Seeking both the beautiful and the bizarre, Charlie Elder goes in search of Britain's rarest and most endangered animals. Travelling the length and breadth of the UK, and meeting up with experts along the way, he tracks down secretive and scarce mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects living on the brink – ranging from the iconic Scottish Wildcat and surreal Spiny Seahorse to the striking Golden Oriole, outlandish Wart-biter Cricket and sinister Black Rat. Few and Far Between celebrates the diversity on our doorstep and highlights the natural treasures we risk losing.
Charlie Elder is a journalist. For the last twenty years he has worked for papers ranging from the Times of Tonga in the South Pacific to the Telegraph and the Evening Standard. He is currently chief sub-editor on the Herald in Plymouth. His first book, While Flocks Last, was published in hardback and paperback in 2009.
"A Book of the Year"
– The Guardian
"It's a dream to scout out the UK's greatest natural treasures – and find them!"
– Chris Packham
"Elder takes readers on an evocative quest to find some of the amazing wildlife that we are lucky enough to have sharing our islands with us. You might read it in an armchair, but it'll make you want to get your boots on."
– Tony Juniper, naturalist, conservationist and campaigner
"Charlie Elder's adventures are as strange and engaging as the wonderful creatures he sees. As he ticks each challenge off his list, you are as enthralled by his excitement as he is by his triumphs. [...] In its modest way, this delightful book is a triumph, too, because it reminds us that, out there, maybe just under that stone, the smallest spider is worthy of life. [...] A terrific book that's very easy to love."
– Bel Mooney, Daily Mail
"This is no mere rarity twitch. Laced with humour, the book celebrates the struggle to save Britain's most threatened species."
– Brett Westwood, BBC Wildlife
"Potentially a bleak tome chronicling the catastrophic decline of our wildlife, this is in fact full of verve, wit and optimism."
– James Fair, BBC Countryfile
"In Charlie Elder's quest to seek out endangered species now almost invisible nationwide, he brings back travellers' tales of wild places, feral landscapes and creatures of legend. Added to which, he is a cheerful, gregarious companion and guide."
– Iain Finlayson, Saga
"Thoroughly entertaining and informative from page one, Few and Far Between presents a delightful adventure for the reader – an expansive celebration of diversity."
– Simon Parker, Western Morning News, Devon
"In search of Britain's rarest animals [...] Charlie Elder encounters some of the UK's more remote spots and the good souls dedicated to preserving them. Now there's a job worth a little celebrating."
"A countrywide romp"
– BBC Countryfile
"Jovial as his tone is most of the time, there is no mistaking the seriousness of Elder's intent [...] The bleak statistics mount up in a readable, important book."
– Sally Morris and Bel Mooney, Daily Mail