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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Yes, I Actually DID Publish A Wildlife Newsletter Once -and a SpecialPaper

Hmm.I get asked occasionally why I've never published a wildlife magazine -after all, I've built wildlife ponds (some from the 1970s I'm told still exist! and advised people on hedgehogs, talked on radio and so on enough times.

Well, in 1995 I set up the Ashton Vale Wild Life Group and in 1997 the Ashron Vale Wild Life Group Newsletter was published looking at local wildlife as well as reports of non-native cats (pumas and also wolverine in Wales in this case -specifically the "Beast of Llangurig".

No. 2 looked at wildlife in Ashton Vale which, not surprisingly,no one had studied in the 70 years of the estate! There was also a look at my on-going survey of the area. After all,on my first night I had a pair of barn owls fly low over me while in the garden and a little later saw a pair of foxes walking up the road -not to mention the biggest hedgehog I ever saw.

But then I was asked to act as a wildlife consultant/naturalist for the proposed Yanley Park-a rubbish dump that was to become a park area and landscaped for the community. To say I got VERY negative reactions when this was mentioned is understating things -even threats (yeah,good luck with that!). 

To put this into perspective: this was a rubbish dump that had existed for many years and was going to be turned into a wildlife friendly park for the area -benches and even play area for kids and the company involved and council thought "There is a naturalistliving and working there -we can't go wrong!" 

Suddenly no one was interested in wildlife any more. The landscaped park was dumped as an idea because of local hostility -a simply covered over tip is okay but landscaped local park is out of the question?

So I carried on my work privately. In 2000 I published Felids: Wild Cats, Ferals & Hybrids as an Exotic Animals Register (f 1977)-VWLG publication. Wide circulation -even to museums in Europe and led to interesting feed-back from wild cat researchers there.

But as all the publications were free I made no money on this, nor the newsletter -all printed on my old desktop Canon FC220 copier (toner cartridges were costing £50 a time!). 

So,I still write and advise and one day I WILL get around to an old planned book -At Home With Wild Nature. Who knows!

But here are the covers to those publications!


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