Wild About Britain

by Brian Jackman

Wild About Britain

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About this book

A new collection of award-winning journalist and author Brian Jackman's nature and travel writings from the past 40 years. This is a nationwide celebration of Britain's unspoiled coast and countryside, concentrating in particular on Britain's wildlife and the wild places in which its most spectacular species are found, but also touching on fishing, sailing and the way Britain's history has shaped the landscape. 'Wild about Britain is not a guidebook' says Brian Jackman. 'It's an extended love letter to the British Countryside; a personal view covering more than four decades of travels in the wilder parts of Britain.'
Complementing Brian Jackman's writing are a small number of illustrations from Jonathan Truss, one of the UK's leading wildlife artists whose reputation for the fine quality of his work is spreading worldwide and who has twice won the Frozen Planet category of the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition.
What makes the British countryside so special is its chameleon quality - the way its character changes with every few miles. Sometimes it can change dramatically; elsewhere the landscape undergoes more subtle shifts; but every region has its own distinctive qualities and every county is unique, possessed of its own special magic. Brian Jackman writes eloquently and evocatively, conjuring up the sights and sounds of everything from barnacle geese on the salt marsh of an Islay loch to star gazing on Exmoor, of a seascape of headlands, cliffs and wave-smashed rocks at Lands End, of eagles on the Ardnamurchan peninsula and the autumn rut in the New Forest. Ancient oaks, red kites, huge mirror carp, the oldest path in Britain and the Border reivers are all included.
As a pioneer of eco-tourism, Brian Jackman has been writing on these subjects for 40 years, first as a travel writer for The Sunday Times and currently for The Daily Telegraph. Bradt has previously published two of his titles: The Marsh Lions, telling the tale of the pride of lions in Kenya's Maasai Mara reserve that were filmed for the BBCs hugely successful Big Cat Diary, and The Savannah Diaries, a collection of writings celebrating Africa's wild places and their abundance of living creatures. Although more widely known for his knowledge of African wildlife and safaris, it is his love of the British countryside that has brought him most of his awards. From Cornwall to Hermaness and from East Anglia to the Welsh Marches, Wild About Britain showcases Jackman's writing at its best, exploring the countryside whose sights and sounds have shaped his life since childhood.

About the author

From Cornwall to Hermaness and from East Anglia to the Welsh Marches, Wild About Britain showcases Jackman's writing at its best, exploring the countryside whose sights and sounds have shaped his life since childhood.
Brian Jackman is an award-winning journalist and author with a passion for travel and wildlife. For more than four decades he has covered the world, first for The Sunday Times and now for The Daily Telegraph, pioneering the concept of eco-tourism. Although most widely known as Britain's foremost writer on African safaris, he has retained his love of our own wildlife and landscapes.

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Contents

About the author
Map

Foreword by Simon Barnes

Introduction: A passion for nature

Chapter 1: Home Ground (Dorset)
My Dorset
A carp called Harry
Chesil Bank
The farm that time forgot (Kingcombe Meadows)
Roach fishing
The leys of the land
Boxing Day meet
A forest fit for Merlin (Powerstock Common)

Chapter 2: South
Laurie Lee's Cotswolds
In search of King Alfred
A walk in the New Forest
The month of the mayfly (River Test)
Wytham Woods (Oxfordshire)

Chapter 3: West
Tarka territory (North Devon)
Sand as soft as talc (Isles of Scilly)
Where the land runs out (West Penwith)
Cornish peregrines
Exmoor
The Exe estuary
Somerset Levels
Kite country (Welsh Marches)
Cornish Riviera Express
Roseland and the Fal
Lord of the flies (salmon fishing on the Tamar)
Wistman's Wood (Dartmoor)
Cul-de-sac country (Hartland)
All I ask is a tall ship (sailing around Land's End aboard a square-rigger)

Chapter 4: East
The Old Man of Brundon (Stour Valley and pike fishing)
Essex Marshes
Waiting for the flood (The Fens)
Suffolk Coast
A winter's tale (The Wash)
An owl for autumn (Norfolk Broads)

Chapter 5: North
Highland summer (Aigas)
Land of the steel bonnets (Northumberland)
Dales in crisis (Yorkshire)
Loch Lomond
Where eagles fly (Ardnamurchan)
Wild seas and safe havens (Hebrides)
Hefted to the hills (Glen Lyon)
When the floods come (Derwent Ings, Yorkshire)
Peak District (Derbyshire)

Chapter 6: Islands
Sand as soft as talc (Isles of Scilly)
Islands of the simmer dim (Shetland)
Llyn peninsula (Bardsey)
Rhum
Dodging the bonxies (Hermaness)
Wild geese on Islay