by Roy Dennis
Read an extract
A collection of vibrant essays to inform, stimulate and inspire every nature lover.
Through unparalleled expertise as a field naturalist, Roy Dennis is able to write about the natural world in a way that considers both the problems and the progress in ecology and conservation. Beginning with cottongrass, whose snow-white blooms blow gently in the wind across the wetter moors and bogs, this is a year-round trove of insight and knowledge for anyone who cares about the natural world – from birdsong and biodiversity to sphagnum and species reintroduction.
Written by one of our most prominent advocates for rewilding, the essays have a clear message: “Never give up on trying to conserve and restore wildlife and the wild places you cherish. It’s essential to try and to succeed. And remember, it’s never ‘if’, but ‘when’ – and with climate chaos closing in, the time is now.”
REVIEWS OF Cottongrass Summer
“I can’t think of a more important book that’s been written about British wildlife in the past 20 years … Roy Dennis [is] the UK’s pre-eminent conservationist of the past half century … he writes with such conviction, clarity, insight, depth and purpose. He understands better than anyone how times have changed … In just a sentence or two, he cuts to the quick … If you read any book about the environment this year, read this.” James Fair, naturalist, in Countryfile’s Best Nature Books of 2020
“Reminds me strongly of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, which is a classic of the ecological literature, and I can think of no better comparison to give you an idea of its content and of this book’s quality and worth … It is a book of ideas; ideas about how the future should be, but rooted in the present and with knowledge of the past.” Mark Avery
“The wonderful, insightful and eclectic musings from a lifetime watching wildlife, by one of Britain’s greatest conservationists.” Mike Dilger
"Roy is not just a brilliant conservationist but a superb naturalist too … These beautiful essays are also positive and pragmatic about the future … absolutely joyous." Chris Packham
"This is a cracking book full of beautifully descriptive prose and thought-provoking sentiments by a man who, more than anyone else, has been there, done that and got the ‘T’-shirt." Iolo Williams
"In an exhilarating roundelay of profoundly questioning essays, Roy Dennis has revealed a lifetime in nature conservation, while also delivering a sparkling vision for an ecologically sustainable Highlands, the country and the planet. This little book is a testament to a rare and redeeming curiosity; we must all learn from the deep wisdom of experience." Sir John Lister-Kaye OBE