Plantlife is one of my favourite small wildlife conservation charities and over many years I’ve worked with them and in the last decade done a few bits of work for them. And to be fair, in the past I’ve pinched a couple of their staff to come and work at the RSPB.

There seems to be a bit of a brain drain happening at Plantlife with both Trevor Dines and Joanna Bromley moving on recently. Trevor is a simply brilliant communicator (here) and I’ll never forget the presentation he made at this event back in 2016 where he was on the stage with David Attenborough and the new Secretary of State for DEFRA, Andrea Leadsom, and gave the best and most memorable presentation. Trevor is also the inventor of #NoMowMay, one of the most spectacularly catchy of citizen-action conservation initiatives. He also seems to be a very nice bloke!

Joanna Bromley has been at Plantlife for18 years and as Head of Communcations for the last 10 of those. She is the type of feisty and imaginative person that no small wildlife NGO can lose without regrets – I hope she stays in the conservation world. Plantlife has produced a string of readable and important reports during Joanna’s time there and she’s done a lot to help Plantlife seem interesting and important and plant life get a slightly bigger say in conservation decisions in the UK.

One of the people I pinched from Plantlife, although it wasn’t exactly a kidnapping, was Martin Harper, who eventually succeeded me as RSPB Conservation Director and who left RSPB in May for a new role in BirdLife International. We’ve been waiting quite a while to learn Martin’s successor and it is Katie-Jo Luxton, the long-time RSPB Director of Wales. Best of luck to Katie-Jo in a role that has changed since I had that title and which has become a lot more difficult to do, in my view. Frankly, I think the RSPB needs to up its game quite a lot – so the best of luck to Katie-Jo in helping to make that happen.


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