Related to: 'Natural Histories'

John Murray

Wonderland

Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
Authors:
Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss

'Vibrant, fascinating, poetic - a year in living things: all the things we love, all the things we wish we could, all the little things we step over and never know - the best of British wildlife from two superb naturalists and writers' CHRIS PACKHAMFrom blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs. Every day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where - and how - to look. From encounters with the curious black redstart, which winters on our rocky coasts, to the tiny green snowdrop shoots that are the first sign that spring might be round the corner. And from the blossom-time and dawn choruses of April and May into the abundant noisiness of summer, where days start with hawker dragonflies and drowsy bumblebees and end with glow-worms and ghost moths; to autumn when in the early morning mist of London's Richmond Park male red deer lock horns in competition for a mate.Nature is always full of surprises - whether it's the strange behaviour of clothes moths or the gruesome larder of the strike. Distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, expert insight and enthusiasm, award-winning authors and passionate naturalists Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take us through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. There are all kinds of adventures waiting on your doorstep, any day of the year, all you need is Wonderland.

John Murray

Tweet of the Day

Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
Authors:
Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss

Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments - not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale . . .Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It's always a pleasure (and a relief) to hear sounds which prove the world's still spinning: whether it's the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4's beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm into these pages, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favourite birds. From peregrines swapping sea-cliffs for skyscrapers to swifts spending almost their entire lives on the wing; from charms of goldfinches to murmurations of starlings; from ptarmigans thriving in the Highland snow to the bright green parakeets thronging London's parks; this book is packed full of extraordinary insights and memorable facts. Tweet of the Day is a book for everyone who loves Britain's birds.(Illustrations © Carry Akroyd)

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff was born in Preston in 1977. An aggressive fast bowler and hard-hitting batsman, he made his County Championship debut for Lancashire in 1995 and won the first of his 79 England Test caps in 1998. As an all-rounder, he played a vital part in England's celebrated Ashes victory in 2005.Widely considered to be the best all-rounder of his generation, Andrew was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2004, and Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World the following year. Also in 2005, he was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Andrew became captain of the national team in 2006, only to have the captaincy removed after England's disappointing performances in Australia in 2006-07 and in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. Having put those setbacks behind him, he overcame a series of injuries to help England, under Andrew Strauss, regain the Ashes in 2009. Shortly afterwards, he called an end to his playing career and embarked on a varied new one in television, as a presenter, documentary-maker and team captain on the BAFTA award-winning A League of Their Own. In 2012, Andrew Flintoff unexpectedly turned to sport again, this time as a boxer, winning his one bout as a professional. In the summer of 2014, after five years out of the game, he made a surprise return to cricket, playing for Lancashire in the NatWest T20 Blast and then for Brisbane Heat in Australia's T20 Big Bash. In 2015, he took part in Australia's version of I'm a Celebrity ... Let Me Out of Here!, and was crowned King of the Jungle.In May 2014 when it was announced that Andrew would play for Lancashire again. Following on from such a successful stint with Lancashire in October 2014 it was announced that Andrew would continue his professional cricket comeback in Brisbane in the Australian T20 Big Bash league. In March 2015 Freddie was crowned the King of the Jungle in the first series of the Australian version of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', and was bowled over by the support of the Australian public.After launching his very own podcast with friend and TV producer Clyde Holcroft in 2014, it was announced that Freddie and Clyde will celebrate the ten year anniversary of England's Ashes win with a live tour which will travel the length and breadth of the country including at the Edinburgh Festival.

Bee Wilson

Bee Wilson is an award-winning food writer and historian. For five years she was the food critic for the New Statesman; since 2003 she has written a weekly food column for the Sunday Telegraph (The Kitchen Thinker in Stella). For several years she was a research fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, where she worked on the history of ideas. Amongst other publicatiion, she has written for Murray THE HIVE and SWINDLED. She is married with three children.

Brett Westwood

Brett Westwood is an award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist. He presented the radio series of Natural Histories. His other acclaimed radio series range from Tweet of the Day (winner of Best Radio Series 2014) to Brett Westwood's Diaries. He is also a consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

Carolyn Fry

Carolyn Fry is the former editor of Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographic Society and has travelled the world in search of stories. She has written five books on botanical themes, including the acclaimed Plant Hunters.

