Monday, 6 August 2012

Parents Know Best

Parents can be embarrassing, it is in their nature whether intentional (as I am certain is often the case) or accidental. But the occasional reminder of past follies or childhood stories are worth it for all the good parents provide. Without my parents strong encouragement I wonder if I would be so passionate about wildlife today. I would like to think so, but I have no way of being certain. 

Thankfully, now that I am passed the teenage years I cope better with any embarrassment my parents chose to send my way and while both shared equally in my nature education my dad seems to have been an influence in many other people's too. Starting out on my own environmental career I'm already used to people telling me that my dad has taught them something, or made them think differently about a subject. For more than half my life (bet that makes him feel old!) he was Director of Conservation for the RSPB and this has given him even more opportunities to do good and be embarrassing.

For example, there are few university students who have sat with friends watching their dad dancing on YouTube and getting over 24,000 views (that's some serious Dad dancing).

But if I ever want to know something about nature conservation, wildlife or the RSPB's work he can normally answer with a (he thinks) funny anecdote or a thought provoking question. And now he's written many of these thoughts and anecdotes down in his new book Fighting for Birds.  It is a very good book but having been a big Really Wild Show viewer when I was younger and a Spring/AutumWatch viewer now the coolest thing about the book is that there is a forward by Chris Packham. According to Mr Packham,’s a triumph, and if you have any real interest in the job of saving species and their habitats then it’s a tremendously rewarding ‘must read’.
So, if you're interested in saving species, want to find out what past conservation successes and failures have been and see what challenges the future holds for wildlife (or maybe you just want to know more about my dad) go and buy this book, and read it. Then buy it for a friend as a present.

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