Stay wild with our top wildlife book choices

Libby Smith from our Osprey Project team shares her favourite wildlife and conservation books

Here are a list of some of my favourite wildlife books to read, I have been inspired and learnt so much from these amazing authors about different species and areas of conservation. Some of these titles have been included in our volunteer book club which we run monthly from the Volunteer Training Centre at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, you can find out more about that here.  So now all is left is to pour yourself a nice cup of tea , find a comfy spot and get reading! Enjoy!

Butterfly Isles book

The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham

Patrick Barkham’s narrative describes his year seeking out all the butterfly species in Britain. A book to engage
and inspire those with any interest in butterflies. There are 59 species to find throughout the British Isles,
from the adonis blue to the dingy skipper, did he find them all?

Book cover

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

Isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt at ease in the fields and woods around his suburban home. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his
childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds' eggs and sweaty jam jars, to
his feral adventures. His story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him.

Wilding book cover

Wilding by Isabella Tree

Isabella Tree describes how completely changing the landscape management style on the Knepp Estate in Southern England brought back endangered flora and fauna in a dramatic way, an uplifting read. Editor’s
comment—read this book at all costs.

A sky full of birds book cover

A Sky Full of Birds by Matt Merritt

Matt Merritt shares his passion for birdwatching by taking us to some of the great avian gatherings that occur around the British isles – from ravens in Anglesey and raptors on the Wirral, to Kent nightingales and Scottish capercaillies. By turns lyrical, informative and entertaining, he shows how natural miracles can be found all around us, if only we know where to look for them.

Owl sense book cover

Owl Sense by Miriam Darlington

Miriam Darlington describes how owls have captivated the human imagination for millennia, her fieldwork
begins with wild encounters in the British Isles, as she seeks to identify every European species of this charismatic bird, on a journey that will take her from southern Spain through France, Serbia and Finland and to the frosted borders of the Arctic.

The Garden Jungle

The Garden Jungle by Dave Goulson

Dave Goulson gives a fascinating insight into the weird and wonderful lives of the creatures living right under our noses; in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. He explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably linked with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies—unappreciated heroes of the natural world. For any wildlife gardener, this is essential reading.