Footprints in the Woods is John Lister-Kaye's account of a year spent observing the comings and goings of otters, beavers, badgers, weasels and pine martens. This family – Mustelidae – all live in the wild at Aigas, the conservation and field study centre that has been John's home for more that forty-five years.
With the patient and meticulous care of a true naturalist, John observes and records the lives, habits and habitats of these elusive animals. Hours of careful waiting and watching in the woods and loch, the river, fields and moorland is rewarded with insight into how these animals live when unhindered by human interference; sometimes red in tooth and claw, but often playful, familial, curious and surprising.
As a boy, badgers and weasels were John's first encounter with wild animals, now he has spent fifty years living side-by-side with them in the Highlands and come to know much of their ways. Footprints in the Woods is the culmination of that long association with the Mustelidae family, a love letter to the otters, beavers, badgers, weasels and pine martens that also call Aigas home, and a reminder of the fragility of habitat and the beauty and variety we have to lose if we don't choose to actively protect it.
Sir John Lister-Kaye is one of Britain's best-known naturalists and conservationists. He is the author of eleven books on wildlife and the environment, including The Dun Cow Rib, shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and Gods of the Morning, winner of the Richard Jeffries Prize for Nature Writing. John has lectured on the natural environment all over the world. He has served prominently in the RSPB, the Nature Conservancy Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. In 2003 he was awarded an OBE for services to nature conservation and in 2016 he was awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Geddes Environment Medal. He lives with his wife and family among the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, where he runs the world-famous Aigas Field Centre.
This book conjures otters, badgers, pine martens and weasels right onto the page, in language that is deft, vivid and alive -- JAY GRIFFITHS
Lister-Kaye is the real thing: a peerless observer who is just as much part of the land as his beloved badgers. This, unusually, is nature writing that is actually about nature rather than the writer, and so it has the power and wisdom of the hills and forest. Marvellous -- CHARLES FOSTER, author of CRY OF THE WILD
Praise for John Lister Kaye: Utterly charming and captivating * * Sunday Times * *
If only we could all be as attentive to the life around us as John Lister-Kaye. No one writes as movingly, or with such transporting poetic skills, about encounters with wild creatures -- HELEN MACDONALD, author of H IS FOR HAWK
Scotland's high priest of nature writing; it's charming and moving to wander along with him * * The Times * *
With an untameable enthusiasm and generosity of spirit, Lister-Kaye translates [ . . . ] into a kind of inter-species friendship -- JAY GRIFFITHS, author of WILD: AN ELEMENTAL JOURNEY
John Lister-Kaye is one of the most joyful, inspirational naturalists I know -- KATE HUMBLE
A great naturalist -- CHRIS PACKHAM
Renowned conservationist John Lister-Kaye finds as much drama in the creatures of his garden in the Highlands as watching polar bears cross frozen ice packs near the North Pole . . . He has fallen in love with these moments of everyday adventure * * Sunday Mail * *
I am addicted to the writings of John Lister-Kaye -- JOANNA LUMLEY