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Good Reads  Conservation & Biodiversity  Rewilding

Wetland Diaries Ranger Life and Rewilding on Wicken Fen

Biography / Memoir New
By: Ajay Tegala(Author), Dame Fiona Reynolds(Foreword By)
271 pages, 16 plates with 20 colour & b/w photos and colour illustrations; 30 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Wetland Diaries
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  • Wetland Diaries ISBN: 9781803993485 Paperback May 2024 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
Price: £17.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Not many have had the experience of managing a herd of 150 wild horses and cattle, weathering the elements to cope creatively with challenges from difficult births to overpopulation, injury and escapes. Wetland Diaries is a seasonal account of ranger life and wildlife in England's flat lands: restoring and rewilding a lost landscape once widespread. Ajay gives an open and honest personal insight into the varied lives of rangers working with livestock, delving into history and folklore to share the spirit and atmosphere of the windswept East Anglian Fens, sharing a spectrum of emotion, and weather, experienced. Ajay has protected the wildlife and livestock of Wicken Fen through drought, disease, gale-force winds and a global pandemic. He shares the struggles and smiles of managing breeding livestock in the UK's first rewilding project mitigating climate change and creating space for nature and people alike.

Customer Reviews


Ajay Tegala shares his passion for the natural world through his work as a TV presenter, and his credits include BBC 'Springwatch' and the documentary Inside the Bat Cave. As a wildlife ranger, he is grounded in the world of conservation. At the age of fifteen, he decided to become a conservationist after a week's work experience with The National Trust. He studied Environmental Conservation and volunteered as an assistant warden on the Norfolk coast at Blakeney Point before coming to Wicken Fen. He is the author of The Unique Life of a Ranger: Seasons of Change at Blakeney Point (2022).

Biography / Memoir New
By: Ajay Tegala(Author), Dame Fiona Reynolds(Foreword By)
271 pages, 16 plates with 20 colour & b/w photos and colour illustrations; 30 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"It's his intimate knowledge and experience of the place that makes this a 'must have' book on this outstanding wetland. From the original 2 acre purchase Wicken grew to retain existing habitat, and more recently drained Fen that had become farmland has been reclaimed for rewilding. Ajay reveals that management by grazing of semi-wild early horses and cattle is dramatically taking wetland restoration forward."
– Roger Tabor, Biologist, naturalist, broadcaster, and author

"Ajay's passion for conservation and his encyclopaedic knowledge of Wicken Fen ooze out of every single page"
– Iolo Williams

"In a dizzying, disquieting world, Ajay has the rare gift of remaining quietly steadfast and true to his mission and passion. A wonderful book, and the next best thing to being there oneself"
– Gillian Burke, Springwatch Wildlife TV presenter

"Ajay reminds us eloquently of the crucial importance of nature recovery and of how the lessons learned at Wicken will help nature in wetlands everywhere."
– Dame Fiona Reynolds, Director-General, National Trust (2000–12)

"A deep connection to home, filled with love for place and nature. Ajay's peaceful, gentle diaries made me smile, taught me lots, and made me keen to visit a very special place myself"
– Lucy Lapwing, naturalist and wildlife communicator of Springwatch

A wonderful celebration of fenland history and wildlife by an inspiring ranger working at the forefront of wetland conservation"
– Nick Davies

"A hugely enjoyable behind the scenes look at the reality of a life given over to the restoration of nature. Ajay's vivid portrayal of his work at Wicken Fen is written with great honesty and humility, bringing one of the UK's most treasured nature reserves to life in all it's tangled, waterlogged glory."
– Lee Schofield, author of Wild Fell

"Aloe vera for the soul. I fell willingly headfirst into this glorious volume about the beauties of nature written with all the respect and sensitivity one expects from Ajay."
– Milly Johnson, Award-winning, bestselling (romantic fiction) author

"Ajay's love of Wicken Fen and his admiration for the people working to keep it special shines through the pages of this book."
– David Lindo, The Urban Birder

"This is a truly lovely read, it comes from a heart that is utterly in tune with the wild-life of the Fen and what it takes to protect it. A book to hold close, a soft down-duvet of a book that will stay by you whenever you need a nature-loving friend."
– Mary Colwell, environmentalist, author, campaigner

"Ajay's deep connection to Wicken and its wildlife shines through in this gentle deep-dive into the soggy, boggy, reed-rustling world of the Fens. Wetland Diaries offers a unique and highly knowledgeable insight into a life dedicated to protecting nature."
– Leif Bersweden, botanist, author of Where the Wild Flowers Grow

"A wonderfully evocative account of life as a ranger on one of Britain's oldest and best-loved nature reserves, packed with delightful stories of the people and wildlife, and written by one of our brightest young naturalists."
– Stephen Moss, naturalist, author and TV producer

"A wonderfully deep dive into a fascinating and important part of the country. The book is full of practical insights and a pleasure to read."
– Tristan Gooley, award-winning, bestselling author and natural navigation expert

"Ajay Tegala's vivid words and illustrations capture life as a ranger in one of Europe's most important nature reserves. Wetland Diaries has the pace and energy of a thriller as it reveals the evolving relationships of wetland plants, birds and grazing animals in an age of potentially disastrous climate change."
– Dr Francis Pryor, Time Team archaeologist and author of A Fenland Garden

"The reader learns much about the site, its history and the plans for its future in these pages and it stands as a very good example of how good the National Trust can be when it puts its mind to it."
– Mark Avery, senior conservationist (with 25 years experience) at the RSPB and independent campaigner

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