Telling the story of the world’s rarest duck with Peter Cranswick (January 2020)
In an earlier article on this site we looked at the history of the Madagascar Pochard and the reasons for its near-terminal decline. For this accompanying podcast Charlie Moores went to Slimbridge, WWT’s HQ, to talk with Peter about his work on the ground in northern Madagascar (with a team including his colleague, the renowned aviculturist Nigel Jarrett), and how the project changed from what he once described as “a hastily implemented rescue mission focused solely on a duck…into a genuinely holistic programme for wildlife and people“.
A Birdwatcher in Parliament with Sir John Randall (October 2019)
Charlie Moores had the opportunity to chat with John in October 2019. It’s often difficult to work out exactly where to start a conversation with someone who has achieved so much in so many roles, but he remembered a far-sighted speech that John had given in 2015 asking Parliament for leave to introduce a Bill “to set biodiversity and other targets for 2040; to establish a Natural Capital Committee; to require local authorities to maintain local ecological network strategies; to identify species threatened with extinction; to make provision for access to high quality natural green space; and to include education about the natural environment in the curriculum for maintained schools.”
They covered a range of topics from whether lobbyists have too much power and seeing Kirtland’s Warbler as a conservation model to starting a new ‘Wild Party’, but that speech seemed a pretty good place to start….
Eagle Warrior with author Gill Lewis (August 2019)
Charlie Moores met up with Gill in a National Trust garden, not far from where the author herself grew up.
The Common Pheasant (the potential impacts of a non-native bird) with Dr Mark Avery (July 2019)
Charlie Moores spoke with renowned conservationist, author and birdwatcher Dr Mark Avery on the publication of an article he’d written for the prestigious monthly journal British Birds titled ‘The Common Pheasant – its status in the UK and the potential impacts of an abundant non-native’. In their discussion they covered a wide range of the issues that Mark raised in his article – from pheasant ecology to predators, lead shot and Lyme’s Disease – but Charlie began by asking him just how many pheasants are there in the UK…?
Wild Justice | Challenging the General Licence with Dr Mark Avery, Director Wild Justice (March 2019)
Wild Justice is a not-for-profit company set up by three of the UK’s most renowned campaigners and conservationists: Dr Mark Avery, Chris Packham, and Dr Ruth Tingay. It launched on the 13th of February this year, with the aim of taking legal cases on behalf of wildlife against public bodies where they are failing to protect species and/or habitats. Legal action will be funded by public donations and crowdfunding appeals.
Charlie Moores went to meet Mark Avery to discuss the new organisation and why they’d chosen to start by mounting a legal challenge to the general licence, legislation which in the words of Wild Justice, has led to the casual killing of birds …but he began by asking him about the origins of Wild Justice: was he correct in supposing that as the three Directors and Carole Day from solicitors Leigh Day all worked together during the writing of ‘A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife’ last year, it had been then that talks about setting up what became Wild Justice had started…
From RSPB to OneKInd with Bob Elliot, former Head of Investigations RSPB now Director of OneKInd (March 2019)
As the Head of Investigations for the RSPB Bob went back onto grouse moors looking for dead birds of prey many times. He’s seen first hand the war being waged on our birds of prey and many of us in his position might have become embittered – tightly wound and unapproachable even – but as anyone who knows him will attest, Bob Elliot is an extremely genial, friendly and approachable man – unless, of course, you’re standing over a dead raptor with a bottle of carbofuran in your tweed jacket.
In 2018 Bob announced that he was leaving the RSPB to take up the role of Director of OneKind, a campaigning animal welfare charity based in Edinburgh. When I bumped into Bob at the People’s Walk for Wildlife in London in September I asked if we could talk for a podcast. ‘Let me get my feet under the table first’ he – quite understandably – replied, but just a few months later here we are, preparing to discuss wildlife crime investigation, golden eagles, the trophy hunting of goats in Scotland, Mountain Hares, OneKind, and what it’s like to move from Sandy to Scotland. Only, as Bob explains in answer to that particular question, he’s actually been in Scotland this whole time…
A conversation with Lizzie Bruce the RSPB’s NW Norfolk Reserves warden (Dec 2018)
Charlie Moores met up with Lizzie in her office at Titchwell to discuss her career, her future plans, and what he assumed must have been a childhood love of birds that had simply grown and grown…
Charlie Moores went to Norfolk to talk to Dawn in her office at the Nunnery
A conversation with Kevin Cox, Chair of the RSPB Council (October 2018)
In this interview Charlie Moores talks with Kevin about his commitment to conservation, publishing, and of course the RSPB – and in particular its ethical stance on predator control and its neutrality on shooting.
Birds and OSME with Dr Rob Sheldon, Chair Ornithological Society of the Middle East [OSME] (Sept 2018)
Charlie Moores met up with Rob to discuss his life in conservation and his new venture as a freelance conservation consultant.
Poole Harbour Ospreys 2018 (the chicks arrive) with team members inc Dr Tim Mackrill and Paul Morton (Birds of Poole Harbour) (July 2018)
Charlie Moores was on hand to witness the arrival of fourteen Osprey chicks, and talked with Paul Morton (Birds Of Poole Harbour), Tim Mackrill (Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation), and Brittany Maxted (manager of the Poole Harbour Osprey Project) about the birds, how it felt handling such a ‘precious cargo’, and how the team avoid the chicks imprinting on them rather than on the local area. Thanks also to project partners Wildlife Windows, a Poole-based nature tech company. Photo: Tim Mackrill with one of the Osprey chicks (copyright Ruth Peacey)
Osprey Leadership Foundation with Dr Tim Mackrill, founder Osprey Leadership Foundation (June 2018)
Charlie Moores went to the launch, and to chat with Tim about the Foundation and the species that has become the focus of his life’s work.
Portland Bird Observatory with Martin Cade, Warden Portland Bird Observatory (April 2018)