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
‘Essential reading for those with an interest in restoring our landscapes to some of their former glory.’ Paul Cheney
“A pleasure to read … concise yet never terse … This book should become a classic.” John Law, Scottish Birds
“Fine and very enjoyable … packed with a wisdom that only comes from lifelong experience.” Stephen Moss, Round-up of best nature books of 2020
“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