Thursday, 2 October 2003

Dumbing down nature conservation

Today I received my copy of English Nature's Magazine, and the front cover illustrated 'the magic of nature'. But what an inappropriate illustration. A beautiful bluebell wood with a group of gawmless looking kids dressed up as fairies. Pure Disney, and an insult to our imagination. If nature is truly magical, we do not need kids dressed up as fairies to tell us so.

English Nature is supposed to be the UK's premier scientific advisory body for wildlife -- but it appears that like so many other institutions, the marketting and PR departments have taken over, and are determined to dumb down to the lowest common denominator. Look through the magazine, and you will find 20 pictures of people, and only 9 pictures of wildlife and habitats unsullied by humans. I really do not need a picture of an unidentified person in a wheelchair in a meaningless location to illustrate whellchair access. Unfortunately this approach is becoming all too common. While it is useful to have human presence, it should not become all pervading. And certainly not fairies....

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