Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Monday, 21 November 2016
CHRISTMAS CARDS ARE AVAILABLE AGAIN - STOCKS ARE LIMITED
Please order from the shop page as soon as you can. This year, each card is individually signed by me.
SHOP NOW REFRESHED AND UPDATED - MULTIPLE PURCHASES NOW SUPPORTED!!
I've just spent some time revising the shop page here so that you can more easily make multiple purchases. It's not perfect, but I think it's much better than before.
The best way you can test it is buy ordering a few books. Whaaat? I'm only saying! ;-)
Here's a subtle link in case you can't find the one at the top of the page:
BRITISH WILDLIFE TALES SHOP - REVISED
Thanks as always for your continued support.
Monday, 31 October 2016
Those of you who have already expressed an interest in an order will need to make your payment on the pre-order page in the same way as everyone else, but in the case of an oversubscription to the first print-run, you will be guaranteed a reserved copy from the first print-run.
Stay posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin to make sure you hear when your copies have arrived in stock.
Thanks once again to all of you for your unfailing patience, supreme loyalty and marvellous support. And be sure to spread the news far and wide - this book promises to be the biggest seller yet!
Sunday, 18 September 2016
My goodness how time fllies when one is having fun!
What's in the Wood Pile?
It's already beginning to get a bit autumnal out there and I'm very busy completing the illustrations for the third and latest title in the British Wildlife Tales series; 'What's in the Wood Pile?'. Things are cracking along nicely for what promises to be the best book yet!
I will be officially launching pre-orders for 'What's in the Wood Pile?' via this website on 1st November 2016 and will be dispatching books in time for Christmas. I'm told that they'll make a great stocking filler! I've already had sufficient interest to guarantee that this book will go to print.
Voyage of the Queen Bee
Looking at my other wildlife related projects; I've finished work on my collaborative book with Tim Gardiner and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust for their tenth anniversary children's book entitled "Voyage of the Queen Bee". Details will follow on how you can get your hands on a copy in the next few weeks. Stay posted on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
The fourth book...and why I'm putting together this series...
Whilst I'm putting together the print files for my books, I do like to ponder the next title that I want to work on. I have a rough plan for around fifteen titles covering species from a wide range of areas and habitats throughout Britain.
For me, ancient woodland, breckland and the uplands and moors offer huge inspiration as some of the more wild places that our little archipelago has to offer.
Under constant pressure from the risk of development and often at risk from managed pursuits such as shooting and hunting, these habitats are at risk of being changed to the detriment of natural biodiversity forever.
I hope that by inspiring and intriguing adults and children to care about the living things with which we share our islands, my books can help raise awareness of the natural world and how important it is that we do not put any of it at risk.
One of the most topical issues of late is the intensive management of upland moors by land owners who allow these areas to be used for commercial shooting of game birds, particularly grouse. The issue is well documented in the press and is hotly debated. For me, it is important for everyone to understand which species typically live in these areas when they are not managed for commercial gain. It's a tricky business because very few of our upland areas have been left untouched by some form of human intervention over the years, so gaining an accurate picture of what a natural upland moor looks like requires a fair amount of scrutiny of natural history going back centuries. You can imagine how complicated that can be, I'm sure.
In writing this update, I have helped myself decide on the habitat I will be looking at next... it will be based on the creatures that live on our hills and mountains and I'm very much looking forward to getting started on it in the early part of 2017.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
|Great weather for toads?|
Well, what a mixed bag it has been so far this year. From long dry months to sopping wet ones, we've had it all in spades!
The birds at the bottom of the garden and down the lane are fledging in rapid succession about now. The first of our Summer migrant breeders like those rascal Cuckoos have finished their work and are beginning to think about going back to the southern hemisphere once more - and we haven't even had a proper summer yet!
I've spent a lot of time this year juggling my day job with a lovely project which I hope to share fully with you very soon. It's something I am illustrating with the author, Dr Tim Gardiner and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and it's a bit different from the British Wildlife Tales titles you have been used to. The book, entitled "The Voyage of the Queen Bee" will be on sale later this year and will mark the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's 10th Anniversary. Keep an eye out for more updates very soon.
What's in the Wood Pile?
Some of you will recall that I had hoped to get my third title, What's in the Wood Pile? out in Spring this year. Well, being commissioned to work on the BBCT's project has forced that title to take a back seat for a little while. That said, I am now in a position to tell you that I have completed more than half of the words, and have settled on the appearance of several of the species that will feature.
