The Long Spring: places, people and nature
Between February and June 2016 I tracked the arrival of spring in Europe, from the Mediterranean to the Arctic. I started on the North African coast, and visited some of the most interesting wild places in Spain, France, the UK, Sweden, Finland and Norway. On the blog page of this website I’ll be describing wildlife, places, traditions, culture and issues I encountered following the front edge of spring.
And now The Long Spring is a book, published on 8 March 2018 by Bloomsbury. Click on the tab THE BOOK for more details.
I have worked in nature conservation for over thirty years, for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. During that time I have been Head of the RSPB’s European Programmes, Director of its Northern England operations and Director, RSPB Cymru. I am also a composer and writer, a Trustee of CoMA - Contemporary Music for All, a former Trustee of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and a business adviser to arts and conservation organisations.
As a lifelong conservationist, I've been fascinated and concerned by the changing relationship between people and nature. The biggest strategic challenge in nature conservation is the rapidly widening disconnection between young people in particular, and their natural surroundings. Some of our youngest kids are already second-generation disconnected - the children of parents who themselves rarely went outdoors and into the countryside.
My main website, NATURAL LIGHT, is where I write about contemporary artists who work with nature as their main source of inspiration, and who inspire me in turn.