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Nature & Wildlife Books ~ Factual & Fiction

My Wicked First Life, Mike Tomkies My Wicked First Life, Mike Tomkies (Hardback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
Long-demanded by Mike's numerous fans, this searingly-honest and wide-ranging adventurous tale of his first life, will be of huge appeal to a very wide audience including anyone interested in the stars, celebrities and their biographies. This is a book which has it all - true-life adventures and stories of the stars all laced with exceptionally funny anecdotes.
Backwoods Mates to Hollywood's Greats, Mike Tomkies Backwoods Mates to Hollywood's Greats, Mike Tomkies (Hardback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
This is a vastly-entertaining book and recounts a remarkably full life that simply could not have been invented. With his frank and free-booting style that has touches of Jack Kerouac, Jack London and Robert Service, it will be a magnet for Mike's numerous fans and an eye-opener for anyone who is new to Tomkies' writing. This second volume in his autobiography will be of huge appeal to anyone interested in the stars, celebrities and autobiographies as well as being a hugely enjoyable read.
Alone in the Wilderness, Mike Tomkies Alone in the Wilderness, Mike Tomkies (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
This is the story of a man who achieved what thousands only dream of. He shed the pressures of urban life as an international journalist and exchanged it for solitude, self-sufficiency and new purpose. He emigrated to Canada, found a plot of rock, trees and cliffs in a remote part of the British Columbian coastline, and moved in with typewriter, tent and the barest necessities to build his dream cabin.
Between Earth and Paradise, Mike Tomkies Between Earth and Paradise, Mike Tomkies (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
After giving up a hectic life as a journalist in Europe and Hollywood in the late 1960s to return to his boyhood love of nature, Mike Tomkies found Eilean Shona, a remote island 'between earth and paradise' off the west coast of Scotland. There he rebuilt a rotting wooden crofthouse and began a new way of life, observing nature, that was to last to the present day.
Wildcat Haven, Mike Tomkies Wildcat Haven, Mike Tomkies (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
This captivating story by one of the UK's most celebrated nature writers will not only delight Mike's legions of devoted fans but will also bring his work to the attention of a new generation - at a time when the plight of the Scottish wildcat is increasingly featured in the media. Of great appeal to all who love wildlife, the natural world, the wildcat in particular, and anyone looking for an engrossing read.
See also Last of the Scottish Wildcats DVD
Rare, Wild and Free, Mike Tomkies Rare, Wild and Free, Mike Tomkies (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
'This latest book must surely turn out to be the most popular for all his avid readers. It is not only the often moving photographs that are a joy to see but also the captions, somtimes long, that accompanies them. They give an insight into another world that only a dedicated naturalist such as Mike can bring to our attention. The book is a must whether you are a fan of the author or a new acquaintance and you will have the privilege of looking through the eye of the author into a new world few of us even imagine. A must for any naturalists book shelves.'
Ray Collier, Former Chief Warden, Highlands. Highland News, North Star, Lochaber News
A High and Lonely Place, Jim Crumley A High and Lonely Place, Jim Crumley 2nd Edition (Softback)
£16.99 including UK p&p
In the nine years since it was first published, A High and Lonely Place has become a classic of Scottish nature writing and of the literature of our mountains. It has also become a much-quoted source of inspiration to those who champion the cause of our wild places in general and the Cairngorms in particular. Jim Crumley marries a poet's instincts to an uncompromising passion for the Cairngorm's arctic character, and for those wildlife tribes which thrive there.
Brother Nature, Jim Crumley Brother Nature, Jim Crumley (Hardback)
£17.99 including UK p&p
Acclaimed nature writer Jim Crumley turns his poet's instinct, his naturalist's eye, and occasionally his camera on his core territory in Highland Perthshire to produce a book of rare intimacy. Brother Nature is based on thirty years of exploring and thinking about the country on his doorstep. He also applies to that country lessons learned at first hand in other lands, notably on a life-changing trip to Alaska. The book is in two parts. The first, The Brotherhood, is a series of vivid and intensely personal encounters with grizzly bears, badgers, deer, otters, orchids, ospreys, red kites, golden eagles, ravens, and his beloved swans. The second part, The Long Way Back, considers how his native Scotland might achieve a closer, more thoughtful relationship with nature. In a powerful conclusion, Jim Crumley makes the case for the reintroduction of wolves as a catalyst in the process of achieving that relationship.
