I’m a native of the English Lake District and have lived here for most of my life. I started writing formally in 2013 and gained an MLitt (with Distinction) from Stirling University. My first book, The Gathering Tide: A Journey Around the Edge of Morecambe Bay (Saraband, 2015) was selected as an Author’s Book of the Year in The Observer. The Blackbird Diaries (also Saraband) was published in 2017. Both books have won awards and received some excellent reviews.
I’ve written for Guardian Country Diary and am a contributor to Guardian Travel and Family sections as well as BBC Wildlife and Countryfile magazines. I’ve also written for the Royal Geographic Society. My poetry pamphlet, Self-Portrait as Ornithologist, was published by Wayleave Press in 2020 and my poems have been published by Corbel Stone Press, Zoomorphic and others online, in magazines and as contributions to anthologies. I have spoken at many book festivals and on panel discussions on literature and environment.
My most recent book, Abundance; Nature in Recovery (Bloomsbury, 2021) enquires into abundance and loss in the Anthropocene. I travelled across Europe to some stunning and remote locations – to the Hungarian Steppe, to Extremadura in Spain and to the dune forests of the Netherlands. In Romania’s Carpathian mountains, I spent time with forest rangers protecting boreal forest habitats for large carnivores and undertaking the audacious replanting forests with the help of local communities. In the Netherlands, I spent time with ‘the wolf people, or ‘Wolves in the Netherlands’ project, and visited both the forest and urban habitats where wolves have been seen since they returned. They have now begun to breed and expand their range thanks to European legislative protection. In the Prespa Lakes in Northern Greece, it was difficult to know where or how to begin – the area offers an incredibly diverse landscape that is also of significant cultural, ecological and historic value. In Hungary, I met conservationists restoring eagles, wild horses and more. Closer to home, the book also explores themes around land use in Scotland and the Lake District.
Abundance is the result of my PhD at Lancaster University where I was, until recently, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ‘Literature, Language and Environment’ scholar. I’m currently a Research Assistant with the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts and Writer in Residence for the Future Places Centre.