My nature writing is entwined, like the DNA double-helix, with my other writing. This was not a conscious act, but rather one that spontaneously emerged. My own experience of nature writing is that much of it is lyrical but toothless, and too often narcissistic and entitled. In these pages I have strived to look at nature both as it is, and with a psychological eye. We humans have moulded the planet according to our beliefs and needs. The turmoil that is emerging from Covid-19 will either be the last nail in the body of nature, or it will mark a renaissance in thinking.

Quite a few years ago I started to write a series of pieces inspired by the paintings of Charles Tunnicliffe. It proved to be onerous, not so much because of research, but because it became truly painful to discover how much of the beautiful wildlife of our island has been lost. However, I decided that the subject is too important to leave and I will be returning to the project this Winter.

I hope you find this nature writing enlightening and valuable. I have also written many pieces about psychology, politics, places and music. There’s poetry too. Nature runs through them all.

A celebration of autumn: part 4 – conclusion

A look at the fate of Oaks, Red Squirrels and European Eels. The last part of a series examining changes in the Autumn landscape of the UK.

Meeting Majesty – an encounter with the Fredville Oak

Meeting ‘Majesty’ – a remarkable and ancient Kentish oak tree. A humbling testament to both resolute living and the support of others.

Autumn: a digression on shooting pheasants

Autumn: a look at the intensive rearing of millions of pheasants for shooting, and why this cruel practice has no place in a democracy.

A celebration of autumn: part 3 – inedible

Most of the fruits of autumn are inedible, at least for humans. Thown into the woods we would have a hard time surviving.

A celebration of autumn: part 2 – fruit

Many of us share a love of autumn fruit. This is when we start to make the last jams and preserves of the year. Nuts are rescued from squirrels. Time slows.

A celebration of autumn: part 1 – harvest

The mythical harvest of the golden past. Nowadays venturing onto a ploughed field is to invite prosecution for trespass or illness from pesticidal spraying.