A conversation with Dr Mark Avery, former RSPB Conservation Director, birder, blogger, and writing dynamo. In this wide-ranging (and often irreverent) chat we discuss ‘Fighting for Birds‘ – the second book Mark has written since leaving the RSPB – politics, future conservation policy, farmland birds, why the ‘shooting industry’ should be be keeping its nose clean, whether Mark would accept an OBE for services to conservation (or, indeed, take up a seat as Lord Avery of Raunds should it be offered)…and Mark unkindly mocks his interviewer for not noticing a Sparrowhawk which flew (in my defence) behind me.
The podcast was recorded in two separate outside locations, as Cambridgeshire’s previously quietest village suddenly became inundated with traffic and the rain started to fall necessitating a move (keen birders will hear the difference immediately I suspect). There is therefore some distracting background noise in this rather long podcast, but rather than repeatedly keep starting the conversation again I preferred to keep the flow of the more spontaneous discussion we were having. I think it was the right decision…
Mark Avery is a scientist by training and a naturalist by inclination. He worked for the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) for 25 years – for the last 12 of those as its Conservation Director. As a senior figure in UK nature conservation Mark played a part in buying land for nature reserves, projects to reintroduce threatened species and campaigning to change government policy on farming, fisheries, forestry and energy production.
Mark’s latest book, published by Pelagic Publishing www.pelagicpublishing.com is entitled ‘Fighting for Birds – 25 years in nature conservation’. The foreword is written by Chris Packham.
Mark says ‘I love the natural world. In my writing I aim to describe its beauty and stand up for it when it is under threat. The world of nature needs all the help it can get‘.
Follow Mark on Twitter @markavery
Mark writes a daily blog about UK wildlife issues at http://www.markavery.info/blog/
Like Mark’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/MarkAveryauthor
- Read Bo Beolen’s review on Fatbirder at Reviews: Fighting for Birds
Click here to subscribe to Talking Naturally on iTunes. It’s free!