RSPB Date With Nature: spotting birds and a few celebs on Hampstead Heath

Yesterday I was volunteering for the RSPB at one of their Date With Nature events on Hampstead Heath.

Down on Pond 10, we mostly kept the telescopes trained on a heron, and four cormorants sitting one on each corner of a jetty in the middle of the pond. There were also heaps of coots which spent most of the day having wing-flapping fights and trying to drown each other – hilarious to watch.

Over the course of the weekend, all the species… Continue reading

Green hotels: Green Globe certificates in the Caribbean

I was out in the Caribbean last week at CHTA Marketplace, an annual trade expo for Caribbean tourism, and attended a press conference by Green Globe – one of a burgeoning number of eco-certifying bodies for the tourism sector.

CEO Guido Bauer revealed the difference that a Green Globe certificate can make to a hotel’s bottom line: having the certificate lets hotels increase their room rates by 3-7%, reduces their operating costs by 3-11%, and adds 1-3% to the property’s value.

It’s great that they have proof of the financial benefit – in a cash-strapped economy like… Continue reading

Aquaculture: a breeding ground for trouble?

A story about aquaculture on a North Carolina news site gave me food for thought. The journalist visited a research facility which is developing methods of artificially cultivating saltwater fish (aquaculture has been used more for freshwater fish to date).

In many ways, I think aquaculture sounds like a sensible idea.

  • Natural fish stocks around the world are now dangerously low because of overfishing. By farming fish in giant tanks, we can reduce the pressure on