Cesar Millan

Founder of the Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, CESAR MILLAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cesar's Way, Be the Pack Leader, Member of the Family. How to Raise the Perfect Dog and Cesar's Rules. He is the star of The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, the Nat Geo Wild Channel's top-rated show. In addition to his educational seminars and work with unstable dogs, Cesar co-founded the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping shelters and rescue groups. 'Cesar you're a marvel, an absolute marvel' - Paul O'Grady, The Paul O'Grady Show.'[Cesar] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace.' - Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker.

David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is a broadcaster and naturalist whose television career is now in its seventh decade. After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge and a brief stint in publishing, he joined the BBC in 1952 and spent ten years making documentary programmes of all kinds, including the Zoo Quest series. In 1965, he was appointed Controller of a new network, BBC2, and then, after four years became editorially responsible for both BBC1 and BBC2.After eight years of administration, he returned to programme-making to write and present a thirteen-part series, Life on Earth, which surveyed the evolutionary history of animals and plants. This was followed by many other series which, between them, surveyed almost every aspect of life on earth.

Dreda Say Mitchell

Born and bred in the East End of London, Dreda Say Mitchell has seen it all from the inside. After a string of jobs as a waitress, chambermaid and catering assistant she realised her dream of becoming a teacher. During this time she saw a new generation of East Enders grappling with the same problems she had but in an even more violent and unforgiving world. Dreda's books are inspired by the gritty, tough and criminal world she grew up in. She still lives in London's East End. Her debut, RUNNING HOT, was published in 2004 and won the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first novel. She is the author of eight more novels and is currently writing the FLESH AND BLOOD series, set on 'The Devil's Estate' in Mile End. In 2016, she became a Reading Ambassador for the Reading Agency to promote literacy and libraries.Website: www.dredasaymitchell.com Facebook: /dredasaymitchell Twitter: @DredaMitchell

Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Gavin Pretor-Pinney is the founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, a global organisation he set up to fight 'blue-sky thinking'. He is also the co-founder and creative director of The Idler magazine, winner of The Royal Society Winton Science Writing Prize and author of the bestselling THE CLOUDSPOTTER'S GUIDE. He lives in London and Somerset.

John Naish

John Naish writes on lifestyle issues for The Times and has been practising what he preaches in ENOUGH for years. He lives in Brighton with his wife but no mobile phone.

Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher, the author of more than twenty-five books, and a moral voice for our time. Described by H.R.H The Prince of Wales as 'a light unto this nation', he is a frequent and respected contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britian and around the world.Admired by non-Jews as much as Jews, by secular as well as religious thinkers, and equally at home in the university and the yeshiva, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 until 2013. He read Philosophy at Cambridge before pursuing postgraduate studies at New College, Oxford and King's College, London.

Kathy Willis

Kathy Willis is director of science at Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She is also professor of long-term ecology and a fellow of Merton College, both at Oxford University. Winner of several awards, she has spent over 20 years researching and teaching biodiversity and conservation at Oxford and Cambridge.

Leo Critchley

Leo was born and raised in London but always pined for the fresh sea air and wide-open spaces of the south west where he was taken on yearly holidays. Graduating from Christ`s College, Cambridge having switched subjects from Natural Sciences to English Literature due to a lamentable lack of poetry in the former, he went on to start a company teaching kung fu, before a spell as a management consultant and web designer. He now writes and lives in West London. For more information visit www.robandleo.com. You can also follow Rob and Leo on Facebook and Twitter https://www.facebook.com/getbackuk and @robandleo

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize). He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

New International Version

The New International Version is the world's most popular modern English Bible translation. Developed by Biblica, formerly the International Bible Society, the New International Version is the result of years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, overseeing the efforts of many contributing scholars. The translators are drawn from a wide range of denominations and from various countries and they continually review new research in order to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance and authority.www.hodderbibles.co.uk www.facebook.com/NIVBibles

Qiu Xiaolong

Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park. In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association. In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there. Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

Ray Mears

Born in 1964, Ray Mears has travelled the world studying and teaching the art of survival. He has appeared extensively in TV programmes such as Bushcraft Survival , The Real Heroes of Telemark , Wild Food , and Ray Mears Goes Walkabout. As well as his TV and writing work, Ray founded Woodlore, School of Wilderness Bushcraft, in 1983, and has been teaching his unique bushcraft skills there for the past 25 years. In 2003 the Royal Geographical Society honoured him with the Ness Award for the popularisation of geography.

Richard Heygate

Sir Richard Heygate runs a successful software company, and has a special interest in alternative worlds. He is co-author of ENDANGERED SPECIES, which was published by John Murray in 2007, as well as THE BOOK OF ENGLISH MAGIC.