Wildlife Matters Blog written by staff, volunteers & guests

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“Simon Says” – Oil in Poole Bay: now is the time to stand up for wildlife
(Above an example of an offshore oil rig) Drilling in Poole Bay Recently a proposal to drill a 1,800m deep exploration oil well out at sea in Poole Bay was sent around for consultation.  It would be just 6 km (3.7 miles) east-north-east from Studland, somewhere south of about Boscombe pier.  Strictly speaking it was […]
“Simon Says” – The cost of wildlife crime in Dorset.
Dorset isn’t exactly the Caracas of the UK when it comes to crime rates, but we certainly do have several issues relating to wildlife crime that our staff, the police and various authorities have to deal with.  Some of you may not think of these as crimes, but some have received a lot of public […]
Species of the Month – The fascinating world of toads and toadspawn
My name is Jack Bedford and I am an Assistant Community Conservation Officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust. As part of my job, I am responsible for organising the ‘Species of the Month’ programme, our project for recording wildlife across the county. One of the best aspects of working on ‘Species of the Month’ is researching […]
“Simon Says” – Marine Plastic: Time to end the plastic tide
  A blue planet too Conservationists have been warning of the problems of plastic waste especially in our oceans for years, but were making little headway against the huge pro-plastic lobby.  It took just one programme fronted by Sir David Attenborough to change everything and finally break the impasse.  Blue Planet 2 showed various threats […]
“Simon Says” – The Future of Farming & Wildlife – “We stand on the cusp of a revolution in how we protect and manage the countryside.”
(Image above © Tony Bates) The future of farming A couple of months ago I sat in one of Kingston Maurward College’s conference rooms on a dark November evening with 100 or so good people.  It was the AGM of the Dorset NFU (National Farmers Union).  I was there despite recently having disagreed with several […]
“Simon Says” – Development: Don’t forget the environment
Changing politics As a result of some focussed and relentless lobbying of MPs, the Wildlife Trusts and most of the other main environmental groups in the country including RSPB, National Trust, Woodland Trust etc, we are starting to hear some positive messages from government about protecting the natural environment, in particular Environment Minister Michael Gove.  […]
“Simon Says” – Should we reintroduce nature?
(Above: Ladybird spider © James Hitchen) Back from the brink Much as the future of nature on our planet depends on the wealth of biodiversity, which includes creatures of all shapes and sizes from viruses to blue whales, it is often the charismatic megafauna that grabs our attention and spurs us to action.  Most people […]
“Simon Says” – Saving nature – one meeting at a time
  Saving animals In this monthly blog I have been trying to give readers an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in wildlife conservation and some of the issues that aren’t easily seen.  This month I want to deal with meetings.  No, please don’t stop reading – there’s more to that than meets […]
“Simon Says” – Is growth the main conservation issue?
(Above) A mountain of dogfish on a trawler Concerned scientists Recently I was sent an email from the Union of Concerned Scientists offering me the opportunity to sign a petition in the form of a declaration from scientists calling on humanity to curb environmental destruction.  I tend not to sign up to such petitions that […]
“Simon Says” – Stepping Stones
Stepping stones On this small island of ours where the population continues to increase, space is becoming increasingly limited and areas of protection are getting squeezed and isolated.  What would you say if I offered the UK a further 432,964 ha (over 1 million acres) of protected area potentially available to wildlife?  That’s a fifth of the size of […]


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