My new book, Family Wildlife Adventures is published by Bradt in October 2021
Family Wildlife Adventures
When you’re a child, everything about nature is a revelation, every small wonder holds you rapt with curiosity. And now more than ever, we desperately need to help young people nurture a love of wildlife and wild places – so what better way to inspire the next generation of conservationists than by filling their childhood with adventures in search of Britain’s natural wonders?
Armed with all the practical information you need to plan a fun and safe day out, week or weekend away, Family Wildlife Adventures has something for all families keen to discover the wildlife and wild places of Britain. From island-hopping in the Isles of Scilly, wild camping along Scotland’s Whale Trail, tracking red squirrels through the forests of Yorkshire to sleeping high up in the ancient oaks of Powys – we guarantee unforgettable adventures along the way, whatever the season.
William Gray possesses that rare gift of being equally at home with a pen and a camera. Lit from within by his abiding passion for the natural world, his words and pictures are guaranteed to appeal to the child in all of us
ABOUT FAMILY WILDLIFE ADVENTURES
The research for Family Wildlife Adventures has taken many years and includes well-established favourites, like seal watching in the Isles of Scilly and puffin spotting on Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, as well as more recently discovered adventures, such as wild camping on the Hebridean Whale Trail and bike glamping in the Peak District. It’s not only given us the opportunity to track down Britain’s astonishing range of wildlife – from dolphins to dragonflies – but some of the adventures have rivalled anything we’ve experienced anywhere in the world. Seeing the reaction on the faces of my children has often been better than watching the wildlife spectacle itself.
As well as a practical guide to Britain’s best family wildlife adventures, I hope this book transports you to the 50 wild places covered, giving you a real sense of what it’s like to witness a seabird city, to walk in an ancient forest or paddle a canoe through a watery wilderness. The impact of these experiences can be profound on children – they can inspire lifelong hobbies, such as birdwatching and photography, or fuse an interest in nature with an exciting adventure sport, like sea kayaking, snorkelling or mountain biking.
Most importantly of all, though, a childhood of wildlife adventures can foster a natural and instinctive ability to simply pause and stare – an underrated skill that will give you joy in watching the spiralling flight of a buzzard or studying the intricate mechanics of a beetle’s exoskeleton. If we can instil in our children this simple appreciation of nature, lodging it in their psyche to carry forward into adulthood, then half the battle for nature conservation will have been won.