A Summer of British Wildlife

100 great days out watching wildlife

by James Lowen 

A Summer of British Wildlife Guide – Travel information and tips for summer wildlife-watching, with an entry per day from mid-May to late August, covering England, Scotland and Wales. From bitterns to basking sharks, butterflies, mammals and reptiles, plus weekend options and the where, when and how to get the most out of British wildlife.

Published:  05th Mar 2016
Size:  135 X 216 mm
Edition:  1
Number of pages:  256
Format AvailableQuantityPrice
ISBN: 9781784770099
In stock
£15.99 £14.39

About this book

Winner of the Travel Media Awards ‘Travel Guide Book of the Year’ award 2016.

This original and colourful guide to British summer wildlife experiences is packaged into daily suggestions for what, when, where and how to see the best of British summer wildlife. For both the experienced wildlife tourist and the novice, the suggestions criss-cross England, Scotland and Wales, complete with inspiring itineraries, engaging descriptions, detailed directions and tips on how to find, identify and enjoy British animals, butterflies, birds and plants. Each entry gives an informative and inspiring suggestion focusing on up to four species, with full-colour photography and a helpful box covering practicalities such as grid references, useful websites, access arrangements to specific sites, flexibility details such as flight periods for butterflies or flowering weeks for orchids, and alternative sites to make viewing possible if you don’t live near the suggested site but want to view the suggested species. From delicate orchids to gargantuan basking sharks, from seabird skyscrapers to ostentatious otters, this is the only guide of its type to offer full details of how to get the most out of British summer wildlife-watching.

About the Author

James Lowen is a wildlife writer, travel guide and photographer, who is enthused by bringing nature to life for the non-specialist. This book is the result of 30-odd years of exploring Britain’s wildlife-rich areas, from Scilly to Shetland and Kent to the Cairngorms. The breadth of coverage reflects James’s personal evolution from a juvenile birdwatcher to a fully-fledged naturalist, from being interested only in feathered creatures to getting excited about every single dimension of British nature – be it winged or furry, whether it blooms or slithers. James is well known as the author of Bradt Travel Guides’ 52 wildlife weekends: a year of British wildlife-watching breaks. He writes a monthly column for Bird Watching magazine and contributes regularly to BBC Wildlife magazine.


Winner of the Travel Media Awards ‘Travel Guide Book of the Year’ award 2016.

‘Lowen maintains a lovely tone, necessarily practical but also occasionally poetic — a friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable companion… an ideal addition to any family bookshelf, though it should also spend plenty of time over the years in your backpack or glove compartment.’
BBC Wildlife Magazine

‘A beautiful, full-colour guide packed with suggestions, sites and authoritative advice about our sunniest season’
Eastern Daily Press

‘Lavishly illustrated, easy to read and to find your way around.’
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

‘The perfect practical companion for anyone planning to spend the summer trying to get a bit closer to nature.’
Bird Watching Magazine

‘Successful at capturing the imagination and whisking you away with him on a glorious, enriching summer day out.’
BiOME Ecology Magazine

‘What impressed me the most was the sheer amount of information so well presented and so full of ideas. I just wish I had this book when I first visited the Highlands.’
Ray Collier, Highland News

‘100 very well proposed and laidout suggestions of where you should go and what you should see in a British summer. A brilliant idea.’
Chris Packham, Springwatch Unsprung

‘For anybody wishing to take delight in a few simple trips looking at a breadth of incredible British wildlife this summer, A Summer of British Wildlife will lend inspiration and, together with the necessary identification knowledge or handbooks, all the information you will need. In particular, anyone with children will surely find it a delightful and invaluable aid to enjoying the outdoors with them and passing on a precious affection for the natural world.’
David Campbell,

The pages are decorated with lovely photographs and illustrations, depicting many of the target species you might be looking for that day and together with the lovely descriptive flow that James Lowen pens to the pages, it’s a real pleasure to read, even if you have no real intention to visit the area.
Graham Etherington,

“Each day out is brought alive through Lowen’s recollections, drawing the reader into his world and lighting a spark for futuree exploration… A very practical, as well as visually engaging, summer guide.”
Butterfly Conservation Magazine

