Campaigns and Conservationists

Podcasts with campaigners on a wide range of conservation/environmental issues. From campaigns to ban trophy hunting and clean up ghost gear to protesting about destructive developments and halting insect decline, campaigners and conservationists discuss the issues facing the world’s wildlife and offer solutions to tackle them.

Getting the most from being outside with Elaine Rainey, Project Officer Scottish Badgers (May 2020)

Welcome to a podcast made to support Wild Wellbeing Week, a project being run as part of Let’s Notice Nature, a joint initiative of Scottish Badgers and the Scottish Wildlife Trust delivered as part of the National Lottery supported ‘Earn Your Stripes’ project – a skills development programme promoting diversity and social inclusion. To bring together a wealth of tips and practical suggestions for getting the most of your time outside, Charlie Moores talked with Elaine Rainey, Project Officer for Scottish Badgers.

Forty Years of Dolphin Conservation with Dr Mike Bossley (May 2020)

Australian conservationist and scientist Dr Mike Bossley is famed for his work studying the dolphins that live in Adelaide’s Port River. He’s known many of them since they were young watching them grow up, form friendship groups and start their own families. Dedicated to helping the dolphins, Mike has tirelessly documented human impacts on their health – from pollution and boat strikes to deliberate harassment and the increasing demands of visitors for dolphin encounters. He is also fascinated by their social complexity and documented the spread of “tail walking” through the Port River Pod.

Philippa Brakes and Carl Safina discussing animal culture and their work (May 2020)

This podcast, a conversation between Charlie Moores and marine conservationists Philippa Brakes and Carl Safina, is the fourth in a short series of posts on animal culture – which is perhaps most easily thought of as “if behaviour is what animals do, then culture is how they do it”: it’s about social learning, the passing on of knowledge, and that may be as important as genetic adaptation for survival.

Animal Culture and Conservation with Philippa Brakes (April 2020)  

While researching for a series of podcasts looking at how the Covid-19 pandemic was impacting conservation Charlie Moores was put in touch with Phillipa Brakes, a research fellow at Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Philippa and Charlie had spoken before and at the time had prepped a podcast on animal sentience which they’d not been able to record. Charlie had planned to pick up on the subject again – but read a relatively short paper that Philippa had co-written on how animal culture needed to be taken into account when considering their conservation, which included striking sentences such as: “most profoundly, culture can play a causal role in establishing and maintaining distinct evolutionary trajectories”. Discuss, indeed!

Working to save Curlews with Mary Colwell (January 2020)  

In 2016 naturalist and broadcaster Mary Colwell walked 500 miles across Ireland, northern Wales, and England to raise awareness of how the once-common Common Curlew Numenius arquata was disappearing from the countryside. As she wrote at the time, ” I undertook this walk alone and unpaid. I am passionate about saving these birds.”
In the years that have followed, Mary has written a book about her travels (Curlew Moon), won the WWT Marsh Award for Wetland Conservation, launched a charity (Curlew Action), and launched a Crowdfunder to help her create a Curlew Fieldworker Toolkit which met its target just days before Charlie Moores went across to Bristol to talk with Mary for this interview. As he discovered, her passion for Curlews is burning as brightly as ever!

Natural History GCSE with Mary Colwell (January 2020)  

Many of us with an interest in the natural world have known for years that children and young people are spending less and less time outdoors. Losing their connection with nature. A recent survey suggested that many children can’t identify common garden flowers. Half couldn’t identify arguably the UK’s most distinctive bird – the Kingfisher. A fifth of young people can’t identify a badger (despite one featuring in the badge of Harry Potter’s very own Hufflepuff House).

