Sunday, 18 September 2016

Update! Current projects and why I'm doing this.

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.

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