Interview with John Cooper (2010) reveals the source of his clinical diagnosis skills to be Major Maxwell Knight, Britain’s greatest MI5 spymaster and the original ‘Nature Detective’

Q: Who has been the most inspiring influence on your professional career? A: THE BBC NATURALIST AND BROADCASTER, MAJOR MAXWELL KNIGHT, WHO - THROUGH HIS WRITINGS AND PERSONAL TUITION - HELPED ME TO APPRECIATE THE NATURAL WORLD AND TAUGHT ME THAT BEING AN OBSERVANT "NATURE DETECTIVE" COULD ASSIST IN CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS AND WAS THE FOUNDATION OF FORENSIC INVESTIGATION. Acknowledgements: John Bonner and [...]

Commemorative Symposium: Maxwell Knight, the original “nature detective” and Second World War MI5 agent. Birkbeck College, London, Autumn, 2018

A half-day Symposium about Maxwell Knight, OBE, FLS, naturalist and Second World War MI5 agent, will be held at Birkbeck College, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, on a Saturday (date to be decided) in the Autumn of 2018. The meeting will be hosted by the British Herpetological Society (BHS) and supported [...]

Greenpeace: Join the fight against plastic pollution

SAY NO TO OCEAN PLASTICS https://youtu.be/BakHzyn_6GY   A truckload of plastic waste enters the ocean every minute... Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year and will take centuries to degrade. An area of plastic rubbish three times the size of the UK has been floating in the north Pacific for [...]

“The hand lens should be a weapon of mass education…every child under 10 should have one.” Dr George McGavin, 2017 Verrall Lecture

Green Brexit: Farm subsidies ‘must be earned’ – Michael Gove

Michael Gove, as environment secretary, has made Greenpeace UK's day by saying that farming subsidies must be earned and benefit the environment. Looking for a 'green Brexit,' Michael Gove may only be prepared to hand out payments when farmers agree to protect the environment and enhance rural life. "Huge news! Michael Gove has just said [...]

BBC News: “Hundreds of butterflies released into the wild by schoolchildren”

Hundreds of Painted Lady butterflies have been released into the wild by schoolchildren in Cumbria who nurtured them from caterpillars in the classroom. Watch the video here.

Government rules out GCSE in natural history

Dear Simon King, The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Develop a GCSE in Natural History.”. Government responded: There are existing opportunities in the curriculum to study natural history. Schools need time to adjust to the recent qualifications reforms, and there are no plans to introduce new GCSE subjects. The government has [...]

Should urban developers be forced to contribute to nature’s recovery in the UK?

By Simon H King With one in seven of the UK's wildlife species at risk of *extinction should property developers be encouraged (or forced) to contribute to nature's recovery? (*State of Nature report, 2016). 'The natural world needs our help as never before,' warns Sir David Attenborough in the forward to the State of Nature [...]

Maxwell Knight and snake skins – a new approach to an old challenge

  A Letter to The Editor The Herpetological Bulletin 18th June 2017 Dear Sir I was interested to read the Short Note “Lamination as a method of preserving sloughs” by Steven JR Allain and Mark J Goodman (The Herpetological Bulletin (2016) 138, 29-30). The technique they describe would appear to be an excellent approach to the [...]

Are you ready to take part in the big butterfly count?

Could butterflies be bouncing back to Britain?