Many of us have known for years that basic natural history knowledge is draining away, but few of us have done anything about it. But then, few of us are Mary Colwell.
A Bristol-based naturalist and broadcaster, Mary has a remarkable can-do attitude. As she says in this interview, “If I see a problem I want to try and solve it. I may not get it right, but I’m going to try, and until we try we won’t know, will we…”

Eco-anxiety at work with Dr Cathleen Thomas, Suzy Hill, and Rae Stanton-Smithson (December 2019) 

‘Eco-anxiety’ is described by Psychology Today as “a fairly recent psychological disorder afflicting an increasing number of individuals who worry about the environmental crisis”. It adds that some people “are deeply affected by feelings of loss, guilt, helplessness and frustration due to their inability to feel like they are making a difference…” Sufferers say that “no matter what they do, they are convinced that it is never enough”.

My name is Charlie Moores, and as well as creating podcasts for Lush I coordinate our War on Wildlife Project, working to help tackle what we see as humanity’s war on wildlife. For part of a mental health awareness campaign at Lush I was privileged to help bring together two other Lush employees, Suzy Hill and Rae Stanton-Smithson, and the RSPB’s Dr Cathleen Thomas, who works in the RSPB’s Hen Harrier Life Project for a conversation about eco-anxiety, our own feelings of guilt, and how important it is that employers recognise the signs of eco-anxiety in their staff.

Pesticide Action Network with Nick Mole (November 2019)

Nick Mole is Policy Officer with Pesticide Action Network UK, a charity which works to promote safe and sustainable alternatives to hazardous pesticides.

In this podcast Charlie Moores and Nick talked about the rise of pesticide use, the ‘cocktail effect’, supporting farmers with information on alternatives, and the role that cheap food plays in pesticide use, but Charlie began by suggesting to Nick that the pesticide industry perhaps epitomises the War On Wildlife more clearly than almost anything else…

The Complex Issue of Trophy Hunting with Professor Adam Hart (October 2019)

Back in December 2018 a letter – or more properly a response to a previous letter – was published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Titled, “The Complex Issue of Big Game Trophy Hunting”, the letter was signed by forty-five organisations and individuals. Charlie Moores forgot all about the letter until one of its more familiar signatories – Professor Adam Hart of the University of Gloucestershire, a well-known and much-respected academic and champion of social insects like ants and wasps – became embroiled in a heated Twitter conversation on trophy hunting, after commenting on recent UK government proposals to debate a ban on the import of trophies taken by UK hunters and referring back to the December letter. As so often happens on Twitter the nuances of the for and against arguments became lost.

Adam suggested that Charlie come up to the University to record a podcast with him. They focussed on the content of the letter and a more general overview of conservation where trophy hunting takes place in Africa.

Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting with Eduardo Goncalves (July 2019)

“…how the Hell are we going to justify that to our grandchildren…that we hunted and killed these animals to extinction, just for fun…”
How is the slaughter of wild animals from Elephants and Lions to Bears and Oryx simply to collect them as trophies allowed in the 21st century, when we know that biodiversity loss is rampant and populations of wild animals everywhere are falling, that climate change is threatening to collapse ecosystems worldwide, and that animals are sentient, form family bonds and feel fear and pain?
Charlie Moores went to speak with Eduardo Goncalves, the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting to find out.

The Shark Trust with managing director Paul Cox (June 2109)

Read the word ‘shark’ and chances are that the image that pops into your head will be pretty much the same image that will pop into the heads of many of the people around you: a big, sinister, dangerous animal. With sharp teeth.
The truth, like most things in nature, is far more interesting of course.
There are around 500 extant species, with new species being discovered almost every year – in fact, roughly a fifth of current living sharks and the closely-related rays have been described since 2002. The smallest shark is less than 20 cm long – the largest, the Whale Shark, can grow to around 12 metres, weigh 19000kg, and feeds almost exclusively on plankton. They are one of the planet’s most beautifully evolved but most threatened predators: over 100 million sharks are caught and killed each year and many species are in sharp decline.
Charlie Moores went to meet Paul Cox, managing director of UK-based charity Shark Trust, to find out more about protecting and promoting these fascinating fish…

Birdgirl with Mya-Rose Craig (June 2019)

