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About this book
About this book
This first guide to British wildlife experiences packaged into 52 weekend-sized breaks highlights the best of British wildlife – from tiny silver-spotted skippers to gargantuan basking sharks, from seabird skyscrapers to autumn fungi. For both the experienced wildlife tourist and the novice, the suggestions criss-cross England, Scotland and Wales. With stunning colour photos the author shows when, where and how to see Britain's most exciting wildlife – complete with inspiring itineraries, engaging descriptions, detailed directions and tips on how to find, identify and enjoy British animals and plants. Each entry gives details on species of interest, the landscapes they inhabit and on how to plan the weekend. A 'at a glance' box summarizes details with a thumbnail map. Each entry suggests accommodation.
Customer Reviews (1)
Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne
19 Jan 2021
Written for Paperback
This book is a rare treat; a site guide with an engaging nature essay writing style. Prepare for an exhilarating gallop across Britain in search of nature. Britain is a large island which is surprisingly varied in its underlying geology, plant communities and the various animals that live in a complex matrix of habitats. Admittedly it will not have the overwhelming diversity of species of a tropical rainforest or the megafauna of Africa. But for anyone with an interest in nature, for a number of reasons including the availability of literature, a fantastic network of nature reserves connected with public transport and a variety of local and national nature groups, it is one of the best places in the world to develop field skills as a naturalist. Whether you want to become a better naturalist or simply enjoy some spectacular and beautiful wildlife, this book’s infectious enthusiasm will fire your desire to explore Britain’s wildlife.
James Lowen is an experienced wildlife guide and photographer whose interest spans a number of taxonomic groups from plants to mammals. He also has a strong technical grasp of his subject matter and knows how to convey it in a manner where his enthusiasm shines through. Most site guides are dry, but not in this book where the accounts are spirited and evocative enough to be an armchair read. Each of the wildlife watching weekends is a readable essay with key information skilfully inserted not to detract from the flow of the essay with a page on practicalities at the end to provide the key logistics.
The front sections include a numbered map with the locations described. It also has summary to flag which weekend accounts are best for birds, large land mammals, orchids, etc. The end sections have a more detailed summary which also allows you to identify sites that are good for a combination; for example birds and mammals, birds and butterflies etc. The end sections have an index for target species and useful websites. It also has advertisements which will help those who prefer an organised wildlife break.
Whether what fires your imagination is dolphins, badgers, slipper orchids, purple emperors or golden-ringed dragonflies, this book will help you to find it and inspire an exploration of Britain with fresh eyes.
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James Lowen has contributed to several books, is author or co-author of 25 scientific papers and author of 14 popular science articles, and has edited a birding magazine.
Wildlife Guide Walking / Outdoor Guide
234 pages, colour photos, 1 map
"[...] 52 Wildlife Weekends will provide many with the inspiration to get close to nature somewhere across our islands, and might add a few destinations to the bucket lists of those already enthused. This is a guide well worth buying — regardless of your location, interest or expertise on anything wildlife-related. Let yourself be inspired!"
– Alan Tilmouth, Thursday 19th September 2013, www.birdguides.com
"[...] The '52 weekends’ format is a bit of a constraint, with which the author copes pretty well. Personally, I'd like more of my weekends in the spring and summer and fewer in autumn and winter, please. Why can't we have three-day (and sunny) weekends from May-August and a few one-day weekends in autumn and winter to balance things up? If you want, like l do, to see Southern Damselfly, Basking Shark, Duke of Burgundy, and Breckland Speedwell, then this book will remind you when to start looking and where to try. This is a good reminder that Britain has plenty of wildlife if you go to the right places, at the right times. If it encourages a few more 'staycations’ then the air miles saved might offset the extra miles driven by naturalists clutching this book and turning up at the same places at the same times."
– Dr Mark Avery, British Wildlife 25(2), pp. 150, December 2013