Expert birders start each January by drawing up their yearlist – the birds they are determined to see in the next 365 days. Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss want to help us do the same thing for nature. Every day of the year – summer or winter – there are wonderful things that we can all see and experience if only we knew what to look for. And now we do.
A chilly day in the dead of winter – which bird would choose this time of year to raise its young?
The buzzing of bumblebees, the humming of hoverflies or the croaking of crickets – which is the true sound of summer?
Distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm, naturalists Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you through the year, day by day, sharing the delights that you can experience in Britain's skies, seas, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. From winter encounters with the curious black redstart, which chooses to spend its winters on our freezing, rocky coasts, and the first appearance of the snowdrop's tiny green shoots poking up through stone-hard soil, the first sign that winter might be reaching an end; through spring with its rush of migrant birds and the emergence from her chrysalis of the fragile orange-tip butterfly; into the sounds and smells summer with its abundance of flowers and insects, and when at night you might encounter summer's 'earthly stars', the glow-worm, or that most bizarre and bewitching of moths, the ghost moth. Wonderland is a book for anyone who wants to experience the world and to observe how it changes throughout the year.
Brett Westwood is an award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist. He presented the radio series of Natural Histories. His other acclaimed radio series range from Tweet of the Day (winner of Best Radio Series 2014) to Brett Westwood's Diaries. He is also a consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.
Stephen Moss is a TV producer and best-selling author whose books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds and The Bumper Book of Nature. The book of Tweet of the Day (which he co-wrote with Brett) won the Thomson Reuters Prize 2014. His TV credits include Birds Britannia, Britain's Big Wildlife Revival and Springwatch. This is their third book together.
"Vibrant, fascinating, informative [...] A brilliant bouquet of the best of British wildlife from two superb naturalists and writers [...] A poetic treasury that charts a year in living things, all the things we love, all the things we wish we could, all the little things we step over and never know"
– Chris Packham
"A beautifully written love letter to the astonishing variety of Britain's wildlife, animal, vegetable and fungal [...] Although such an elegantly written book can be read cover to cover, it could also function as a day-to-day reference. A nice one to keep by your bedside, suggesting what to look out for tomorrow"
– Sunday Times
"Westwood and Moss are the perfect guides for a seasonal tour of nature's Wonderland. Inspired, friendly and blessed with apparently limitless knowledge, they reveal the when, where and how of nature. But more than that they offer the here, the gift of making you feel present, sharing the wonder and energy of life all around us, from the mountaintops to the city park"
– Peter Marren
"This uplifting nature diary highlights natural wonders to experience every day of the year. The expert naturalists behind it are passionate about re-engaging with our wildlife. And, encouragingly, many of the adventures detailed start in our own back gardens"
"An essential companion for all wildlife lovers, taking the reader on a day by day exploration of the wonders of nature across the period of a year"
– Choice magazine
"Drawn from their personal experiences and vast knowledge, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss have detailed a whole year (including a leap day, just to be safe). Each date covers a different species and provides a tantalising glimpse into the natural world [...] The evocative writing will bring to mind the times the reader has seen various species. For those not yet seen, the reader can't help but be inspired, and start to wistfully daydream about seeing them"
"I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about wild flowers and Britain's wildlife, but Wonderland has taught me a lot about what to watch out for. I like the way it's written in the form of a diary instead of a guide, which makes it more engaging and accessible [...] Fascinating stuff, and it will open your eyes about how rich in wildlife this island is"
– Horse & Countryside
"An uplifting book that reminds readers how benevolent and hospitable even the most apparently insalubrious landscapes can be [...] absorbing enough to read cover to cover"
"They write with the deep authority of personal, first-hand experience [...] clear, evocative and straightforward, never overwritten or pretentious, but always informative, enjoyable and stimulating"