16-year-old Mya-Rose Craig is a young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. Based near Bristol in the UK, she uses her Birdgirl blog to write posts about birding, conservation and environmental issues from around the world.
But while Mya’s perhaps best known as a birdwatcher, she’s also a courageous advocate for human rights, talks about the need to get VME or Visible Minority Ethnic people access to the countryside, is President of Black2Nature which she set up when she was fourteen, and has organised nature camps for children and teenagers since 2015. She’s also blunt about the failure of conservation NGOs to accurately represent the diversity of people in the UK.
Charlie Moores talked with a slightly weary Mya-Rose the day after she’d got back home after spending the weekend in London as part of the Extinction Rebellion protests – but we began – and how could we not – with birds…

Lions, Bones, and Bullets with author and filmmaker Richard Peirce (June 2019)

The Lion: King of the Jungle, the Big Beast, star of the Lion King, one of the world’s best known and best-loved animals – or perhaps more accurately a wild cat of the open plains whose population, according to a 2015 statement by the IUCN, has declined approximately 42% over the past 21 years, and the unwitting star of the chilling 2015 documentary ‘Blood Lions‘, which uncovered the realities of the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa. From magnificent predators we have turned Lions into inbred animals farmed in miserable conditions across southern Africa, animals rented out to be cuddled by so-called ‘voluntourists’ then sold on to be shot in their enclosures by trophy hunters in canned hunts, animals whose bones are boiled down to service the demands of traditional Chinese medicine now that Tigers have been exploited to the point of extinction.
Charlie Moores met up with conservationist, activist, author and filmmaker Richard Peirce to discuss the impact of ‘Blood Lions’ and his own excellent 2018 book ‘Cuddle Me, Kill Me‘, a scathing and in-depth investigation of South Africa’s large-scale captive lion breeding industry, from, as the book puts it, bottle to bullet. Richard is now deep into the making of an investigative documentary, ‘Lions, Bones, and Bullets‘.

Sizewell C and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB with Tom Langton, Rachel Fulcher, Joan Girling, and Adam Rowlands (June 2019)

French energy giant EDF Energy has submitted a proposal to build a new power station at Sizewell, adjoining two existing power stations Sizewell A and Sizewell B. The site lies in the heart of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and right next to the RSPB’s flagship reserve at Minsmere. EDF Energy says that Sizewell C has “the potential to generate the reliable low carbon energy the country needs for decades“, while opponents say the development will “lay waste” to vast swathes of the countryside – much of which is legally protected.
Charlie Moores went to Suffolk to talk with ecologist Tom Langton, Rachel Fulcher, coordinator of the Suffolk Coastal Group of Friends of the Earth, former local councillor Joan Girling, and Adam Rowlands, Senior Site Manager at RSPB Minsmere to get their take on what Sizewell C would mean to the local environment and to local communities.
(Photo of the shingle beach at the Sandlings with Sizewell A and B by Charlie Moores)

Biotope (Environmental Architecture) with Tormod Amundsen

In 2009 Tormod Amundsen decided to move everything he owned to a run-down fishing town in the Arctic circle that at the time was languishing at the bottom of a list of ‘the worst places in Norway to start a business’ – and start a business. That business was Biotope, “the world’s first and only architectural office with special expertise on birds and birdwatching. We engage in pro nature projects. We design bird hides, shelters, nature trails, outdoor amphitheaters and much more. We make destination development studies, exhibitions and arrange workshops. We develop new concepts for experiencing nature and wildlife.”
Charlie Moores met up with Tormod in April 2019 at WWT Slimbridge to discuss that move north, Tormod’s disillusionment with the way he was taught architecture, Gullfest – the birding event he set up, a raft of 10,000 King Eider – and watching Steller’s Eider from the office window!

