The Vanishing: Europe’s farmland birds

The Head of Conservation for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia explains how intensive agriculture has made farmland birds one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe:  ‘Once upon a time, they were all around us,’ laments Iván Ramírez  – ‘sights and sounds as familiar as the dusky skies their flocks danced in or the…

Did you know Maxwell Knight?

Did you know Maxwell Knight? #Nature #Conservation #BBCNaturalHistory #MI5 @NHM_London @wwf_uk @ZSLconservation https://t.co/gmvWcj9BjY pic.twitter.com/3hNBWLo5oc — Simon King (@SimonHKing) October 14, 2016 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js If you knew Maxwell Knight or have been influenced by him please share your story with us (it will not appear on this blog (or in the book) without your approval).

Are butterflies slipping through our fingers?

The results for this year’s Big Butterfly Count are in and conservationists are already ‘scratching their heads,’ reports Butterfly Conservation. Over 38,000 counts were apparently completed and an almost unbelievable 396,138 butterflies were counted and – despite favourable weather conditions – 2016 will be a year where ‘common species saw their numbers collapse over summer.’ ‘Gatekeeper, Comma and…

Education: “It is the uninitiated that matter…

…They are the majority, and until more of them are made conservation conscious all or efforts will be wasted.” – Maxwell Knight (The Frightened Face of Nature – unpublished – Chapter XV). “Laws, rules and regulations will not themselves solve the problems of the future of wildlife,” wrote Knight in 1964 “It is only by education…

So what sort of person was the real-life “M”?

To answer that question, we need to better understand the contrast between Maxwell Knight’s (recently publicised) life as one of Britain’s most talented World War II spymaster’s – the original ‘M’ – and that of an early (largely unpublicised) environmentalist. Clearly he was an incredibly gifted man who had a sixth sense for identifying and…

How to Keep a Gorilla

On the 30th May 1967, Wolfe Publishing posted a book contract to Maxwell Knight to confirm terms for the fairly tongue-in-cheek “How to Keep a Gorilla.” The publisher wanted “something quite simple” – they wanted him to duplicate his previous book “How to Keep an Elephant” and they agreed to pay him the same terms. Inside the…