Bestselling author, Benedict Macdonald, is the Head of Nature Restoration at Real Wild Estates.
As one of the UK’s leading field naturalists, Ben is at the forefront of public discourse on nature restoration, regenerative farming and the widespread reintroduction of lost species.
WINNER OF THE RICHARD JEFFERIES SOCIETY AND THE WHITE HORSE BOOKSHOP LITERARY PRIZE
Spend a year in an orchard, celebrating its imperilled, overlooked abundance of life.
England’s ancient orchards, collaborations between people and nature, are sources of hope for the future. Protecting them promises a far richer England for the centuries to come, for wildlife and for us.
As the seasons turn, a wealth of animals and plants are revealed: Bumble and solitary bees apartment-hunting in April; spotted flycatchers migrating in May; redstarts, hedgehogs and owls nesting in June; an explosion of life in the summer and the harvest and homespun cider-making in the autumn. And all throughout the year, the orchard’s human and animal inhabitants work together, creating one of the richest ecosystems left in Britain.
Explore this unique habitat throughout the course of a year, and marvel at the beauty and strength of nature.
WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING ON GLOBAL CONSERVATION
Rebirding takes the long view of Britain’s wildlife decline, from the early taming of our landscape and its long-lost elephants and rhinos, to fenland drainage, the removal of cornerstone species such as wild cattle, horses, beavers and boar – and forward in time to the intensification of our modern landscapes and the collapse of invertebrate populations.
Britain is blessed with all the space it needs for an epic wildlife recovery. The deer estates of the Scottish Highlands are twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Snowdonia is larger than the Maasai Mara. The problem in Britain is not a lack of space. It is that our precious space is uniquely wasted – not only for wildlife, but for people’s jobs and rural futures too.
Rebirding maps out how we might finally turn things around: rewilding our national parks, restoring natural ecosystems and allowing our wildlife a far richer future. In doing so, an entirely new sector of rural jobs would be created; finally bringing Britain’s dying rural landscapes and failing economies back to life.
PUBLISHED IN JULY 2022
Delve into the world of the invaluable wild forces that once shaped Britain’s wild places and could again in the future. Our precious archipelago is ravaged by climate change, bereft of natural ecosystems and now lies at the mercy of global warming, flooding, drought and catastrophic biodiversity loss. But could restoring the species that once helped protect our islands help turn this crisis around?
Transform your understanding of the natural world forever and discover the wild forces that once supported Britain’s extraordinary natural riches, and could again.