Pont Valley | Coal mining, Newts, and Climate Change with Don Kent and Tom Langton (May 2019)

“We now know there is more coal sitting on the surface than can ever be burnt by 2025 {the date the UK has agreed to phase out coal] …it’s almost a last ditch effort to squeeze every last ounce of profit out before coal disappears…
Protest, climate change, fossil fuels vs renewables, development vs biodiversity loss, resources vs a fragile natural world, opencast coal mining, a County Wildlife Site, and the Great Crested Newt – all, remarkably, encapsulated in the story of the campaign to Protect the Pont Valley in County Durham. There is no doubt that what is happening in the Pont Valley is hugely important – not just at the local level but in the way it fits into larger, big picture conversations and actions that are taking place all over the planet at the moment.
Charlie Moores talks with local campaigner Don Kent (Campaign to Protect the Pont Valley) and Tom Langton (a highly-experienced ecologist who – literally – wrote the book on conserving the Great Crested Newt).

Road Verges Campaign with Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife Botanical Specialist (May 2019)

“…verges are actually fascinating habitats…because they are these fragments of the surrounding countryside that are preserved along ancient routes...”
Most of us are aware now that biodiversity is in decline. Plant biodiversity here in the UK has especially suffered: wildflowers have been lost from huge areas of Britain, and so have the pollinators and other invertebrates that depend on them. Conservationists are having to look to protect what’s left of our wildlife in areas that may not be optimal, but that nevertheless holds a surprisingly important range of flora and fauna. Along with our gardens, one of those areas is our rural road verges, those largely county council-owned strips of land next to our roads which, according to the UK charity Plantlife, make up a network that is equal to half of the country’s remaining flower-rich grasslands and meadows.
Charlie Moores spoke with Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife’s exuberant Botanical Specialist, about the charity’s excellent Road Verge Campaign, which has been having positive and hugely encouraging results. Road verges may have the potential to literally re-seed our denuded countryside and looking after them sounds like such a simple solution to plant biodiversity loss, but do we actually have the data to quantify just how important our road verges really are?

Badgers, BSE, and wild animal welfare with Alick Simmons, former Deputy Chief Vet at Defra (May 2019)

Alick Simmons is a veterinarian, naturalist and photographer with a particular interest in the ethics of wild animal management and welfare. After a period in private practice, he began a notable 35-year career as a Government veterinarian. He was Veterinary Director at the Food Standards Agency between 2003 and 2007 and was then appointed Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer of Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). During an eventful life in government, he was heavily involved in the control of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) and was key in decisions made around eradicating bovine tuberculosis (or Btb) which lead to the start of the government’s current badger culling strategy.
Charlie Moores met up with Alick at his home in rural Somerset. The following conversation looks at his early life, his career, BSE and the badger cull, his love of wildlife, his current views on animal welfare and disease control, and how a scientist used to working with data and statistics deals with ethical considerations involving sentience and the ‘value’ we put on wild animals.
(Photo Alick Simmons in Morocco, March 2019)

Grey Squirrels and the Invasive Alien Species Order 2019 with Pauline Kidner, founder of Secret World Wildlife Rescue (April 2019)

In the eyes of the law, the Grey Squirrel is an invasive species which means that it is illegal to release one into the wild except under licence or allow it to escape after capture. And now the law is getting even tougher on them. Under legislation called the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 release licences will no longer be issued to – for example – animal rescue centres. What does that mean on the ground to rescuers and carers, to vets, to the welfare of Grey Squirrels themselves (and they are sentient animals whatever your personal opinion of them might be)?
Charlie Moores went to Secret World Wildlife Rescue to talk with its founder, Pauline Kidner, about how she thinks the new Order will impact squirrels, the staff at Secret World, and how it reflects a wider disconnect with wild animals and their welfare.

Wild Animal Welfare Committee Conference 2019 with Libby Anderson, WAWC Secretary and OneKind Policy Advisor (April 2019)

In March 2019 the Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) held a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was framed around the question: “Who are the guardians of wild animal welfare?”
Charlie Moores was invited to the conference by Libby Anderson, WAWC Secretary and animal charity OneKind’s Policy Advisor, and they recorded the following conversation the next day which looks at the origins of WAWC and why so many wild animals (as separate from farmed, research, or companion animals) are not – at the moment anyway – protected by welfare legislation.
(Photo Dr Angus Nurse presenting to the conference by Charlie Moores).

