Polls and Polecats

Well the votes are in and have been counted and the results are….

No this isn’t me pretending to be clairvoyant or precognitive about the mayoral and local elections. It’s Mark Avery’s blog poll of favourite and least favourite conservation charities!

We came a highly respectable third with an amazing 105 votes thanks to you dear reader and to our twitter followers, who now number an equally amazing 4,733. Ahead of us were two behemoths of UK conservation, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts, with about 2 million members between them all.

Now of course this wasn’t an opinion poll in the way YouGov or other pollsters would have done it, as it wasn’t random and it didn’t aim to poll a representative sample of the population. And it mainly reflect  the type of people who read Mark’s blog – people interested in birds and conservation.

The fact that we could encourage people to vote for us using this blog, Twitter and Facebook, makes it more like an election than an opinion poll, and in that sense, we were able to mobilise our vote using social media very effectively.

I was also pleased in a way that 10 people choosed us our their least favourite conservation charity, because at least we have made them think about our cause, even if they strongly disagree with what we say. I’m not going into the why’s and wherefore’s of votes for other charities – Mark will do that anyway.

There’s another poll on today – elections are happening for local authorities up and down the country, and Mayoral elections with the big one obviously being Boris v Ken. Whatever the Government say, the results will reflect the mood of the British public and how they feel about the Coalition’s actions over the past year, as well as how good Labour have been as an opposition party. UKIP could do very well given the state of the EU and as a protest against conventional politics – as could the Greens. Sadly there are no elections in West Dorset so I don’t get to cast my vote today.  If there are elections in your patch please do go and let the Government and Opposition know what you think of them.

On a related theme, while returning from the office yesterday I spotted a dead Polecat by the side of the road in East Dorset. While sad to see it dead, it is indicative of the continuing return of this elusive mammal to this and other counties across England. For this mammal, habitat loss was the not reason behind its previous decline  – it was persecution.

Miles King, Director of Conservation


About grasslandstrust

The Grasslands Trust is the only national UK charity that focuses entirely on saving grasslands that are valuable because they are rich in wildlife, history, or for other reasons.
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