Lev Parikian is on a journey to discover the quirks, habits and foibles of how the British experience nature. He sets out to explore the many, and particular, ways that he, and we, experience the natural world – beginning face down on the pavement outside his home then moving outwards to garden, local patch, wildlife reserve, craggy coastline and as far afield as the dark hills of Skye. He visits the haunts of famous nature lovers – reaching back to the likes of Charles Darwin, Etta Lemon, Gavin Maxwell, John Clare and Emma Turner – to examine their insatiable curiosity and follow in their footsteps.
And everywhere he meets not only nature, but nature lovers of all varieties. The author reveals how our collective relationship with nature has changed over the centuries, what our actions mean for nature and what being a nature lover in Britain might mean today.
I really enjoyed this ramble through nature with Lev Parikian. He makes for an amiable, knowledgeable companion. He’s delightfully enthusiastic about all things nature, from butterflies to trees, and all the birds and beasts inbetween. Including a beluga whale, albeit frustratingly some 200 yards upstream.
Parikian’s writing is easygoing and informative, with a sense of fun and wit that can often be missing from nature writing. He strikes me as someone it’d be fun to go on a ramble with, pausing for the occasional cheeky beverage where he’d regale you with another fascinating anecdote about nature or nature writers.
It’s refreshing that the author feels that he’s new to this nature lark, but is determined to catch up, and to bring you along with him. Oh, and there are footnotes. Lots of footnotes. I do love a good footnote.
Hugely enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. And with a gorgeous cover by Clover Robin.
Into The Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian is published by Elliott & Thompson and is out now. Many thanks to Alison Menzies for the review copy.
You can find Lev Parikian on twitter @LevParikian