From a 2018 Wainwright Prize shortlisted author, THE CIRCLING SKY is part childhood memoir, blended with exquisite nature observation, and the story of one man's journey over a year to one of the UK's key natural habitats, the New Forest of Hampshire
In the form of several journeys, beginning in January 2019, Neil Ansell returns for solitary walks to the New Forest in Hampshire, close to where he was born. With beautiful sightings and observations of birds, trees, butterflies, insects and landscape, this is also a reflective memoir on childhood, on the history of one of the most ancient and important natural habitats in the United Kingdom, and on the Gypsies who lived there for centuries - and were subsequently expelled to neighbouring cities. It is also part polemic on our collective and individual responsibility for the land and world in which we live, and how we care for it.
As Neil Ansell concludes so eloquently, 'Evolution has no choice in what it does, but we do, as a species, if not always as individuals'.
Ansell's beautiful memoir of his walks through the Scottish wilderness makes the case for being truly a part of nature rather than outside of it - Observer
His anecdotes gleam - TLS
Beautifully charts the challenges and solaces of being alone and part of nature - Bookseller
Neil Ansell was an award-winning television journalist with the BBC and a long standing newspaper journalist. He is the author of Deep Country, Deer Island and The Last Wilderness which was shortlisted for the 2018 Wainwright Golden Beer and Highland Book Prizes. He has two daughters and lives in Brighton.