I can’t quite believe it but I wrote the first post on this blog four years ago today.
Since then I have written 387 different posts with a total of over 250,000 page views.
You can see which posts have gained the most views from this table.
Far and away the most read was this post published just after the Brexit vote. In a similar vein one of the other most popular posts was about current (just) Defra Environment Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom‘s intentions for agriculture support in the post-Brexit brave new world of Free Trade.
Still in second place after quite some time is this post about UKIP’s strange environmental spokesman Andrew Charalambous. And UKIP also figure largely in a post about their links with the right-libertarians known as Spiked Online, who originally dwelt on the far-left of politics as the Revolutionary Communist Party. Politics eh?
Fieldsports have also provided popular topics, covering the Countryside Alliance and its easy relationship with the Tory party and uneasy relationship with charitable status, as well as their unusually close connections to Tory environment ministers.
Two articles in the top 15 have been about important wildlife sites in Dorset, either threatened with destruction or subject to damage. Rampisham Down and the controversial plans for a solar farm (thankfully abandoned now) is a case where Natural England took action to notify the site as an SSSI to protect it. The recent case of SSSI quality chalk downland in Dorset being damaged by agricultural intensification is a less happy story, though we not yet know how the story will turn out.
Some other popular posts have covered the former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, and his links to private healthcare company Randox (which recently resurfaced in two consecutive editions of Private Eye); and Natural England chair Andrew Sells and his links to neoliberal thinktank Policy Exchange (and the housebuilders lobby).
Finally I was very pleased that so many of you read the piece on “A Pebble in the Pond” the first report from Charity People Need Nature, where I work part-time (when not writing here).
While it’s great that these posts have been read by so many people, many of the posts I have written have only had a small readership. Sometimes it felt a bit frustrating to have spent several hours researching then writing a piece only to find 50 people had read it. As the past few years have gone by, the readership has increased which is great, but I find the act of researching and writing to be the most important thing, not how many people read an article. Having said that, please do keep reading!
It’s great to be able to make a small contribution to raising awareness of the topics about which I write.
I want to thank everyone who has read a post, or is a regular reader, and especially those who leave comments. There is nothing better than seeing a lively debate develop in the comments after I’ve posted an article. Thanks also in particular to those who have written guest blogs for me. If you would like to write one, please get in touch.
I hope to continue to write on here for the foreseeable future. There’s certainly plenty of material to keep me inspired.
One small request. If you enjoy reading (or find it stimulating but annoying) what I write here, please consider making a donation to support People Need Nature. I don’t write here to make money (and no it doesnt make any money), but because I enjoy it and it feels like I am contributing to public debate about nature and politics (I may be deluded of course).
I would like to try and increase People Need Nature’s resources so we can develop new work areas and perhaps increase my hours, or even take on some staff.