I'm still on track to get What's in the Wood Pile? out this year, and I thank you for your patience.
I've also been busy meeting a good number of you at shows around the country this year, either with my author and illustrator hat on, or with my Nature Squad hat on. I have a few more appearances planned this summer starting with my local Library with a short wildlife stroll, and then a larger event up at Osfest, a free, family music festival in Church Broughton, Derbyshire where I'll be joining the Nature Squad (www.aplanetfitfornature.co.uk) to inspire all the little ones and their folks with the wonderful world of insects and other invertebrates. Camping for the whole weekend is £15 per person so get yourself booked in and seek us out!
Only joking, I won't go there. This is supposed to be fun, right?
Publishing - Help get the word out!
Self publishing is really, REALLY simple. In fact, I have begun helping a few folk get their own books into print. It's a slow process but we are getting there. We made a start over at www.stourvalleypublishing.co.uk - take a look!
It's getting the word around and driving sales that's the hardest part. I'd be absolutely delighted if you could share my website with 10 of your friends, and by putting up a review of my book in the comments below, or by emailing me. Go to the "Contact the Author" page to get in touch. The same goes for if you have any questions, or if you would like me to come to visit your group or school. My rates are very reasonable!
|Wild habitats are a priority for me, as well as wild hats.|
As and when I can, which isn't very often, I like to get involved in work which helps promote the protection of wildlife. When I say that, I really mean it. I like to protect wildlife. That doesn't necessarily mean keeping things as they are. It's more about putting back destroyed habitat, reintroducing species that have been wiped out either in whole or in part by humans, and then leaving things to get on with themselves. I'm no fan of the indiscriminate controlling of wildlife for the sake of wildlife. Every little beastie has its own part to play. I only wish we'd have the courage to reintroduce some of our not-so-long-departed predators into the wilds of England, Scotland and Wales so they can naturally carry out much of the work that we seem to be doing such a bad job of ourselves in the form of culling, and other widespread species destruction.
It seems that there are relatively few who share my views on this, or at least, they are not in the mainstream yet, so I'll settle for the conservation organisations we have at present, such as the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, WWT, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation Trust, Amphibian and Reptile Group, Buglife, and many, many MANY more. They all do sterling work in their fields and I would call you to support at least one of these charities with a regular donation by way of joining their memberships. I am a bit of
a sucker for them, and am a member of a few of them at once!
It's important to me, though, that these organisations remain accountable and the work of conservation activists, and no-nonsense naturalists such as Mark Avery, Georgia Locock, Chris Packham, Nick Baker, among many others is essential to keep the real issues surrounding the protection of wildlife in the public eye. I don't agree with everything that these guys and girls have to say, but they are so valuable when it comes to the future of our wildlife. Well done to all of you, and thanks!
Do please get in touch, either via this website, on Twitter @GBWildlifeTales, Facebook www.facebook.com/tbatbotg
Monday, 21 March 2016
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
|Intrepid Big Garden Birdwatcher|
What is the Big Garden Birdwatch?Each year, the RSPB runs a huge survey of garden and park wildlife in January. In 2016, the 30th of January marks the first day of the Big Garden Birdwatch and I will be sitting with my little ones with our beady eyes fixed on our garden waiting for the birds to show up.
The idea is simple; you and your family record the highest number of each species that land in your garden at any one time - 3 Goldfinch, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Blackbird etc etc and you submit your results after the hour is up to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch website. www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch
Are there any rules?Well, yes. I'll keep it simple though - the most important bits to remember is not to record the total number of times you see a particular species - as this could be the same bird coming back for more goodies. You count the highest number of that species seen in your garden at any one time during the hour.
Oh, and birds that are flying over don't count - no cheating!
How will we know what we have seen?Of course, every little one will need a great way to learn which bird is which, so grab your copy of 'The Birds at the Bottom of the Garden' and head out to the back window and start recording!
If you don't have a copy, then click on the links at the top of this page (on a desktop) or in the menu (on a mobile & some tablets) and you can get one so you can practice throughout the year. There are links to both of my books below:
Get a copy of 'The Birds at the Bottom of the Garden' << ideal for most gardens
Get a copy of 'The Birds Down the Lane' << ideal for gardens near the edge of town or parkland etc.