You know Britain is seriously at risk from a slash-and-burn and shock-and-awe ConDem coalition government when even the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds runs a campaign to protest against spending cuts. As good as the RSPB is it can hardly be characterised as an organisation which you would expect to see at the… Read More

Sociologist Anthony Giddens writes about the Catalan Parliament’s recent ban to outlaw bullfights and the British Government’s recent ban on hunting. Whilst short-term political manoeuvring is part of any explanation of the timing of such bans, for sociologists there has been a discernible long-term modern trend or social process towards the appreciation and conservation of… Read More

I made my first visit to Howletts earlier this week and will only briefly comment on it here. This is because I also want to visit soon Port Lympne. Both Howletts and Port Lympne are run by the Aspinall Foundation and was established by John Aspinall in 1957. His son, Damian, continues his father’s work.… Read More

Earlier this week another maturing baby Herring gull took her first steps on grass near my home in Old Town Hastings. She’s taking her first flight away from the nearby roof where she was raised over the last two months or so. I haven’t seen her since. I have to resist the urge to interfere… Read More

We’re now down to two baby Herring Gulls having started out with three, then, plus two, making a group of five. Of the three no longer present I can see that one of them died and the baby gulls have been feasting on the carcass. I don’t know what happened to the other two. The… Read More

The Observer profiles artist Polly Morgan, who explains her justification for using taxidermy in her art. As she explains it: “a) I don’t want to get in trouble with the animal-rights nutters, and b) even though I eat meat and killing for meat is quite a natural thing to do, killing something and trying to… Read More

The BBC reports a “controversial cull of around 1,500 badgers in south-west Wales has been halted after protesters won their legal challenge to stop it. The Badger Trust appealed against Welsh Assembly Government plans for a trial cull to reduce TB within cattle.”… Read More

Wonders why …is it so crucial that bovine TB is eradicated? You might well ask. The true answer is that, health-wise for humans, it is not important at all. It’s all about money. The farming laws of Europe dictate that if any herd has had an infected cow in it, the herd cannot be sold… Read More

Apologies for not keeping everyone up to date with the progress of the baby Herring gulls I watch from my home office window, which requires me at times to squeeze myself into a small space and contort myself out of the window to take photos. First, the sad news. The five baby gulls I’ve been… Read More

Earlier this year Michael Foster, who was the Labour MP for Hastings and Rye before his defeat by Conservative candidate Amber Rudd at the general election in May, presented a petition of 4,000 names to Parliament in support of the Hunting Act 2004. Michael recently forwarded to me the official response from the now Tory… Read More

The remaining country in the UK to allow hare coursing, Northern Ireland, voted in the assembly on June 22 to ban the bloodsport. The narrow vote — 23 – 18 — was after a seven-hour debate. It is reported that the ban will be in effect later this year.  Whereas this is a most welcome development… Read More

Suddenly you wake up one day to discover there are five — not three — baby Herring Gulls! I took this photograph early this morning. It’s possible that there were always five but we only saw a maximum of three at any one time. It’s also possible the two newcomers, who are slightly smaller, slid down… Read More