Something Out There, Jim Crumley Something Out There, Jim Crumley (Softback)
£16.95 including UK p&p
'This is a celebration of the natural world as seen through the eyes, ears and heart of a skilled writer. He can describe the flight of the skylark in exquisite language and point out that the call of the cuckoo can sometimes sound like jazz. He can write pages on the colour of an egg or the scent of pine trees, or the life to be found in a drystane dyke and not one word will be dull or misplaced. Jim Crumley now has almost 20 books to his credit and, in my opinion, Something out There is his best.'
The Scots Magazine
Waters of the Wild Swan, Jim Crumley Waters of the Wild Swan, Jim Crumley (Hardback)
£13.99 including UK p&p
Jim Crumley has watched swans all across Scotland - the city slickers in Edinburgh; the mute pair which successfully raises entire clutches of eight or nine year in, year out on a man-made pond; the pair that valiantly tried three times in one season against the odds to rear young on a Highland loch; and the wintering flocks and lone wanderers of whoopers and Bewicks in landscapes as far flung as the carse of Stirling to Glencoe and Skye. In all, here is a wildlife book unlike most others you will have read - tough, lyrical, surprising, colourful, moving, keenly observed and beautifully written.
The Mountain of Light, Jim Crumley The Mountain of Light, Jim Crumley (Softback)
£8.99 including UK p&p
This is a unique mixture of folk-tale, magic, myth, love story and hymn of praise to the natural world of Scotland's high and low lands, their landscapes and creatures, and the poet-guardians who timelessly maintain their care for them. It is the legend-story of the mysterious Wanderer, who comes from the North to Striveling (Stirling) and its great Castle Rock, and the tales he tells to the five men and a woman who befriend him there. Who is this Wanderer, who seems ageless, who has profound affinities with animals and birds, who can take on the shape of swans, and what is his mission to the South? Who are these friends, whose friendship becomes more, as they begin to realize that they are part of the strange, timeless and mythic destiny of a country older than civilisation? What is the meaning of the unearthly love of the Wanderer and the mysterious Bella?
A Life of Ospreys, Roy Dennis A Life of Ospreys, Roy Dennis (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
'It is reasonable to assume that no-one else on earth knows more about ospreys than Roy Dennis. His fascination for one of the true superstars of the natural world has dominated much of his work as a naturalist for the better part of 50 years, a remarkable book. It is also an inspirational book... The sheer weight of acutely-observed detail amassed in this account is testimony to the knowledge of its author, and the clarity with which it is organised and presented establishes the book in the front rank of Scottish wildlife monographs. ... Scottish ospreys now have millions of friends all across the world, and this book will surely add to their numbers.' Scots Magazine
A Private Sort of Life, Bridget MacCaskill A Private Sort of Life, Bridget MacCaskill (Softback)
£16.95 including UK p&p
'Every now and then - but not really often enough - there comes along a little gem of a book. A simple tale, beautifully told, exquisitely described and finely illustrated. A real page turner. Such a book is Bridget MacCaskill's keenly observed A Private Sort of Life, an intimate account of an extended otter family....The story of Kyle and Kelpie with their cubs, Coll and Coire, is more of a prolonged observation by an unseen watcher. ... Someone really hooked on otters, with an enviable gift for transmitting her enthusiasm straight to the collective heart of her readers. This enthusiasm shines out from every page. ... However, amid the wonderment of the young otters' world, alongside the beautifully-crafted descriptions of their Highland environment, a message constantly seeps through. And it is the message of conservation'.
The Scots Magazine
The Wind in My Face, Bridget MacCaskill The Wind in My Face, Bridget MacCaskill (Softback)
£22.00 including UK p&p
A well-known naturalist, forester and nature photographer, Don MacCaskill died in May, 2000 while out for a walk in the forest he loved, his camera as ever at the ready. Don's 'mate' in most of his endeavours (and a keen naturalist herself), Bridget has put together a book of stunning photography, with text that gives the reader a delightful taste of Nature through the seasons and an appreciation of the nature photographer's tasks over the year. Prepare to be enthralled by the work of a master. The whole work is complemented by the poetry of Jim Crumley, each poem inspired by one of Don's photographs.
Listen to the Trees, Don MacCaskill Listen to the Trees, Don MacCaskill (Hardback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
'... In this moving volume he reflects on the great world of trees, the ancient forests which covered much of Scotland, the planting carried out by lairds and estates, the birth and growth of the Forestry Commission, and the social life of glen communities in past days. ... This is a book of heart-stirring nature incidents and reminiscences. It is movingly written and educational. It is also a piece of social history, telling of characters and a way of life now dwindling and gone. It is a commentary on the great forestry issues of our time, essential reading for all those who care about our wildlife and woods. It is a living memorial to Don MacCaskill'.
