Our wildlife is in ‘crisis’ – ‘56% of UK species are in decline’ and ‘165 species are considered Critically Endangered in Great Britain’

Our wildlife is in ‘crisis’ according to a new report launched this month entitled the State of Nature, which brings together data and expertise from over 50 organisations (including BTO, RSPB, WWF, ZSL, National Trust, Woodland Trust, Butterfly Conservation et al). Britain’s wildlife is in ‘crisis’ as ‘56% of UK species are in decline’ and [...]

The State of Nature 2016: One in 10 UK wildlife species faces extinction

Over 50 wildlife organisations have compiled a stock take (The State of Nature Report) of all our native wildlife and it reveals that more than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether. In Scotland, one in every 11 species assessed is at risk of becoming [...]

Chapter IV – goodbye to wildlife?

In this heartfelt chapter of The Frightened Face of Nature, Maxwell Knight drops his guard and invites the reader to consider the unthinkable - "the virtual disappearance of nature". "Does such a question as that heading this chapter stem from the neurotic imaginings of a fanatic," he asks, "or is it one that can reasonably be [...]

Maxwell Knight and The Frightened Face of Nature

M’s (Maxwell Knight) Spectre: The Frightened Face of Nature

During the 1960s Maxwell Knight - the real-life "M" - was working on a manuscript entitled The Frightened Face of Nature, snatching brief moments to record his thoughts on how man had treated nature so unfairly for the first fifty years of the twentieth century. The manuscript documented Knight's greatest fears that, time was running out for nature and that its greatest threat was man's destructive revolution and the reverse of evolution. “By all means let man use his great powers to invent new devices; let him give of his best to see that all shall benefit from his genius in curing, healing, and housing those in want. But do not suggest that this can only be done by destroying what is fine to look at or listen to, whether in the arts or nature. If human brains can find means of defying space, improving means of communication and bouncing pictures off satellites, surely he can also discover ways in which these things can be done without destruction – for destruction first is the cry of mad revolution and is the reverse of evolution.” - Maxwell Knight The manuscript was kept under lock and key and it remained a secret until 2015 when the (hitherto unpublished) manuscript was discovered inside M's personal filing cabinet... Copyright: see acknowledgements