Cairngorm Conservation with conservationist Alan Bantick OBE (April 2019)

Allan Bantick OBE has had a remarkable career in conservation. Roles in the past have included Chair of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Chair of the Scottish Beaver Trial, Vice Chairman of Scottish Badgers, Founder Member of the National Species Reintroduction Forum, Member of the Scottish Biodiversity Committee and Trustee of The Wildlife Trusts. In February this year he stepped down as Chair of the Scottish Wildcat Action Steering Group, but remains a Trustee of Scottish Badgers and sits on the Scottish Environment Link Wildlife Forum and Wildlife Crime Sub Group.
Charlie Moores went to visit Allan in March and recorded the following interview in the Strathspey Badger Hide, which looks one way onto a huge hillock that’s been assiduously mined by badgers for decades and the other towards the River Spey and the mountains and pine forests that make this part of the world such a wonderful place to visit.

Campaigning at IFAW UK with David Cowdrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns (March 2019)

One review on Linked In of David Cowdrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the UK offices of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, begins by saying that “David’s boundless enthusiasm and creativity is only matched by his expertise and professionalism”. In an email exchange when setting up this podcast, IFAW’s press officer Frankie Ion wrote that “David has been working across the animal welfare and environmental sectors for nearly 25 years and is incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about the issues facing animals and the environment today”.
Charlie Moores went to meet David in London and found both to be true – and a man who is absolutely, genuinely in conservation because he absolutely, genuinely loves conservation and wildlife! The conversation begins with David talking about one of his great loves – elephants – and explaining how he helped pilot one of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world through the UK Parliament: the Ivory Act 2018.

Climate Change Campaigner with Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland (Feb 2019)

Climate change is shifting the goalposts. Things are happening much faster than was expected, and the impacts are worse than had been predicted. And now it’s time to do more.
Caroline Rance joined Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) in 2017 after a year working as Campaigns Manager with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. As a Climate and Energy Campaigner her focus has been primarily on Scotland’s Climate Change Bill. FoES want to see that law ramping up action to cut Scotland’s climate emissions over the next decade, driving cleaner transport, more renewable energy and energy-efficient homes, and delivering a just transition to a zero-carbon future.
Charlie Moores talked with Caroline in the FoES offices, covering a range of climate issues and a new coalition, Revive, which is looking at reform of Scotland’s intensively-managed grouse moors (which cover almost a fifth of Scotland).

Saving the Gwent Levels with Ian Rappel, Chief-exec Gwent Wildlife Trust (Jan 2019)

In December 2018 Charlie Moores – along with several hundred protesters – gathered outside the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff Bay, for a protest against a proposed 20km or 14-mile long extension to the M4 motorway, the main road connecting South Wales and London. This new road will slice through the Gwent Levels – and five SSSis and a Special Area of Conservation – south of the city of Newport.
The protest was organised by CALM – the Campaign against the Levels Motorway, a coalition of mainly local groups.
One of the people Charlie spoke with outside the Senedd that day was Ian Rappel, chief-executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT). Ian suggested Charlie visit the Trusts’ Magor Marsh Reserve, to see for himself how the reserve might be damaged by the new road. In the following January Charlie spent a fascinating day looking at the Gwent Levels and then at Magor Marsh with Ian and GWT’s deputy CEO Gemma Bode.
Photo copyright Gwent Wildlife Trust

Sharkwater Extinction with Sandy Stewart, Sharkwater (Dec 2018)

