Related to: 'The Moth Snowstorm'

Sceptre

The Offering

Grace McCleen
Authors:
Grace McCleen
John Murray

Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo

Michael McCarthy
Authors:
Michael McCarthy

If we could see it as a whole, if they all arrived in a single flock, say, we would be truly amazed: sixteen million birds. Swallows, martins, swifts, warblers, wagtails, wheatears, cuckoos, chats, nightingales, nightjars, thrushes, pipits and flycatchers pouring into Britain from sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the enduring wonders of the natural world. Each bird faces the most daunting of journeys -navigating epic distances, dependent on bodily fuel reserves. Yet none can refuse. Since pterodactyls flew, twice-yearly odysseys have been the lot of migrant birds. For us, for millennia, the Great Arrival has been celebrated. From The Song of Solomon, through Keats' Ode To a Nightingale, to our thrill at hearing the first cuckoo call each year, the spring-bringers are timeless heralds of shared seasonal joy. Yet, migrant birds are finding it increasingly hard to make the perilous journeys across the African desert. Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo is a moving call to arms by an impassioned expert: get outside, teach your children about these birds, don't let them disappear from our shores and hearts.

Alys Fowler

Alys Fowler is an award winning journalist and passionate gardener. She is the author of several books and writes a weekly column on gardening for Guardian Weekend magazine. She lives in Birmingham.

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.

Britta Bolt

Britta Bolt is the pseudonym of the South African-born novelist and travel writer Rodney Bolt and the German former lawyer Britta Boehler, who has worked on high-profile terrorism and security cases. Britta Bolt was 'born' in January 2010, when Britta Boehler, on holiday and reading her favourite detective fiction, felt the urge to turn her past experience into a novel. Rodney Bolt was at home, writing biographies and travel stories, and dreaming of doing the same. Soon afterwards, they had teamed up to write a crime series set in their beloved adopted city Amsterdam.

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.

Clover Stroud

Clover Stroud is a writer and journalist writing for the Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, and Conde Nast Traveller, among others. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and five children.

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. Since the launch of his famous Zoo Quest series in 1954 he has surveyed almost every aspect of life on earth and brought it to the viewing public. His latest programme, Planet Earth II, was the most-watched nature documentary of all time.

David Rothery

David Rothery is a volcanologist, geologist, planetary scientist and Professor of Planetary Geosciences at the Open University.

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.

Grace McCleen

Grace McCleen's first novel, The Land of Decoration, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Desmond Elliott Prize for the best first novel of the year. It was also chosen for Richard & Judy's Book Club and won her the Betty Trask Prize in 2013. Her second novel, The Professor of Poetry, was published by Sceptre in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Encore Award. She read English at the University of Oxford and has an MA from York, and currently lives in London.

Joan Bomford

Joan Bomford, 83, who lives near Evesham in Worcestershire, has been farming since the 1930s. She continues to be very active on the farm today - driving tractors and feeding the animals. In 2015 she was named BBC Countryfile's Farming Hero 2015.

John Grindrod

John Grindrod grew up on 'the last road in London' on Croydon's New Addington housing estate, surrounded by the Green Belt. He is the author of Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain, described by the Independent on Sunday as 'a new way of looking at modern Britain'. He has written for the Guardian, Financial Times, Big Issue and The Modernist and has worked as a bookseller and publisher for over twenty-five years. He runs the popular website dirtymodernscoundrel.com and can be contacted on Twitter @Grindrod.

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.

Martin Faulks

Martin Faulks is a martial arts champion and Mystical adventurer. He has a black belt in Japanese Ninjutsu (Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu) and the Korean martial art, Kuk Sool Won and is proficient in the spiritual disciplines of China, including Tai Chi, Qi Gong and the legendary form of Yi Jin Jing.He is a three time national martial arts champion* and a regional fencing champion. Martin has travelled extensively and trained with some of the world's most skilled martial arts masters, including such famous masters as Bo ou Mander, Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi, Noguchi Sensei, Stephen Hayes and Michael Pearce. He won gold medals at the (Kuk Sool Won) National Korean Martial Arts Association tournament 1993, 1994, and 1995. For Martin the Ninja arts are about secret knowledge. Knowledge that can lead to enlightenment and can allow you to aid your fellow man, through which he feels he gains a complete and balanced view of the spiritual mysteries. His previous works include:Gateways to Health: Secrets of Rejuvenation andButterfly Tai Chi: Health, Energy and Tranquility in 10 Minutes a Day

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy has won a string of awards for his writing on the environment and the natural world, first as Environment Correspondent of The Times, and later as Environment Editor of the Independent. These have included Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards, the Medal of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 'outstanding services to conservation', the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology, and the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London. In 2008 McCarthy wrote Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo, a study of Britain's declining summer migrant birds, which was widely praised.

Nick Hunt

Nick Hunt has walked and written across much of Europe. His articles have appeared in the Economist, the Guardian and other publications, and he also works as a storyteller and co-editor for the Dark Mountain Project. His first book, Walking the Woods and the Water (Nicholas Brealey, 2014), was a finalist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. He currently lives in Bristol.

Stephen Moss

Stephen Moss is a TV producer and best-selling author whose books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds and The Bumper Book of Nature. The book of Tweet of the Day (which he co-wrote with Brett) won the Thomson Reuters Prize 2014. His TV credits include Birds Britannia, Britain's Big Wildlife Revival and Springwatch.

Tamsin Blanchard

Born in Liverpool, Tamsin Blanchard studied fashion journalism at St Martins College, and went on to work as fashion editor of the Independent and then style editor at The Observer. She is currently style director at the Telegraph Magazine. She lives in London with her partner Mark, their four-year-old daughter Sybilla, and a small Silkworm farm. She plans one day to knit her own silk scarf.

Tristan Gooley

Tristan Gooley is a writer, navigator and explorer. Through his journeys, teaching and writing, he has pioneered a renaissance in the rare art of natural navigation.Tristan has led expeditions in five continents and is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic. He has explored close to home and walked with and studied the methods of tribal peoples in some of the remotest regions on Earth.