A curated diary from three nature writers charting the extraordinary return of nature this spring
Nature took on a new importance for thousands of people when the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Britain, providing solace in a time of great anxiety - not least because the crisis struck at the beginning of spring, the season of hope and renewal; and furthermore, in an extraordinary conjunction, the spring of 2020 turned out to be the loveliest spring ever recorded in Britain.
Three nature writers, living like everyone else under lockdown, but walking out each day to exercise, resolved to record their experiences of the coronavirus spring, in widely contrasting parts of the country. They did so to share with others their sense of the wonder, inspiration and delight the natural world can offer, and The Consolation of Nature is the enthralling account of what they discovered by literally walking out from their front doors.
Michael McCarthy (Author)
Michael McCarthy is one of Britain's leading environmental journalists, formerly environment correspondent of The Times and environment editor of The Independent. He has won a string of awards for his writing, including the Medal of the RSPB, for 'outstanding services to conservation.' His book Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo (2009), a study of Britain's summer migrant birds, was widely praised; The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy (2015) was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize and the Richard Jefferies Prize.
Jeremy Mynott (Author)
Jeremy Mynott is a classical scholar, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and former Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press. He is the author of various books on wildlife and nature. Birdscapes: birds in our experience and imagination (2009) was described by one reviewer as 'the finest book ever written on why we watch birds'. His latest book, Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (2018), was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize and was a TLS 'Book of the Year'.
Peter Marren (Author)
Peter Marren is a nature writer and commentator, author of Bugs Britannica, Rainbow Dust, Chasing the Ghost and many other books on British plants, insects, and the countryside. He won the BSBI President's Prize for Britain's Rare Flowers, which was also runner-up for the Natural World Book Prize. He was awarded the Thackray Medal for The New Naturalists by the Society for the History of Natural History. His satirical column in British Wildlife magazine, Twitcher in the Swamp, has a cult following.