Rob had a saying, ‘You don’t have to make films, you don’t have to save sharks if that’s not your thing – take what you love, and take what you’re good at, put them together and save something’….” After witnessing the indiscriminate killing of sharks within marine reserves, Canadian conservationist, photographer, and film documentary maker Rob Stewart became determined to change public attitudes towards one of the planet’s most maligned and misunderstood animals. In 2006 he premiered the groundbreaking ‘Sharkwater‘ which explored the beauty of sharks and put the devastating issue of shark finning on the world stage. Rob’s second film ‘Revolution‘ was the first to alert the world to the catastrophic effects of our carbon emissions on ocean acidification, a process that is devastating coral reefs, may destroy 25% of fish populations, and could potentially kill the oceans themselves. Rob Stewart returned to his beloved sharks for his third film ‘Sharkwater: Extinction‘. Tragically the visionary who inspired a whole generation of conservationists drowned off the Florida Keys in January 2017 before the film was finished. Rob Stewart’s death shocked the conservation world, but the producers – which included his mother and father Sandy and Brian – were determined to continue the project: using the hours of spectacular, ultra high definition footage already collected and an extensive set of Rob’s detailed production notes they were able to complete the film and ‘Sharkwater: Extinction’ premiered in Toronto on October 2018.
In December 2018 Sandy Stewart was in London for a private screening of ‘Sharkwater: Extinction’ and Charlie Moores spoke with her just hours before that screening. They talked about the film and about Rob and the almost incalculable impact he has had on the public perception of sharks – but Charlie began by asking a mother how proud she was of her son…

Campaign Against the Levels Motorway with various speakers at the Welsh Senned (Dec 2018)

In early December 2018 several hundred campaigners gathered outside the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff Bay for a protest against a proposed M4 motorway extension that would slice through the nationally-important Gwent Levels. The protest was organised by Campaign against the Levels Motorway and took place on the same day that a key assembly vote on whether to green-light the relief road was scheduled to take place.
Charlie Moores joined the event and recorded some of the speeches as well as interviewing representatives from CALM, the Green Party, RSPB Cymru, and Gwent Wildlife Trust.

Ghost Gear with Peter Kemple Hardy, World Animal Protection (Sept 2018)

Each year at least 640,000 tonnes of ‘ghost gear‘ — abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear — is added to the rubbish accumulating in our oceans. Estimated to represent 10% of all marine debris, ghost gear mutilates and kills millions of marine animals every year, including endangered whales, seals, and turtles, and compared with all other forms of human-caused marine debris it is four times more likely to impact marine life through entanglement than all other forms of marine debris combined.
Charlie Moores met with Peter Kemple Hardy, Campaigns Manager at the charity World Animal Protection, to discuss the problems of ‘ghost gear’ and the solutions being put in place to tackle a threat that could spell catastrophe for marine ecosystems.
Photo copyright John Moncrieff (used with permission)

Tawai – a connection with nature with Bruce Parry (Aug 2018)

Perhaps best known for the BBC series Tribe and Amazon, Bruce Parry has built upon those previous experiences and encounters to a create a powerful and visually stunning film titled ‘‘Tawai’ – a word used by the nomadic hunter-gatherers of Borneo to describe their inner feeling of connection to nature. Tawai is a quest for reconnection, providing a powerful voice from the heart of the forest itself.
Tawai went on general release in September 2017, and ahead of its launch Bruce sat down with Charlie Moores and Lush’s Matt Shaw to discuss the film and how making it has deeply affected and changed him.

The Black Bee Project with Phil Chandler (The Barefoot Beekeeper) (July 2018)

I love being out here, I love Dartmoor, I love the open air and open spaces, and I love working with bees – what could be better…?”
Expert beekeeper and conservationist Phil Chandler, ‘The Barefoot Beekeeper‘, is working on a project to restore populations of the UK’s native wild honeybee, the Northen European Dark or Black Bee Apis mellifera mellifera.
Charlie Moores met up with Phil near to the project’s core area on Dartmoor in south-west England to discuss honeybees, the changing countryside, the Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina, an invasive non-native species from Asia and a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees), and an extraordinary work ethic.
For more information please go to Friends of the Bees.

