At times it’s felt like we’ve dominated the BBC this week! It’s been so ‘newsworthy’, today I’m going to reflect on some of our main stories from the past few days.
We have been completely floored by the rumour circulating in Brussels that funding for wildlife-friendly farming could be axed from next week’s European budget. Unfortunately, nothing we have heard in the past 48 hours or so have give us any crumb of comfort. The threat still seems very real.
My stint at Hope Farm for a piece on BBC Breakfast was just the start of the media coverage defending this vital source of environmental funding. It was discussed on Radio 4, Radio 2, Farming Today and Sky Radio channels and my interview was run throughout the day on the BBC News channel with views of others incorporated as the day went on. We’re already receiving countless messages of support from farmers wanting to see the ongoing protection of wildlife so expect to see and hear more about this in the coming days.
We found ourselves on the BBC again towards the end of this week, although this time I was able to hang up my microphone and pass to my colleague Andy Simpson, Head of Education at the RSPB. Like my guest blogger said yesterday, we had an absolutely key initiative with some of our education provider partners to respond to a demand by teachers to allow every child to have access to nature, called ‘Every Child Outdoors.’ MPs have today been invited by their local school to come and share an outdoor learning experience with them to see firsthand the enormous benefits to be gained from regular contact with nature.
credit: David McHugh
This story was used on BBC Breakfast and the BBC News Channel, with Andy, our president Kate Humble and the Field Studies Council’s Rob Lucas among those waxing lyrical about the importance of learning outside the classroom. It also appeared on Radio 5 Live and BBC General News Service. It’s simple really; there’s no better way to learn about nature than to go outside and get a bit of mud under your fingernails.
And we ended our week in the media on a high note - quite literally. A library created by the RSPB and the digital radio manufacturer PURE has shown that the blackbird is the clear winner of the dawn chorus and this was reported in the Daily Telegraph, The Metro and The Guardian. I’m sure we’re all in agreement that the warbling of the blackbird is a welcome addition to any outside space!
It is excellent that the RSPB is having some really good media coverage and recognition regarding the brilliant, hard work the Society does. Let's hope that Mr Baroso is persuaded by all the messages, that have gone, or are, going out to him on so many e-mails and other means of contact, to remove any threat to scrap EU funding for wildlife in the forthcoming revision to the Common Agricultual Policy and to enhance that funding instead.
Hi Martin well done yourself and RSPB for your efforts on pending cuts also the children inititive as surely the way forward for wildlife will come from next generation of general public and next generation of more wildlife aware farmers.Let none of us jeopordise that by being super critical of either side,with the best will in the world there are always going to be less than good examples on either side.Some people seem to think the biggest crime is to give a relatively well off farmer grants for wildlife but the way the world works if you help the poorest it is inevitable you help us better off ones.Personally I do not want my tax going to the Greek crisis while they do not adhere to the conditions but exxcept for mentioning it as example will not carp on and on about it and accept that is the way the world works.Hope like myself others are impressed by your start in difficult job.
Thank you both. It's a big week coming up. If you have not done so it is worth reading Charles Clover's excellent column in the Sunday Times today...