‘A delightful book.’
This England

Additional Information

Table of Contents

1: May 15 Purple haze
Northamptonshire for Britain’s best bluebell wood, nightingale & Goldilocks buttercup
2: May 16 Cuddly fish?
Devon for common cuttlefish, spiny spider crab & Eurasian beaver
3: May 17 String of pearls
Sussex for pearl-bordered fritillary, nightingale, two-banded longhorn beetle, burnt orchid & early spider orchid
4: May 18 Metamorphosis
Oxfordshire for club-tailed dragonfly, monkey orchid & lady orchid
5: May 19 Hills & holes
Cambridgeshire for pasqueflower, man orchid, yellow meadow ant & dingy skipper
6: May 20 Black Isle bottlenose
Highland for common bottlenose dolphin, harbour seal & long-tailed skua
7: May 21 Dukes, without hazard
Gloucestershire for Duke of Burgundy, Adonis blue, sword-leaved helleborine & pasqueflower
8: May 22 The Emperor’s dawn
Suffolk for the dawn chorus, stone-curlew, woodlark & emperor moth
9: May 23 Fertility rites
Dorset for marsh fritillary, Adonis blue, Duke of Burgundy & grizzled skipper
10: May 24 The early bird…
Denbighshire, Powys & Ceredigion for black grouse, common redstart & lesser twayblade
11: May 25 Ephemera
Hampshire for mayflies, brown trout & bullhead
12: May 26 Ladies and gentlemen
Kent for lady orchid, man orchid & monkey orchid
13: May 27 Spider(crab)man and Batman
Pembrokeshire for spiny spider crab, otter, greater horseshoe bat & chough
14: May 28 Puffin without the huffin’
Northumberland for the Amble Puffin Festival & roseate tern
15: May 29 Military bearing
Buckinghamshire for military orchid, fly orchid, greater butterfly orchid & bird’s-nest orchid
16: May 30 Snowdonia, in black and white
Snowdonia for Snowdon lily, moss campion, starry saxifrage & raven
17: May 31 Ma’n Lesard goz dinerby
Cornwall for twin-headed clover, thyme broomrape, heath spotted orchid, thrift clearwing & red-veined darter
18: June 1 The Wight stuff
Isle of Wight for Glanville fritillary, small blue, common wall lizard, Dartford warbler & red squirrel
19: June 2 Does the Lady’s slipper fit?
Cumbria for lady’s slipper orchid, lily-of-the-valley, white-spotted sable & pearl-bordered fritillary
20: June 3 Beetlejuice
North Yorkshire for tansy beetle, & East Yorkshire for gannet & puffin
21: June 4 Skip, skip, skip to the Loy
Highland for chequered skipper, pearl-bordered fritillary, argent and sable, & pine marten
22: June 5 Whiteface
Highland for white-faced darter, lesser twayblade, red squirrel & osprey
23: June 6 Rain goose
Shetland for red-throated diver, red-necked phalarope & whimbrel
24: June 7 Gull able not gullible
Cumbria for lesser black-backed gull, herring gull, ‘Walney pink’, coralroot orchid & natterjack toad
25: June 8 Eype of the tiger
Dorset for cliff tiger-beetle, & Devon for wood white
26: June 9 Streaky
Cambridgeshire for black hairstreak, six-belted clearwing, glowworm & moon carrot
27: June 10 Water into wine
Suffolk for great bittern, common crane, golden-bloomed grey longhorn beetle, elephant hawkmoth & reed dagger
28: June 11 Flitting fritillaries
Essex for heath fritillary, shrill carder bee, horehound longhorn & slowworm
29: June 12 Fragrant flora
Kent for common poppy, late spider orchid, lizard orchid, black-veined moth & Rambur’s pied shieldbug
30: June 13 Frozen in time
County Durham for spring gentian, Teesdale violet, mountain pansy, shrubby cinquefoil & whiskered bat
31: June 14 Bee good to yourself
London & Hertfordshire for bee orchid, early marsh orchid, white-legged damselfly & hairy dragonfly
32: June 15 A swallow’s tale
Norfolk for swallowtail, Norfolk hawker, scarce chaser & Chinese water deer
33: June 16 Shingle sensations
Kent for Nottingham catchfly, sea pea, toadflax brocade & white-spot
34: June 17 Musky frogs
Hampshire for musk orchid, frog orchid, common juniper & bastard toadflax
35: June 18 Largin’ it
Somerset for large blue, six-belted clearwing, pyramidal orchid & ‘wasp’ orchid
36: June 19 Manxie and thrifty
Gwynedd for thrift clearwing, chough, Manx shearwater & grey seal
37: June 20 Pretty in pink
Suffolk for proliferous pink, field wormwood, Spanish catchfly, powdered grass-veneer & marbled clover
38: June 21 Small is beautiful
Powys for small white orchid, heath fragrant orchid, wood bitter vetch & small pearl-bordered fritillary
39: June 22 Seabird cityscape
Northumberland for Arctic & Sandwich terns, puffin & guillemot
40: June 23 For peat’s sake
Shropshire for white-faced darter, common hawker, large heath & common raft spider
41: June 24 Heddon on earth
Devon for high brown fritillary, dark green fritillary & silver-washed fritillary
42: June 25 Festival of fauna
Somerset for great white egret, bittern, argent and sable, & Iberian water frog
43: June 26 Gorge yourself
Somerset for for Cheddar pink, slender bedstraw, peregrine, greater horseshoe bat & water vole
44: June 27 Where there’s muck…
West Yorkshire for bittern, marsh harrier, avocet & black-necked grebe
45: June 28 The perfect mea