Stuart Housden OBE with Stuart Housden, former Director of RSPB Scotland (June 2018)

Stuart Housden OBE, retired last year after 41 years at The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Affectionately nicknamed The Monarch of the Glen, Stuart began his remarkable career based at RSPB headquarters The Lodge in Bedfordshire, before heading north where he spent more than twenty years as the Director of RSPB Scotland.
Charlie Moores met up with Stuart at the RSPB’s offices in Edinburgh in May this year, where they talked about his work, persecution of birds of prey, his work with Regua Brazil (whose mission is the long-term conservation of the Atlantic Forest and its biodiversity in the Guapiaçu watershed in the state of Rio de Janeiro), and ‘what comes next’.

Spring Bees with environmentalist Brigit Strawbridge Howard (April 2018)

One of the great things about Solitary bees is that different species emerge at different times of the year, right through – the latest to emerge is the Ivy Bee in September or October time – but they’re so clever, because they emerge at the time that their preferred flower comes into bloom…”
How many bee species do we have here in Britain? Perhaps surprisingly, there are more than two hundred and seventy and just one of those makes the honey that bees are famous for!
Charlie Moores met up with renowned naturalist and writer Brigit Strawbridge Howard, to discuss ‘spring bees’ at Brigit’s allotment in Shaftesbury, Dorset, to a backdrop of Jackdaws, Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens and the occasional Buzzard mewing overhead…

Protecting Animals in Parliament with Kerry McCarthy MP (March 2018)

Just how complicated is it to protect animals via Parliamentary process? If anyone remembers the mess the British government got into when discussing animal sentience, the EU Withdrawal Bill, and transferring the principle contained in Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty late last year, the answer is “very complicated indeed”.

In March 2018 Charlie Moores talked with Bristol East Labour MP Kerry McCarthy, the first vegan elected to the British Parliament and a passionate animal advocate, about her work and her role on the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee in the House of Commons.

Different Roads Same Destination with Charlie Moores and Dr Nial Moores, founders Birds Korea (Feb 2018)

Two brothers, both passionate about birds, both working to protect the environment, both on different but intersecting paths.

Andrew Paine talks with Charlie Moores, now a podcaster and audio producer with Lush, and Dr Nial Moores, a conservationist who’s been living and working in East Asia for more than twenty years. (Image: Yellowhammer [creative commons] and Spoon-billed Sandpiper [by Nial Moores])

Turkey’s Indigenous Production Landscapes with Guven Eken, Doga Denergi (BirdLife Turkey) (Feb 2018)

Doga Dernegi, the BirdLife International partner in Turkey, recently launched a fascinating conservation programme focussing on high nature value olive-tree pastures in Anatolia because of their huge importance to biodiversity – which for Doga (and Guven) includes the indigenous people who have grown olives there for thousands of years as well as the scarce wildlife found in this threatened habitat.

Charlie Moores attended a mesmerising talk at the Lush Summit 2018 by one of Doga’s co-founders Guven Eken, and then sat down with Guven later that day to learn more.

World Wetlands Day 2018 with Andy Graham, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (Jan 2018)

World Wetlands Day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar – all of which might make a listener ask, ‘What has any of this got to do with me?’

More than you might think…Charlie Moores went to Slimbridge, the UK headquarters of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) to ask Andy Graham to explain exactly why.

Not Whale Food: Marine Pollution with Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s chief-exec Chris Butler-Stroud and Policy Officer Pine Eisfeld-Pierantonio (Dec 2017)

We have a responsibility to speak up for them and ensure that we are protecting that shared environment so that they can thrive and actually as they thrive we will thrive – we just need to stand up, stand together, and make some small choices in our lives…

Marine pollution – plastic especially – is everywhere. Charlie Moores talks with Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s chief-exec Chris Butler-Stroud and Policy Officer Pine Eisfeld-Pierantonio about the impact pollution has on whales and dolphins – and ultimately, perhaps, on us. Image credit Whale and Dolphin Conservation (from the website)

Saving Sumatra’s Orangutans with Helen Buckland, Director Sumatran Orangutan Society (Nov 2017)

I describe myself personally – and I suppose this seeps into the fabric of the organisation – as a pragmatic optimist. We’re not going to save every tree, we’re not sadly going to save every Orangutan, but we are making great strides towards a brighter future for the species and their forests.”