The Scots Magazine
Seton Gordon's Scotland Seton Gordon's Scotland (Softback)
£22.00 including UK p&p
Like John Muir, he was a wanderer and a guide. We walk with him through pinewoods, to eyries, to the corries of the Cairngorms, we follow him trying to recreate the greenshank's song on his bagpipe chanter; and see him holding a snowball windward of a nesting dotterel to cool its panting. Welcomed in croft or palace, a keen piper, inevitably dressed in kilt and bunnet, Seton Gordon was one of the age's great characters. This selection from his writings gives a fascinating insight of the man and his great versatility. The author, himself a Scottish outdoors enthusiast and well-known author, has been a lifelong admirer of Seton Gordon and his books and has created a book to treasure.
Seton Gordon's Cairngorms Seton Gordon's Cairngorms (Softback)
£25.00 including UK p&p
Seton Gordon really created himself as naturalist, photographer and writer, the first such in the country, his first book appearing when he was eighteen. In all he wrote 27 books, two specifically about the Cairngorms where he grew up and first explored and returned to many times throughout his long life. He wrote with a revelational wonder and freshness, writing in poetic prose descriptions only possible by someone intimately at home in the hills with their interacting, connected features: birds, plants, trees, geology, weather, Gaelic culture, place names, history, folklore - an ecologist before the word was coined.
Days with the Golden Eagle, Seton Gordon Days with the Golden Eagle, Seton Gordon (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
'This could well turn out to be the most important book of the year, as it will bring one of the best nature writers in Scotland to a new audience. Whilst the text is in many ways as fresh and stimulating as the day it was written, the photographs are equally outstanding. ...the close-up of the head and upper neck of the juvenile golden eagle on the front cover and the frontispiece has a haunting quality that seems to imprint on the mind...The text is sometimes unbelievable in its impact such as the lines, There was no breeze in the old pine forest, and the ancient, heavy crowned trees seemed to hold their green branches eagerly towards the strong sunlight. Who writes like this these days and who has that depth of feeling that comes out in the lines so often it is almost mesmerising? Much of what the author describes is still there but perhaps we do not look in the same way any more'. Highland News
Call of the Eagle, Dave Walker Call of the Eagle, Dave Walker (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
This is an account of one man's 30-year involvement with England's rarest bird, the golden eagle. Initially employed by the RSPB as a senior species protection warden at a secret location in Cumbria, the author describes the intricacies of establishing a protection regime by wardens that would operate for the next 26 years and his efforts to protect and study this iconic species. The Lakeland eagles were at their most productive during his tenure, rearing six eaglets in the six years before he widened his interest to study eagles in Scotland as well as England.
Darwin in Scotland, J F Derry Darwin in Scotland, J F Derry (Softback)
£18.00 including UK p&p
This is the first book on Darwin and Darwinism that wholly concentrates on his time spent in Scotland and the key contributions to his future insights made by the Scottish Enlightenment and the University of Edinburgh. Darwin developed his theories because he attended Edinburgh University - although he participated little in formal tuition, it was through interaction with his tutors, peers and extracurricular groups that he was exposed to an ethos of naturalistic philosophy rooted in the Scottish Enlightenment and, by direct descent, the Ancient Greeks. If he had bypassed Scotland and gone straight to Cambridge, his education would have been theologically-based and unlikely to have given him the perspective that led him to question the prevailing doctrine.
Eating Diamonds, Loren Cruden Eating Diamonds, Loren Cruden (Softback)
£18.00 including UK p&p
Instead of the weekender's exploits or the scientists' findings, Eating Diamonds offers the rich experiences of someone who for twenty-five years lived intimately within North American and Scottish landscapes. Her portrayal of the wealth to be found in the simplest of human situations, without electricity, or 'phone - conveniences taken for granted as desirable - asks modern people to look again at what makes life good and the future bright. Complemented with superb wildlife drawings and photographs.
Ferny Wood, The Story of a Fallow Deer, Patricia Sibley Ferny Wood, The Story of a Fallow Deer, Patricia Sibley (Softback) £17.00 including UK p&p
Based upon detailed observation in the New Forest, this delightful book tells the story of Buckie, a fawn from a small herd of fallow does which the author was first privileged to observe just before sunset one magical June evening. Following this defining moment, the author, accompanied by her dachshund George, spent every spare moment watching deer - red, sika and roe but mostly the beautiful fallow deer. She observed the deer in all weathers, how they interacted with each other or with other wild creatures amongst the New Forest's ancient stands of oak and beech. Buckie's contacts with a variety of people such as those who befriend him, the local keepers and poachers are all described in realistic detail.
