Nature Writing (top picks)

I recently read H is for Hawk and found myself falling deeper in love with nature writing. If you’re not familiar with this genre, it essentially describes a body of work that focuses on the natural environment, usually involving wildlife and landscapes, often written in the first person and containing overly lyrical prose.

It is an odd phenomenon that nature writing has seen a renaissance at a time when humans are more disconnected from the natural world than we have ever been. Perhaps it is because naturalists writing about the environment are hobbyists and enthusiasts rather than experts – and, as every good Brexiter knows, we have all had enough of experts. They can make nature more experiential and not weighed down by facts and statistics; more of a transcendence and a philosophical, Romantic narrative.

Here are some books about the natural world that every nature lover should read

  • H is for Hawk – Helen McDonald: a grieving daughter takes on the notoriously difficult task of training a goshawk, with frequent references to a book on the same subject by a fellow trainer lacking all the necessary skills.
  • The Peregrine – J. A. Baker: a man follows a pair of peregrine falcons, noting their behaviour and tallying their kills.
  • The Robin – a Biography – Stephen Moss: the nation’s favourite bird, seen from a new perspective.
  • Raptor – a journey through birds – James McDonald Lockhart: a journey around the country following all the different birds of prey in Britain, from sparrowhawks in Warwickshire to hen harriers in Orkney.
  • The Secret Life of the Owl – John Lewis-Stempel: exploring the myths and legends surrounding owls, and focusing on all the different owls in the UK.
  • Foxes Unearthed – Lucy Jones: dispelling the myths about the mysterious fox; an affectionate and engaging read.
  • Wildwood – Roger Deakin: a succession of anecdotes about the author’s love and knowledge of forests, trees, and flora.
  • ReWild – the art of returning to nature – Nick Baker: the mindfulness manual to nature – how to keep still and quiet and reconnect to wilderness.

Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know your thoughts! Or if you have any recommendations, feel free to share. 

A handy tip for my fellow bloggers

Hi guys!

I love reading your blogs and I love writing my own. I’ve looked at ways to monetize it in the past, as I’m sure you’ve had thoughts about that as well, but given my slightly obscure niche I didn’t think ads would work out (I’m trailing it them right now to see how it goes.)

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I’ve come across a way to share my content and get paid for it so I thought it’s only fair to share the tip. Steemit is a blogging and social network using the Steem blockchain; readers upvote posts they like and writers can get rewarded with a percentage of the overall Steem. If you’re not familiar with Steem, it’s a cryptocurrency – if you’re not familiar with cryptocurrency, where ya been?

Basically, you share your content – blog posts, photos, videos, etc. – with the Steem community and every week the website automatically pays out your rewards in Steem tokens, which are translated to USD. The rate of Steem to dollars fluctuates regularly because crypto is bonkers right now. It’s quite easy to set up an account – the only thing I would advise is to store the password they generate offline and never ever lose it because once it’s gone it’s gone.

The website is still in its Beta version right now so you can be ahead of the game and get paid for the content you’re already writing. It’s not going to make you a millionaire unfortunately but some people are already making a living out of this. Obviously, I’d love you to sign up so you can upvote my stuff so maybe this post is a little selfish but ultimately you can benefit too. So if you’re interested and want to know more feel free to leave a comment.

Happy blogging.

New Nature: a quick mention

Hello! I just wanted to give a quick mention and plug to an excellent magazine that I’ve recently been involved with and thought it would be appropriate to share on my blog.

New Nature is a youth nature magazine written by and for young people. There’s a really dedicated, knowledgeable and engaged team behind it and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few submissions accepted recently in the July and August editions.

The writers are young conservationists, ecologists, natural history fanatics and wildlife photographers and you can find articles on nature conservation, opinion pieces on countryside issues, and in depth focus individual species. I’ve learnt so much already and it’s good to keep reading about nature and animals. I hope you’ll give it a read – it is free to download after all!