Charlie Moores meets the Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Society – aka SOS Orangutan – Helen Buckland to discuss Orangutans, the Leuser Ecosystem, working partnerships, and the possible conservation implications for SOS Orangutan of the recent announcement of the Tapanuli Orangutan, a new species confined to forest in Northern Sumatra. Photo credit Gita Defoe. Used with permission

The Windscreen Phenomenon (Insect Decline) with Matt Shardlow, chief exec Buglife (Oct 2017)

If you think back twenty or thirty years, cars would get splattered with stuff, you’d be driving at night and there’d be clouds of moths in the headlights – very rare that you get that these days…”

Charlie Moores talks with Matt Shardlow, chief executive of the charity Buglife, about changing perceptions about ‘bugs’ and why invertebrates matter, pesticide overuse, and remaining optimistic in the face of reports like the recently published German study which showed a massive decline in flying insects over a twenty-seven year period.

The Lush Charity Pot with Becca Lush (July 2017)

In 2007 Lush created the Charity Pot body cream to raise money for charities and other good causes, with 100% of the retail price paid by customers buying the product (minus the VAT, which has to go to the Government) given away to fund grassroots organisations working on animal protection, human rights and environmental issues all around the world.

Charlie Moores talks with Becca Lush, one of the key figures in the development of Charity Pot, about her role and how proud she is of everything it has already achieved.

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar with Chris Packham (Feb 2017)

Every minute was magical, every single thing it did was fascinating and everything it didn’t do was equally wondrous, and to be sat there, with a Kestrel, a real live Kestrel, my own real live Kestrel on my wrist! I felt like I’d climbed through a hole in heaven’s fence”.

Author, TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham discusses his much-lauded memoir ‘Fingers In The Sparkle Jar‘ (published by Penguin) with long-time birder and Lush podcaster Charlie Moores.

Ecotricity, alternative energy, and veganism with Dale Vince, founder Ecotricity (Nov 2016)

A vegan and a passionate conservationist, Dale Vince is the charismatic founder of the UK’s first green energy supplier Ecotricity.

In this conversation with Charlie Moores, Dale talks about his life over the last twenty-five years, buying a football club and introducing vegan food to the terraces, and turning grass into gas as a sustainable and wildlife-friendly alternative to fracking.

Wildlife. Not Entertainers with Alyx Elliot, World Animal Protection (Oct 2016)

Striving to put an end to animal cruelty, World Animal Protection has rattled the tourist industry with the ‘Wildlife. Not Entertainers’ campaign. Denouncing wildlife activities such as elephant rides, selfies with tigers, and performing dolphins, the animal welfare organisation has been victorious in persuading Trip Advisor to stop selling tickets to many of these attractions.

Fresh from the success of the campaign, Alyx Elliott, the organisation’s Head of Programmes and Campaigns, joins Charlie Moores to talk about that potentially game-changing decision and what the next steps in the campaign will be. (Image copyright World Animal Protection)

Working for Whales and Dolphins with Margaux Dodds, Marine Connection (July 2016)

For almost 20 years Marine Connection has been working to build a safer and more natural future for the world’s dolphins and whales through collaboration, legislative changes and campaigns.

Charlie Moores talks to the charity’s co-founder Margaux Dodds about the anti-captivity movement, non-human rights and the need for more education on cetaceans.

Eco-spooks with Gem, Director Tracks Investigations Ltd (May 2016)

Armed with a belief in the power of video to change the bigger picture, Tracks Investigations offers investigative journalism and film production services to conservation, environmental and animal protection groups in order to help spread their messages to a wider audience.

Cofounder and director Gem talks to Charlie Moores about the practicalities of covering such sensitive and controversial topics on projects with organisations such as Greenpeace, Dogs Trust and Friends of the Earth.

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