I find James Common’s blog “Common By Nature” consistently thought-provoking and interesting, and this rather ruminative post is no exception.

It is interesting to read his thoughts on studying “management”, not necessarily something he would have envisaged. I would have thought the same myself. And while I still share some of the beliefs about the downside of managerial bureaucratic society articulated in some of the Alastair MacIntyre quotes I shared here a while back, I would also say that as time goes by the importance of “management” becomes clearer. The thing is, is it a skill that can be taught, or a practice based on a combination of experience, wisdom and some intellectual foundation.

James Common

This week I began a Masters degree in Wildlife Management at Newcastle University – a course that quite honestly, I never expected undertake. Mainly because, on a personal level, the term “management” seems at odds with everything a younger me hoped to achieve. Standing in direct conflict with the predefined, pristine image of the countryside I based my decisions on a few years past. When “saving” animals at all costs was the only thing I aspired to do, and conflict with the “bad guys” seemed inevitable, even necessary.

The course itself really is an intriguing one, at least at first glance. It incorporates modules centred on human/wildlife conflict, invasive species, managing disease and much, much more. And involves work alongside everyone from Natural England to the GWCT, groups who often make decisions that my sentimental self disagrees with. It will surely provide a much-needed shock to the system but seems to fit…

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