When we go for a walk, whether in the countryside or city, we pass through landscapes full of natural beauty and curiosities both visible and invisible – but though we might admire the view, or wonder idly about the name of a flower, we rarely have the knowledge to fully engage with what we see. When we do, our sense of place is expanded, our understanding deepened and we can discover richness in even the most everyday stroll.
John Wright has been leading forays around Britain for decades. As an expert forager, he shows people how to identify the edible species that abound – but he also reveals the natural history, stories and science behind our surroundings. Here, he takes us with him on eight walks: from verdant forests to wild coastlines, via city pavements, fields and rolling hills, he illuminates what can be found on a walk across any British terrain, and how you might observe and truly understand them, for yourself.
Warm, wise and endlessly informative, with helpful illustrations and suggested routes, this book will help you to see the world around you with new eyes: no walk will be the same again.
John Wright is a naturalist and one of Great Britain's leading experts on fungi. His most recent books include A Spotter's Guide to the Countryside and The Forager's Calendar. He lives in Dorset, where he regularly leads forays into nature and goes on long walks across all terrains.
"John's passion for the natural world is infectious. His knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna that surrounds us all makes this book an essential read for ramblers. When you see things others miss, every walk is fascinating."
– Jo Brown, author Secrets of a Devon Wood
"Blissfully funny, staggeringly informative, a joyful companion for those of us who are learning to value the natural world. Urban, coastal or rural nature lovers [...] It's all here."
– Caroline Quentin
"John Wright writes as though he's talking directly to you, a good friend in the same room. His harvest of fascinating information is worn lightly, with funny, whimsical observations"
– BBC Countryfile