Karen Lloyd takes us on a deeply personal journey around the 60 miles of coastline that make up 'nature's amphitheatre'.
Embarking on a series of walks that take in beguiling landscapes and ever-changing seascapes, Karen tells the stories of the places, people, wildlife and history of Morecambe Bay. So we meet the King's Guide to the Sands, discover forgotten caves and islands that don't exist, and delight in the simple beauty of an oystercatcher winging its way across the ebbing tide.
As we walk with Karen, she explores her own memories of the bay, making an unwitting pilgrimage through her own past and present, as well as that of the bay. The result is a singular and moving account of one of Britain's most alluring coastal areas.
Karen Lloyd is an award-winning nature writer and environmental activist based in Cumbria, and is Writer in Residence at the Future Places Centre, University of Lancaster. Her first book, The Gathering Tide, won the Striding Edge Prize in The Lakeland Book of the Year Awards 2016. The Blackbird Diaries, winner of The Lakeland Arts and Literature Award 2018, is an intimate account of the wildlife in Lloyd’s Cumbrian garden, the South Lakes landscape, the Solway coast and the Hebridean islands of Mull and Staffa, and includes environmental narratives exploring the story of the last golden eagle in England and the demise of our breeding curlews. Abundance: Nature in Recovery enquires into abundance in the Anthropocene.
– Kathleen Jamie
"Slides effortlessly from the environment to history, to stories of others, to personal anecdote, 'sewn together into a continuous experience'. It succeeds magnificently. The account of crossing the bay with Cedric is as evocative as Macfarlane's description of crossing the Maplin sands."
– Robin Lloyd-Jones
"Karen Lloyd's The Gathering Tide creates its own kind of song-line along the edge of one of England's last and richest wilderness areas – Morecambe Bay. The writing in her cycle of stories about humans and nature is full of earthy realism, authentic observation and quiet lyricism. It is a hugely impressive debut."
– Mark Cocker, author & naturalist
"This entrancing journey leads through the land and seascapes of the unnerving, unsettling and incredible Morecambe Bay. Lloyd's exquisite descriptions take us through the seasons [...] with a forensic attention to detail that sparkles with lyrical imagery, mapping the history of the shores and sands of this endlessly fascinating bay."
– Miriam Darlington, BBC Wildlife
"A vivid book with a landscape at its heart, redolent with the tang of original imagery. The hallmarks of good nature writing are in place – a seeing eye, that willingness to watch alone that deepens the bond between nature and writer, and the capacity for celebrating what Hazlitt called "the involuntary impression of things upon the mind."
– Jim Crumley, author