Flight of the Wild Geese, Graham Uney Flight of the Wild Geese, Graham Uney (Softback)
£17.00 including UK p&p
'ALTHOUGH ESSENTIALLY AN EXPLORATION of the remarkable life-cycle of the thousands of barnacle geese... ... ...this book offers a good deal more. ... The highly personal narrative is interspersed with the author's accounts of other trips and experiences in Scotland... ... ...making this as much a love letter to Scotland's wild places as a book about geese themselves.' Scotland Outdoors
'... This is a book by a birder, and a birder's book. The loving descriptions of the Solway and other reserves, the appreciation of landscape and wildlife other than birds, all come as a bonus. ... The photographs... ... ...have an attractive immediacy about them. ... ...if you enjoy reading about birds and their homes you'll enjoy this book.' Habitat
Just Before Dawn, The Creation of a Wildlife Sanctuary, May Parker Just Before Dawn, The Creation of a Wildlife Sanctuary, May Parker (Softback)
£20.00 including UK p&p
The author describes the glorious but laborious work of converting what had been a general dumping-ground to a rich and productive wildlife haven. As work progressed, May took many photographs and kept observations of the varied wildlife she observed during the many evenings which were spent working and watching in the reserve. How she and her husband achieved their dream of creating their own nature reserve as part of the country house hotel they ran, makes illuminating and fascinating reading.
Monkey Puzzle Man, Archibald Menzies, Plant Hunter Monkey Puzzle Man, Archibald Menzies, Plant Hunter (Softback)
£25.00 including UK p&p
Archibald Menzies was one of a legion of intrepid Scots plant collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries who roamed the world and, by a combination of toughness and knowledge, established the foundations of the botany of the British Empire. This is a fascinating tale of how he brought the monkey puzzle to England for the first time and provides an insight to international plant collecting in the 18th century.
Tooth & Claw, Living Alongside Britain's Predators Tooth & Claw, Living Alongside Britain's Predators (Hardback)
£25.00 including UK p&p
Tooth & Claw is a ground-breaking photo-documentary project providing a meeting place between anecdotal evidence and scientific fact, thus nurturing a better understanding of natural predator-prey mechanisms and encouraging empathy with different points of view. Three years in the making, Tooth & Claw features insightful interviews against a backdrop of stunning imagery - as thought-provoking as it is beautiful. Discussions over fox hunting, bird of prey poisoning and even the return of wolves are brought to life.
Birds in a Village - A Century On Birds in a Village - A Century On (hardback)
£14.50 including UK p&p
A century ago, the well-known naturalist W H Hudson was a senior figure in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds with a significant reputation in his field.
The village he wrote about, typical of many pretty, rural settings across the nation, has of course changed over the intervening 100 years. In this book, Hudson's original text is reproduced and Brian Clews reviews the species that have subsequently been lost, and the new ones gained, in the very village Hudson wrote about all those years ago. The anecdotal style used by both authors will remind readers of local changes in their own locations and hopefully encourage many more to become explorers of the countryside.
Red Kite Country Red Kite Country (hardback with jacket)
Was £25, now £15 including UK p&p
A celebration of the wildlife and landscape of Mid Wales, and featuring the superb photographs and beautiful watercolour paintings of Mike Read and Colin Woolf, bringing its many moods and seasons to life in a collection of stunning images.
Red Kite Country is the culmination of four years' work for Mike and Colin, who have spent many hours waiting patiently and observing their subjects. The authors' love of their subjects - from delicate, humble mosses underfoot to the majestic Red Kite soaring overhead - is evident in the superb quality of the images. The text is light and easy to absorb, written to inform but also to provoke further thought and exploration.
Flowers of the Forest - Plants and people in the New Forest National Park Flowers of the Forest - Plants and people in the New Forest National Park (hardback)
£24.95 including UK p&p
A beautifully illustrated exploration of the botanical richness and cultural heritage of the New Forest National Park. The New Forest has become an exceptional area for wildflowers, many of which were once common throughout the lowlands of Britain. The Forest enjoys strong populations of many special wildflowers because it retains a living tradition of free-ranging domestic animals grazing its coastland, extensive commons and village greens. This book shows how the wildlife of the Forest is the natural expression of the lives and economy of the people of the Forest.
Animal Portraits Animal Portraits (hardback)
£14.99 including UK p&p
A celebration of animal life through the work of one of the best natural history illustrators in the business. Observations from writers as diverse as Herman Melville, Robert Frost, Gerald Durrell and Sir David Attenborough are brought into dramatic focus by Jackson's stunning artworks, which combine beauty with unwavering accuracy. The pairing of these illustrations with essays, poems and scientific observations gives a unique insight into an incredible animal world.
“Ian Jackson’s meticulous portraits are superb feats of photo realism.” Chris Packham

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