New Nature Writing



As we destroy our last wild places and drive thousands of animal species to extinction every year, a new tougher sort of writing about nature has begun to take root in Britain.

This summer series has been bringing the best of it to Radio 3.

Tonight: The Bird That Habitually Walks, written and read by Nigel Collar.

A story of addiction and heartbreak amongst the Great Bustards of Portugal.


A series of fresh dispatches from the countryside proving that the best nature writing is neither twee nor arid.

A Norfolk Benefit written and read by Ian Wallace.

A weekend amongst the seals and shorebirds of the north Norfolk coast prompts memories and allays fears.


Richard Mabey reflects on the significance of the new wetland in his life after moving from Chiltern woods to the Norfolk Broads.


Evelyn Waugh satirised the British tradition of writing about the countryside which harped on about plashy fens and questing voles.

And maybe he was right.

Now, though, a new nature writing is emerging with informed observations blended with passionate prose.

An occasional series throughout the Proms brings some of the best of these open air thoughts and fresh writing to Radio 3.

In Crow Country, by Mark Cocker.

A love affair with the Rook, Corvus frugilegus.