March 2019

My name is Charlie Moores…

Which is how I often start the podcasts I make. Which is my way of saying that I’m a podcaster *. I never thought that I’d be a podcaster in truth. I was told once I had a ‘radio voice’ and should do podcasting before I even knew what a podcast or podcasting was. As I didn’t have much else to do at the time I thought I’d give it a go (under the banner of ‘Talking Naturally’), and I’m still giving it a go now (which is not a particularly inspiring introduction to an ‘About’ page but does explain the ‘accidental’ in the blog’s title).

As well as being ‘accidental’ I’m a very lucky podcaster too. Back in 2013/14 I was working as a podcaster with Rare Bird Alert (and I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity Brian Egan at RBA gave me) but ‘Talking Naturally’ was struggling. It did have an audience, who thankfully liked what I was doing in terms of in-depth, conversational discussions on conservation/animal welfare etc, but it wasn’t large enough to keep me in biscuits let alone a home.

However in one of those remarkable turn of events that make me wonder whether guardian angels do actually exist, one of those listeners was Mark Constantine, a co-founder of Lush Ltd (the cosmetics people) and one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met (and ‘interesting’ matters to me).

Mark was looking for a podcaster for a new Lush Digital Media trial he was working on and liked what he heard. After a phone call I could never have anticipated (which went along the lines of, “I like what you’re doing, come and work for me“) I was recruited to Lush in 2015, where I am totally aligned with the Company in terms of its outstanding ethics and moraliity (can you think of any other business that would encourage me to discuss wildlife crime, the badger cull, raptor persecution etc? No, me neither). So I now work for Lush Digital and publish podcasts (or ‘proper conversations’) on Lush Player and on The Sound Approach website. If you’d like to hear them, click on the links at the top of the page.

In the course of that work I talk (mostly) with conservationists, environmentalists, and activists. I like conservationists, environmentalists, and activists. I like what they stand for, what they want to achieve. Their selflessness. The optimism they tenaciously hang on to when I can no longer see anything to be optimistic about. I like to listen, have conversations, explore ideas. There’s always more to learn…

On the other hand I have a deep dislike of wildlife criminals, wildlife abusers, or people who don’t care about and who actively don’t like wildlife. I see no reason to give them a platform and I’m fortunate (again) that Lush don’t ask me to. So if you want to hear about the joys of blowing birds out of the sky or how jolly it is to illegally chase foxes, listen to disingenuous excuses for the badger cull or lobbyists explaining why pesticides or intensive farming are the only answers to providing ever more food for a population that throws away 1/3rd of all food produced already try somewhere else.

And if that leads to accusations of ‘echo chambers’ – well, I see it this way. For the 10% of us who strongly stand up for something and are opposed to the 10% who believe in tearing it down, there’s another 80% who have never even thought about it before. And those are the people I’m also hoping to reach. They don’t know I’m trying to reach them, of course, but I’m giving it a go…

Which is where this website comes in. There are literally thousands of podcasters out there and more audio than you could listen to in a lifetime. But I’d like people to listen to my audio. Not because I want people to listen to me, but because I’ve met some really fascinating, inspiring, courageous, thoughtful people in the course of half a decade of podcasting and I’d like you and the 80% mentioned above to hear what they have to say.

I also figured that maybe potential (and existing) listeners might like some background information, the ‘how was it all set up‘ stories, the ‘behind the scenes‘ sort of stuff that isn’t in the podcasts themselves but that might prompt them to listen in. (I’m about five years late with this stunning piece of insight of course, but not much I can do about that now unfortunately…).

For example, in February 2019 I made a a trip to Scotland where I interviewed Bob Elliot (former Head of Investigations at the RSPB and now Director of OneKind), climate campaigner Caroline Rance (below) from Friends of the Earth Scotland, the RSPB’s Head of Investigations Scotland Ian Thomson, and Max Wiszniewski of the Revive Coalition (which is looking at the reform of the grouse moors which occupy almost 20% of Scotland). I didn’t take photos, I didn’t take notes, I didn’t go back to the hotel at night and write a wonderfully distilled piece that would inspire a legion of new listeners. I wish I had but as I said, I’m about five years late with this stunning piece of insight etc etc….

Caroline Rance and the one photo from a week long trip….

But what makes me think that anyone might want to read the collected thoughts of an accidental podcaster anyway? Well, a couple of weeks ago I mused aloud on Twitter about meeting my heroes when I went to interview them but not having a way to talk about how the meetings went, how we got on as people rather than interviewer and interviewee, how the day went….Would, I wondered, anyone read a blog about that sort of thing?

Apparently they would, so here we are. We’ll see, but to be honest I’m enjoying writing this page as it is so I’ll carry on even if Twitter was fibbing or no-one finds me here. Hardly anyone was listening to Talking Naturally, but look what that lead to…

As I said, this site isn’t about me but should you like to know more about me and what makes me tick, Andrew Paine, a good friend and fellow podcaster at Lush, interviewed me and my brother Nial (one of my conservation heroes) for a podcast which you can find right here.

*I’m a podcaster, but I’m also a vegan, a cyclist (a roadie, but not a notable one), a birdwatcher (again, not a notable one), and I live in Wiltshire (UK). Mark Constantine says I’m both ‘self-deprecating‘ and (in relative terms) an extremist, Raptor Persecution UK called me ‘nice‘ recently which sort of sums me up, and Mark Avery thinks ‘I’m quite well-behaved even though basically a birder‘! When it comes to interviewing a while back the RSPB’s Jeff Knott said I was “a ‘unique’ in air quotes interviewer” and I’m still not sure what to make of that…