Friday 15 February 2019
Our Place - Can we save Britian's Wildlife before it is too late?
with Mark Cocker
Join award winning author, naturalist and enviromental tutor Mark Cocker, as he discusses his new book Our Place - Can we save Britain's Wildlife before it is too late?
Environmental thought and politics have become parts of mainstream cultural life in Britain. The wish to protect wildlife is now a central goal for our society, but where did these ‘green’ ideas come from? And who created the cherished institutions, such as the National Trust or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, that are now so embedded in public life with millions of members?
From the flatlands of Norfolk to the tundra-like expanse of the Flow Country in northern Scotland, acclaimed writer on nature Mark Cocker sets out on a personal quest through the British countryside to find the answers to these questions.
Mark's book looks to the future as well as exploring the past. It asks searching questions like who owns the land and why? And who benefits from green policies? Above all it attempts to solve a puzzle: why do the British seem to love their countryside more than almost any other nation, yet they have come to live amid one of the most denatured landscapes on Earth? Radical, provocative and original, Our Place tackles some of the central issues of our time. Yet most important of all, it tries to map out how this overcrowded island of ours could be a place fit not just for human occupants but also for its billions of wild citizens.
MARK COCKER is an author of creative non-fiction. He is also a naturalist and environmental tutor, who writes and broadcasts on nature and wildlife in a variety of national media. In 2018 he releases a new book Our Place (Cape) on the fate of British nature since the beginning of the twentieth century. He will also complete 30 years as a Guardian country diarist.
His 10 other books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. They include Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet (2014) and Birds and People (2013). The latter was published to international acclaim and was a collaboration with the photographer David Tipling. Between them these two were shortlisted for six literary awards including the Thwaites/Wain- wright Prize. His book Crow Country was shorlisted for several awards, including the Samuel Johnson Prize, and won the New Angle Prize (2009). In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of East Anglia, where he has recently placed his archive.
He has travelled in more than 50 countries on six continents and in 1999 was awarded a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to study birds in magico-medicinal practices in Benin and Cameroon. For the last 35 years his home has been in Norfolk, where much of his spare time is devoted to the restoration of a small wooded fen called Blackwater. He is married to the arts professional Mary Muir, from whom he gets many of his best ideas!