p.33

ECOS 27 (2) Spring 2006. A new vision for marine spatial planning. David Tyldesley

Abstract: Marine spatial planning would require radical reform of the planning and regulatory regimes of the marine environment, plus a reformed terrestrial planning system, meshed with Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

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Issue 27(3/4) Winter
Rewilding Middle England. Michael Jeeves, p.8

ECOS 27 (3/4). Rewilding Middle England. Michael Jeeves

Abstract: Must the central lowlands of England forever be tame? The opportunities for wild land in the region, and the threats to it, are explored in this article.

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2005 - 1 article available
Issue 26(3/4) Winter
Eradicating non-native mammals from islands: facts and perceptions. Helen Meech, p.72

ECOS 26 (3/4) Winter 2005 Eradicating non-native mammals from islands: facts and perceptions

Abstract: Can science alone determine when eradication of a non-native species is required?   And should a species be eradicated on the basis of its origins?

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1996 - 1 article available
Issue 17 (2) Spring
Biodiversity: Nature for Nerds? Paul Evans, p.7

ECOS 17 (2) Spring 1996 Biodiversity: Nature for Nerds? Paul Evans

Abstract: Biodiversity has emerged as a package of concerns with a political impetus which is forcing it above ‘Nature’ and ‘ecology’ in the issue stakes. There are those who believe that Nature, as it appears in the context of nature conservation, should be replaced by the notion of biodiversity – as if it’s the diversity of life which deserves our sole consideration and effort. Surely not?

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1993 - 1 article available
Issue 3/4 - Winter
Towards sustainability in the planning process: the role of EIA. David Pritchard, p.10

ECOS 14 (3/4). Towards Sustainability in the planning process: the role of EIA. David Pritchard

Abstract: Protection of biodiversity in the UK relies heavily on discretionary decision-making, in turn dependent on good assessment of the environmental effects of development. More ‘strategic’ environmental assessment will help deliver sustainability where it counts.

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1980
Issue 1 (1) - First ever issue of ECOS

ECOS 1 (1) 1980

Contents:
– Editorial p.2-3
– BANC Meetings p.3
– Landmarks in Conservation: An interview with Max Nicholson p.4-8
– The Countryside in 1980 by Jane Clifford and Philip Lowe p. 9-13
– Friends of the Earth Habitat Campaign by Tim Clarke, p.14-17
– Forward planning in conservation by David Goode, p. 18-21
– One man’s view, by Hanter Pobas, p.22-24
– Blue moves at Blean? by Christine Bradley, p.25-27
– Wash reclamation by Nick Pinder, p.28-29
– Corby Closures by Mark July, p.29
– The Countryside and Wildlife Bill by Pete Rayne, p.30-32
– Book reviews p.33-35
– News and Events p.36-38
– Letters to ECOS p.39

Download as PDF: ECOS 1-1 1980 whole issue